You’ve just got to the campsite, tent rolled out, pegs in hand, fire beginning to spark, and then you remember that you left the mallet at home. So now you are trying to find a big enough rock to hammer in the tent pegs but end up resorting to stomping them in. Come the middle of the night the tent begins to cave in, you can’t find a torch and you think the air bed might have a puncture as you’re suspiciously closer to the floor than you were before.
Sound familiar or your worst nightmare?
Packing for a camping trip can be stressful. A worry that you might forget something or pack too much so that your backpack is heavy to carry. A weekend trip away camping sound idyllic but it can quickly transform into the holiday from hell. So what do you need to pack to go camping?
We’ve compiled this list of camping essentials, the top things that we think you need to bring to have a successful trip. Get these camping essentials packed and then see if you can add a few luxuries to upgrade your trip.
Setting Up Base
Your tent is going to be your sanctuary for the weekend, your home from home. You need to make sure it is suitable to battle the elements and comfortable to offer you a perfect night’s sleep. Best practise is to do an initial pitch of your tent before you leave for your trip, this ensures that you can see if there are any rips or tears, and it gives you some experience in setting up the tent.
Make sure you bring the right equipment to set up your tent, a mallet will be your best friend and shouldn’t be forgotten, otherwise you’ll be stomping in a whole load of tent pegs. If your tent doesn’t come with a built-in groundsheet, consider bringing one, not only to protect your tent but to also give that extra comfort and warmth from the elements. Ensure you have enough tent pegs, have at least enough to cover every corner of your tent and then extras, plenty of extras.
A good quality sleeping bag will keep you warm and cosy at night, giving you the best chance at a good night’s sleep. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night from shivering too much. A quality sleeping bag won’t be bulky but will keep you warm and comfortable. Pack a good quality sleeping mat too and you will be sorted for the night.
To give your sleeping arrangement a little upgrade pack an airbed or camp bed, it will instantly elevate your night’s sleep. If you really want to upgrade your sleep we would recommend the Carhartt: Foldable Mattress for a peaceful night. Sleeping on a camp bed or airbed is essential if you’re camping during the colder months, having that little bit of elevation adds another layer between you and the cold floor.
A camping pillow and a hot water bottle are great and lightweight extras. Perfect to tuck away in your rucksack and adds that extra bit of comfort, little luxuries while camping go a long way.
Our base essentials:
- Sleeping bag
- Plenty of tent pegs
- Mallet or hammer
- Camping pillow
- Hot water bottle
- Camping mat / Airbed / Camping bed
- Repair kit for airbed (nothing worse than a deflated airbed)
- First aid kit
- Any medications
- Toilet roll
- Duct tape
Let There Be Light
You never really realise how dark it can get at night until you’re in the middle of a camping ground, stumbling through a field looking for the campsite facilities, in the pitch dark. While sleeping under the stars is heavily romanticised, those little flickers in the sky are no use when you’re trying to pitch your tent in the dark or trying to find matches for the campfire.
There are plenty of options for a camp light, whether you go traditional or lightweight and compact. If you want to stick to authentic camping lighting, then a lantern is a great option. Providing 360 degrees of light to illuminate your camp area with ease. Unlike traditional lanterns which used to be lit by candles, LED versions are far safer and are incredibly bright. If you want a compact light, there are plenty of camping lights that can clip onto your tent or attach conveniently to your backpack.
A torch is a must for camping. Perfect to carry around whether you need a trip to the loo or to search for something in your bag. Is yours is a battery powered torch then make sure you bring plenty of batteries as there’s nothing worse than watching your only light source begin to fade out.
If you’re wanting a recommendation, we would suggest the Snow Peak Mini Hozuki. The magnetic clip which secures to your tent, makes the perfect compact camping light. You won’t be stumbling in the dark as this little light packs a punch.
Our lighting essentials:
- A torch
- Lantern or camp light
- Matches / Lighter
Cooking Up a Storm
Nothing beats roasting some marshmallows on a campfire, squishing them together between biscuits and chocolate to make s’mores. This treat won’t fill you up though and won’t give you the energy for that morning hike. Having access to a hearty meal is central for any outdoor adventure, therefore packing a few camp kitchen essentials will ensure no one goes hungry.
A camping stove is perfect for cooking up dinner, especially as some campsites don’t allow an open fire. There are plenty of options to consider, whether you choose a gas stove, liquid fuel, alcohol burner, or solid fuel. If choosing a gas stove ideally it should run off a disposable gas canister.
If you crave a morning brew, a camping kettle is ideal to get your caffeine fix. It is also ideal for filling a hot water bottle if there is a sudden chill in the evening. If you’re a real connoisseur of coffee, then upgrading to some of Snow Peak’s camping equipment will satisfy your caffeine cravings. The Snow Peak: Field Barista Grinder allows you to create great tasting coffee.
Cookware is essential for camp cooking, make sure that your equipment is hardwearing and durable. Aluminium is the ideal material, both lightweight and durable, with plenty of space saving features. Snow Peak is renown for its aluminium drinkware and utensils. Packing some reusable utensils are both great for the environment and your pocket, saving you having to rebuy cutlery every time you go on a trip.
A tip for packing cooking equipment is to keep them in a bag, this stops small pieces getting lost in your backpack. Cookware that comes with its own bag or carry case makes packing away equipment a lot easier. Also remember to not over pack on cooking equipment that take up a lot of space. There are plenty of innovative camp cooking utensils and equipment which can pack away to save space.
Our camp kitchen essentials:
- Water bottle / flask
- Cooking stove / BBQ
- Pots / Pans
- Camp kettle
- Tin opener / Bottle opener
- Cooking utensils
If you find yourself with some spare room in your backpack, then adding a few extra comforts will be a small blessing when you least expect it. Camping chairs are not to be disregarded, instead of sitting on the hard floor that little bit of elevation and back support will be a welcomed feeling. Adding a camping chair pillow takes this little luxury to a new level, we’d recommend checking out some options from Snow Peak.
Camping tables prevents you from preparing and eating food on the ground. Camping tables also offer a sense of unity, allowing people to eat around the table together or play card games in the evening. Folding camp tables save on space and can be stored away in the tent when everyone is unwinding for the night.
Homely comforts added to the tent, transform the space into something cosier and more comforting than your standard tent. Blankets and camping rugs add warmth to the tent, perfect if camping in colder conditions.
Recommended: Staycation Upgrade: Top 10 Luxury Camping Must Haves.
Our camping comfort essentials:
- Camping chair
- Camping table
- Camping rug
- Extra pillows