You’ve booked a campsite. You’ve researched your trip away, reviewed the area and planned your activities, as well as days out and about. You’ve arrived with smiles galore, only to discover you’ve got nothing but wonky tent pegs, mouldy sleeping bags and nothing to open the beans with…
Tent and Sleeping
Get your tent out of storage a week or so in advance, put it up if you can and leave to air for a day or so – check for mildew. Ground-sheets are always overlooked so peg it outside with the tent. Do the same with your sleeping bags, hang them out on the washing line to air.
Check any air mattresses for holes and don’t forget the pump – batteries/car adaptor too. Pillows, cushions and duvets can make that extra difference in comfort, but only if you have room to pack, of course.
Buy galvanised tent pegs, you can normally pick up a pack of 4 for a few pounds, they make all the difference. A claw hammer is great for when you’re pulling the pegs back out of hard ground too.
Galvanised tent pegs, we repeat – we do highly recommend these.
Most campsites are going to allow you to cook, not always on a fire, but stoves and barbecues are usually allowed when lifted off the ground – you don’t want to ruin the pitch for the next guest!
Stove, extra fuel, barbecue, matches and lighters are essential – don’t forget the kindling, firelighters and charcoal. Pots and pans, a frying pan will be missed if forgotten, and all the cutlery & utensils for your mobile kitchen; all needed if you intend to go back to basics. Let’s face it, there’s normally a good restaurant nearby but an open-air breakfast of champions is an amazing way to start the day.
The two most common items likely to be forgotten, when camping, are your tin opener and your corkscrew/bottle opener – they could make or break your arrival party – and any glasses or dishes to eat & drink out of. A good quality sharp knife is a must, as is a chopping board.
Fancy a cuppa? Bring the camping kettle. And spoons. And cups!
You will definitely need a light. So definitely bring a torch. Gas lanterns are economical if spending time in the tent after-hours, bring spare fuel. Solar lamps are getting much better, if you can find one with a decent output.
Outdoor candles can help repel insects if your campsite allows them, always check before lighting up. Battery powered alternatives are available.
Batteries! Always forgotten.
A cool box will help to keep the perishables fresh, with ice packs of course. Some campsites will have frozen ice packs to purchase in their shop, or ice cubes at least.
Bacon! And eggs, mushrooms, bread and butter. Beans! There really isn’t anything better than a hearty outdoors breakfast. Cooking oil, ketchup, salt, pepper and all the spices too. Well, you wouldn’t ignore them at home.
Bring a bunch of long-life items. You’ll need them if you’re arriving late and miss the shops, they’re great for emergencies. Dried ready meals, pasta packets, rice pots or noodles. Anything that’s ‘just add water’. Bring water!
Fancy a cuppa? Bring the tea bags. And coffee. And milk!
If you’re staying for a few days, then you’ll need a few items in the campsite cupboard. Dishwashing items, sponges and towels and washing up liquid. Tinfoil can be very handy, as can sandwich bags.
Some empty plastic bottles could be useful, rubbish sacks and carrier bags as well. A bunch of items such as a sewing kit, safety pins, padlocks and a swiss army knife; they could all be needed at some point. Some multi-purpose tubs for storing all these items too.
A washing up bowl, sink plug, clothesline, pegs, washing liquid – you can bring the kitchen sink if you want.
Don’t forget the toilet roll! Or tissues, tissues work, tissues will save the day. Tissues are great!
You’ve been on holiday before, probably. So, pack all the clothing, towels and toiletries you’d normally pack for a holiday – you’ll need a shower or two, probably.
If you need to sit, bring chairs. If you need an alarm, bring a travel clock. If you’re intending to go trekking anywhere, bring a map and compass. You get the idea.
Are you a little clumsy? Bring a travel medical kit; insect repellent, painkillers, plasters, bandages, lip balm, etc. Again, it’s not your first rodeo.
Going swimming? Pack some swimming gear.
Sunny weather? Pack the sun-cream and after-sun.
Do you need entertainment? Bring something to keep you entertained!
Going on a camping holiday? Enjoy it!