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Going camping is undoubtedly an exciting adventure but it can definitely be a little stressful packing all your camping stuff. You don’t want to get to the campsite and realise you’ve forgotten some of the camping essentials.
My favourite camping faux-pas was leaving the tent poles in the field and bringing everything else home. It was after a festival though so we will blame the lack of sleep and high volume of alcohol probably still in my bloodstream.
So to save you the hassle of figuring out a camping packing list and spending your journey to the site nervous you may have forgotten something, I’ve done the hard work for you and compiled the Ultimate Camping List – full of camping necessities. I’ve even made you a downloadable campers checklist for you to print off so you can check off all the essential camping gear as you go!
Ultimate Camping List
What to Bring Camping…
- Tent – we’ll start with the ultimate camping list with the most obvious camping essential. Choose your tent wisely. Think about how much room you will need for yourselves and any stuff you want to keep in the tent with you. Make sure you have all the parts you need for your tent – poles, pegs, guy ropes and a mallet.
- Sleeping Bag – next on the campers checklist, another camping necessity. I’d recommend a mummy sleeping bag, but make sure what you buy is relevant for the season you are camping in. You may want a different sleeping bag for your summer camping trip as opposed to your winter camping trip. If it’s meant to be cold, consider taking a sleeping bag liner with you.
- Pillow – if you’ve got the space in the car I would recommend taking a pillow (or 2!) from home. Alternatively you can get compact roll up and inflatable pillows.
- Tent repair kit – take some tape, cable ties and string in case of emergencies
- Self inflating mat – if you don’t want to be bothered with the hassle of an air bed, these mats are ideal. Alternatively you could use an air bed, just make sure you have a 12v air pump to inflate it with.
- Handwarmers – these are INCREDIBLE. Honestly, must be witchcraft – it wouldn’t be an ultimate camping list without these. They warm up as soon as you get them out of the packet and stay that way for 10 hours. I couldn’t recommend these warmers from Hot Hands enough.
Download this Ultimate Camping List to print out at home
- Portable phone charger / battery pack – ideal for charging your phone in the tent, if you’re without an electric hook up. Should be a must on any camping essentials list, and any travel essentials list for that matter!
- Cash – Might seem a weird one but a lot of owners of the campsites will ask you to pay them in cash, so it is useful to have some to hand. Nowadays it can be all too natural just to leave the house with just Apple Pay in our pockets, let alone cold hard cash.
- Packing cubes – these are a life saver when camping. It’s so easy to lose that one odd sock or not be able to find certain things amongst your luggage. I really recommend Gonex compression packing cubes to keep your luggage compact and organised.
- Clothes – of course you’re going to need something to wear. Think about what activities you are likely to be doing aside from camping. Check the weather forecast to make the best judgement of what clothes to take. Obviously, don’t take your best clothes and make sure you take comfy things. As I always say pack light, packing cubes will really help with this. You’ll want a jumper for the evenings and overnight
- Flip flops – a real tent camping essential for when you want to quickly nip to the car or to the toilet. Don’t forget other shoes like trainers and walking boots for any activities you plan on doing when you’re away
- Torch – not one to forget! Campsites are dark at night, very dark and if you want to go for a wee you’re going to want to see where you’re going. An inspection lamp with a hook can be useful to hang inside the tent at nigh.
- Foldaway table and chairs – I use this small table from The Range. Fold up camping chairs with cupholders are ideal.
- 12V car kettle – if you are camping without gas or electric this is the ideal way to get yourself some hot water so is a great addition to this ultimate camping list. It takes a little while to heat up but does the job. I have a small travel set that comes with utensils and cups!
Download this Ultimate Camping List to print out at home
- Electric hook up – if you’re planning on using electric whilst you’re away get your hands on a hook up! Bear in mind you’ll have to pay extra at the site to use the electric. One with plenty of plugs and USBs is ideal.
- 3 in 1 spork – an absolute camping essential! 1 small item with a spoon, knife and fork on it and it comes with a small storage bag. You can’t go wrong!
- Non perishable foods – snack bars, high energy bars, protein bars, crisps, instant oats, pot noodles, apples, bananas, grapes etc. All of these you can easily eat and store without having access to electricity. Using the small 12V car kettle you can make yourself instant porridge for breakfast or a quick pot noodle for lunch.
- Gas stove – for short or solo camping trips you’ll probably only need a single stove. Make sure you don’t forget your frying pan and a gas canister and a small kettle to heat your water.
- Large water carrier and bottle – use a large collapsible bottle that can hold up to 10L on the site so you only have to make one trip for water in the morning. For days out I take a 2L bottle with me so I know I am staying hydrated and drinking enough. This is essential for camping because you don’t want to be dehydrated and unwell in a tent!
- Tea towel – I know it’s a holiday but we still need to wash up!
- Flask / thermos bottle – I love my bottle from Miss Wood. It keeps water cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours and is made using sustainable materials.
- Plastic crockery – there’s a much smaller chance of breaking these. You could treat yourself to a nice enamel camping mug too! There are so many lovely ones around but I always take my Wild Free and Yours mug – check them out on Instagram!
- Mini toiletries – beauty products certianly aren’t high on a list for camping, so you don’t need to load up with loads of heavy toiletries. Just take some small bottles of toothpaste, face wash etc. Instead of buying travel sized minis from the shops – yes very cute, but expensive and bad for the planet – get yourself a set of empty travel bottles which you can re-use over and over.
- Dry shampoo – need I say more!
- Hand sanitiser and wipes – there has never been a more important time to take your anti-bac out with you! But when camping you’re going to want these with you, global pandemic or not. Camping isn’t exactly famed for its cleanliness so always have some wipes and sanitiser with you to keep everything as fresh and safe as possible.
Camping for the first time and need some advice? You’ve come to the right place…
- Toilet paper – the on-site facilities / a bush in the campsite can leave much to be desired.
- Microfibre towels – these are a certainly a travel and camping necessity. They are super compact and dry you and themselves really quickly. I wouldn’t travel without mine.
- A good book – I’m definitely not a reader but there is no better place to get stuck into a good book than on a quiet campsite with minimal signal, no electric and often just the sounds of nature surrounding you. Alternatively why not take a journal or a colouring book.
- First aid kit – plasters, antiseptic and painkillers because you never know what might happen. It’s always best to be prepared, especially when you’re living in a field!
- Mosquito spray and bite relief – when camping there’s a stron likelihood you will get bitten at some point, especially in the summer! Try and find a deet free mosquito spray as this is better for the planet. Tiger balm is great for soothing mosquito bites.
Camping alone as a woman? Check out some of my top camping safety tips for your first time camping solo
- Prepare for your period – if you think Mother Nature might do it’s thing when you’re camping (not ideal I know!) make sure you’re prepared.
- SPF – you might not be taking your elite skincare routine camping with you but make sure you have a good SPF for your face and your body. At least 30 is ideal, but make sure your face is extra protected in the summer.
- Plastic bags – ideal for separating wet clothes from dry and clean clothes from dirty. Try and use reusable bags for life where you can!
Hopefully that gives you can idea of some camping essentials. Of course this post is title the Ultimate Camping List so it comprises a LOT of things you could take camping. That doesn’t mean to say you couldn’t survive without them all. But hopefully it’s made you add some things to your camping checklist that you hadn’t thought about before. But most importantly – HAPPY CAMPING! 🙂
Don’t forget to download this Ultimate Camping List to print out at home
Enjoyed reading the Ultimate Camping List?
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[…] things you might want to consider when preparing for camping. I have compiled the ultimate list of camping essentials for beginners. There’s also a free camping checklist for you to download and print […]
[…] tip: take some cash with you as site owners may ask to be paid in cash! Check out my camping checklist to make sure you don’t forget […]