Your Camping Essentials Checklist
After enduring the very limited lifestyle restrictions of three lockdowns, it is no surprise to see that families across the UK are desperate to get out and take advantage of our new found freedom. With self-contained holidays now allowed in the UK, campsites are able to reopen their doors. We’re all eager to get back outside and experience the best of the British countryside, so campsites are quickly getting booked up for this summer!
Whether you are taking the family away for a coastal holiday close to some of the great UK beaches, or you are going on outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling or water sports, you have waited long enough for this break.
If you’re looking forward to getting away for long-awaited camping adventures, make sure that you have everything you need to ensure your holiday lives up to your dreams. We have created the ultimate camping checklist to guarantee that you pack all of the essentials for an amazing trip.
Don’t forget to pack…
Camping Equipment - Shelter and Sleeping
A great camping trip can quickly turn into a disaster if you forget any of the crucial camping equipment. Forgetting the tent is pretty rare, but you’d be surprised at how many camping trips get ruined by misplaced tent pegs, which is why ticking off a checklist is the best way to make sure you definitely have all of your essential camping items.
To fully enjoy your camping trip, you want to be sure that you are as comfortable as possible, especially when you are trying to get a good night’s sleep, ready for the next day’s adventures. If you buy a camp bed or mat to use, try sleeping on it before your trip so that you know how comfy it will be to sleep on in your tent.
As well as packing all of your sleeping items such as a sleeping bag, mat and pillow, you should also think about dealing with the worst-case scenarios, such as getting a tear in your tent. Also, a torch and head torch will hopefully stop you from tripping over tent peg strings if you need to visit the toilet after dark!
A windbreaker is one of those items that you never realise you need until you really need one! Whether you are out on the beach, or sitting around your campfire, if it is a windy day then a windbreaker will keep you sheltered and give you a bit of extra privacy, so is a worthy investment!
Here are all of your shelter and sleeping essentials to pack:
- Tent & tent pegs
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping mat or camp bed
- Table and camping chairs
- Mallet, spare pegs and puller
- Spare batteries, portable charger and cables
- Torch and head torch
- Tent repair kit, paracord, gaffa tape, cable ties, sewing kit
- Air pump if needed for an airbed
- Electric hook up - if your pitch has electric power then you will need a mobile mains kit to connect to it safely.
Camping Cooking Essentials
You can’t beat the feeling of eating a delicious al fresco meal surrounded by nature. However, the weather doesn’t always go according to plan, so you need to make sure you are prepared for all types of weather.
As well as bringing plates, cutlery and mugs for your campsite dining, flasks and travel mugs will be a very welcome commodity if the temperature drops. A nice warm drink in the morning will help set you up for a day filled with exciting activities, or you can enjoy a hot chocolate around the fire at night.
Cool bags and boxes are also great for keeping food and drinks chilled, which you will really appreciate in the warmer weather. Cool boxes and bags are also easy to pack up for day trips and to quickly pack things into when you are leaving the campsite.
You might want to buy something like an insulated backpack and bottle set, such as the Thermos Urban Insulated Backpack/Guardian Hydration Bottle Set, which keeps your drinks cold for up to 18 hours.
The Thermos Stainless King Food Flask is another really useful item for any camping trip, keeping food hot for up to 9 hours or cold up to 14 hours, so you can take it with you on your days out to explore the local attractions.
Another important item that you might forget is rubbish bags to put all of your waste in after eating or any other general waste you have before emptying it into the onsite bins. Rubbish bags are also good for taking on day trips, not just for putting rubbish into but also for wet clothes or for lying on your car seats and floor so that you do not get mud/sand etc. all over your car after a day of messy adventures!
Your camping cooking essentials are:
- Camping stove
- Lighters or matches
- Cool box or cool bag
- Pots, pans and stovetop kettle
- Chopping board
- Plates, bowls and mugs
- Insulated flasks and travel mugs
- Cooking and eating utensils
- Dish cloths and sponge
- Tea towels
- Washing up liquid and bowl
- Rubbish bags
- Tin & bottle opener
Safety & Hygiene Essentials
One aspect of packing that you really cannot afford to take any chances with is your safety and hygiene, especially with your first aid kit. Before every trip, you should make sure that your first aid kit has not run out of any items. If you buy a readymade first aid kit for camping, it should already have all of the items most commonly required for first aid.
If you or anyone in the family has any allergies then you should always pack accordingly. But even if nobody generally suffers with allergies, this trip could be the one where you discover they do, so antihistamines are always crucial for any trip, especially ones where you will be spending a lot of time outdoors.
Your first aid kit should include as a minimum:
- Antiseptic pads
- Cold compress
- Bandages and safety pins
- Medical tape
- Antiseptic cream
- Antihistamine tablets
- Cough medicines
- Aloe vera gel
- Emergency foil blanket
In addition to a well-stocked first aid kit, your other safety and hygiene items should include all of the items you will need for a safe and comfortable camping trip. So, if you are planning on getting out and exploring the countryside, or heading down to the coast, make sure you have enough towels.
Also, midge bites and other insect bites can put a real dampener on your trip, leaving you in lots of pain and they can even restrict your movement if they really swell up. The lockdowns have restricted your movement more than enough, so make sure you pack the insect repellent and insect bite cream to ward off any unwanted attention.
Even when you are holidaying in the UK, pack your SPF for sunny days to protect you and your family from sunburn.
Your additional hygiene and safety items include:
- Any regular medicines
- Hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes
- Face masks to wear in communal areas
- Insect repellent
- Insect bite cream
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Toilet roll
There are probably a number of other items that you will want to take with you to make sure your trip is as enjoyable as possible. If you are planning on taking bikes or fishing equipment for example, you will need to remember all of the accessories for your hobby, so write an additional checklist for this.
Keeping an eye on the weather forecast before you set off on your camping trip will help you to pack the most suitable clothes, but the weather can be very changeable, so you should pack for all weathers, or at least take a few warm outfits that you can wash if necessary.
A warm coat and waterproofs should keep you well prepared for the range of British weather and if you are planning on sitting around the tent in the evening, the temperature is probably going to drop fairly low, so you will be grateful for taking that big warm coat and a blanket!
You probably have a busy schedule of activities during the day, but you should also plan out what you will do in the evenings, taking some games to play to finish your day off with some fun before everyone goes to bed. So, don’t forget your sports games, card games or whatever other type of entertainment you think will keep your group well-occupied in the evenings.
- Warm coats & waterproofs
- Walking boots or comfortable trainers
- Firelighters for campfires - but always check beforehand if the campsite allows fires
- Activities that you can all do together at the campsite - playing cards, board games, football, badminton
There may be plenty more items that you decide are essential, so add them onto your list so that you have a reminder for your next trip.
Other Considerations Before Your Trip:
If you’re travelling with your family, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of food and drinks for the journey, especially if you’re travelling a long way or you have young children. The Thermos Funtainers are the perfect size for kids and will keep their food and drinks hot or cold for the whole journey, so you don’t need to worry about how to keep their snacks fresh in the car.
If you are driving to your campsite then you should also have a checklist related to your vehicle, including:
- Vehicle breakdown details
- Food and water for the journey
- Map/print out of the journey in case you lose phone signal/battery
- High vis vest, warning triangle
- Spare tyre and jack
- Empty fuel carrier
Planning Your Activities
The best way to make sure you have a trip where great memories are made, is to carefully plan out your schedule before your stay. If you are planning to go to any attractions such as theme parks, zoos etc. it is better to book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Print your tickets off, just in case you cannot use your phone to scan the tickets.
You should also plan out the days where you don’t need to pre-book, so for trips to the beach or a local town, plan your route and research parking, restaurants and anything else you want to visit. The better you plan your days out, the less time you will waste on your holiday.
The same goes for checking where the local shops are and fuel stations, so that you don’t have to spend time looking when you arrive. If the supermarket is quite far from the campsite, the best plan might be to get your groceries on your way to the campsite, as this will give you more time to start enjoying your holiday.
This checklist should cover off everything you need for an amazing camping trip but you can add your own items as you see necessary!