Camping is amazing fun, but if you don’t have the right kit, then it can quickly turn into a disaster!
In this post I’m going to be discussing what to take on camping.
Know Where You’re Going
Whether you’re an experienced camper or a novice, it’s important to know a bit about where you’re headed and to plan ahead. This way you can make sure that you have the right gear and just as importantly that you’re not carrying things that you don’t need, as this will add unnecessary weight to your load.
What I plan to do is to share two basic camping lists that can be used for campsites, one is for summer and the second for winter.
- Enough clothing for a change a day (including underwear and socks plus some extras as back up)
- Sleep wear
- Waterproof/windproof jacket and trousers
- Warm top/fleece
- Summer hat
- Beanie/warm hat
- Tea Towel (for drying eating utensils and dishes)
- Torch/head torch (with enough spare batteries)
- Lantern/tent light (I have one that can be hung in the tent – very useful!)
- Camping knife/multitool
- Eating utensils/plate/bowl/mug (invest in camping dishes and utensils – you don’t want to be taking ceramic plates on camp!)
- Sleeping bag
- Camping blanket
- Ground Mat
- First aid kit
- Hiking boots/shoes – it’s a good idea to have a spare set, in case the first become unwearable (for example, they become wet inside)
- Rucksack to carry gear
- Day sack (smaller for day use around the campsite/hiking etc…)
- Camping chair
Regarding clothing – you can take t-shirts and shorts, but also take long sleeve tops and full length trousers as there may be situations where these are more appropriate to wear and offer better protection.
Ground mats are essential as most of the cold experienced while sleeping comes from the ground (even in the summer) and ground mats will protect against this.
You could ‘upgrade’ from a ground mat and go for a camping mat instead – a camping mat will not only insulate you against the cold permeating from the ground, but it will also make your sleeping experience a lot more comfortable.
An excellent self-inflating camping mat is the the Trail 5cm Double Self-Inflating Camping Mattress – you can read our review of it here.
Same list as for summer camp plus the following:
- Winter waterproof coat
- Waterproof gloves
- Fleece top
- Fleece blanket
- Thick woolen socks
- Hiking Boots
Take a sleeping bag that is suited to the season that you are camping in, you’ll need a warmer one for winter and a cooler one for summer.
Sleeping bags have season or comfort ratings to determine what type of weather they are suited for.
You may find the following post useful, it talks about different types of sleeping bags and how to choose the correct one for the time of year and location that you will be camping at.
A very good winter sleeping bag is the Mountain Hardwear Lamina 0 – you can read our review of it here.
There are many different types of tents – you will need to choose one best suited to where you are camping.
My recommendation for an all round tent that I’ve used many times for camping in summer and winter in the UK is the Vango Omega 350 tent – you can read our review of it here:
Things To Note
Although I mentioned before that it’s important to know where you’re headed so that you have the right gear and so that you don’t have things that you don’t need – it’s also important not to fall into the trap of not taking items that you do need because you think that you probably won’t need them…
Many novice campers don’t take waterproofs in summer because ‘it’s the height of summer, so why would I need waterproofs?’ Well, anyone who lives in Britain knows that we can have 4 seasons in one day! And even if no rain is forecast, things can quickly change.
The other thing that many people forget is to take a warm top. Even in summer, it can get a bit chilly at night when out in the open.
It’s important to bear in mind that the above lists are not exhaustive, but they are there to give you an idea of what to take on camping.
You need to take into account specifics for different areas and locations and add specific items to the list based on this. For example, if you’re going to a campsite that is known to have tics, then you should take a tic remover with you and know how to use it (as recently happened to me!).
One last thing to note is that the above lists are personal camping lists and depending on whether you’re going camping with a group or by yourself, you’ll need to take pots/pans and ingredients for cooking and eating in addition to items to clean and wash your dishes.
Taking the right kit on camp is essential.
If you’re prepared, then you can take on anything the weather throws at you and still enjoy your camping experience.
But if you’re not prepared and you don’t have the equipment that you need – then your exciting, fun camp could turn into a miserable experience.
I hope that you’ve found this article useful, feel free to leave a message below if you have any questions or comments and I’ll try to respond as soon as possible.
Thanks and have a great camp!