Camping is a great way to explore more of the outdoors and has been a staple holiday style in my family up until recently. It was a great cheap way for my parents to take us away for the weekend and have fun. We had a routine that meant we could pack our camping essentials quick and easy into the car and go.
Things may be a little different if you are planning on camping in another country but these are my general camping essentials you can adapt to the country of your choice. If you are looking to go camping in the Yorkshire Dales check out our packing list here.
Camping Essentials For The UK
These are just some of the basic essentials I have learned over the years that I found are useful to have or just needed. Of course, even when the forecast says it will be one type of weather it is still England and will no doubt change no matter what. Always be prepared to expect some rain or colder weather. If you plan to plenty of walking and exploring you will already be planning suitable footwear but always good to take back up pair just in case.
Clothes need to be both easy to wear, comfortable and suitable for the weather. Summer is a great time for camping here in the UK but always pack for alternative weathers just in case.
There are so many times I have gone away camping and packed for one type of weather and miraculously the weather changes to the opposite. If you are tight on space, look at using packing cubes to help condense the packing.
- Raincoat/ Waterproof
- Waterproof trousers
- T-shirts/ Long sleeved – depending on the time of year
- Jumper/ Fleece layer
- Leggings/joggers or Khaki trousers – depending on what you find most comfortable
- Shorts/skirt – for summertime and if you are having a relaxing day at the campsite
- Hats/scarf/ gloves
- Warm PJs – even in summer temperatures can drop leaving you very cold in the night.
- Socks – if you are like me then you will want thick walking socks to keep you warm especially at night.
Don’t underestimate what a good pair of shoes can do for you. Wellies are great as they are quick to put on and easy to wear. Remember you will more than likely want a waterproof pair of shoes as even in summer you can experience wet grass on a morning.
Walking shoes/boots are great for any major outdoor activities to give the foot good support. If you are planning on sunbathing, maybe going to the beach or pool don’t forget your sandals for easier comfort. It may seem like a lot to pack but you never know when you will need them.
- Walking shoes/boots – this is great if you plan to do plenty of walking and hiking.
- Wellies/ Rain Boots – great to quickly push on for a morning trip to the toilet.
- Trainers/ alternative footwear – if you are wanting something more casual and easy to wear.
- Sandals – great for the sunny days around the campsite or quickly getting ready for the day.
Honestly, I wouldn’t pack mini size toiletries unless you are tight on space. I would take your usual size shampoo and body was from home as it will make it easier and more cost effective. You can even swap out your usual ones for shampoo bars and plastic-free packaging to save on waste on your trip.
- Shampoo/ Conditioner
- Body Wash
- Baby Wipes – even if you don’t have children they are great for getting something clean quick or a festival wash.
- First aid kit – fill before you go every time.
- Toiletry bag – We found this Osprey one and honestly it has made life so much easier for us when we travel.
Many people will take sleeping bags to sleep in. A great way to ensure you have a comfortable nights sleep is by taking a blow up bed, you can get them in single or double size. These can be blown up by a pump that plugs into the cigarette lighter in the car and is done in minutes.
- Sleeping bags
- Blow up bed
- Extra blankets – I was always really cold going to bed even in the height of summer.
Depending on how much you plan to cook and make while you are camping will depend on what you take. This is a list of my cooking camping essentials that can easily get you through a long weekend/week of camping.
- Gas Camping Stove
- Plates/ Bowls
- Cutlery including a can opener and bottle opener
- Extra gas bottle for the stove
- Fold-out chairs
- Table – to eat dinner on
- Cooler Box
- Tea Towel
- Washing sponge/ cloth
- Washing Up Bowl – to carry the washing back to the tent
- Bin Liners – useful for holding rubbish and throwing in wet clothes or for muddy shoes.
- Washing up liquid
Camping Essentials For Abroad
I am no expert in camping abroad, we ever only camped in France. Some top tips suggestions when you are looking at camping in a different country are research. Looking into the country as a whole on camping laws will give you an idea of what you can and can’t do.
England don’t allow wild camping but Scotland do, this may apply to other countries too. Check on the area you are directly staying in and what they allow. Look into laws on open fires, BBQ’s and disposal of waste, rubbish and recycling. If you are planning on staying on campsites then you will more than likely be given all the information you will need.
That is everything on our camping essentials list, hopefully this will help you have a wonderful time camping and make camp life easier too! If you have any essentials you like to take along on your camping trips let me know in the comments below.