There are certain obvious items you need to bring when going camping such as a tent and a sleeping bag. There are also a few less obvious items – the types of items that often get overlooked, but could make a huge difference to your trip.
Below are just some of the commonly overlooked items that you don’t want to forget to pack next time you go on a camping trip.
Sitting around a hot campfire is all part of the camping experience. In order to start a fire, you’ll likely need some equipment (unless you’re a true survivalist who can start a fire by rubbing sticks together).
Make sure to bring a lighter or some matches. You could also consider bringing some firewood and kindling with you (and possibly even some firelighters to get things started quickly). Be wary that not all campsites allow campfires – this is always worth checking before you go.
Torch for your camping trip
Many of us now have torch features on our phones. However, these have only a limited range and can quickly drain your phone battery. For this reason, it can be worth bringing a separate more heavy-duty torch too – especially if you’re wild camping somewhere remote.
You can find camping torches at sites such as EcoGear FX. Compare the lumens rating (brightness) and battery life of different torches – the best camping torches have a maximum lumen rating of over 1000 and may be able to last up to two hours on this setting. On top of handheld torches, you could also consider looking into headlamps.
No one wants to spend their camping trip being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Rural locations are more likely to attract bugs and ticks – to avoid being bitten by these critters, make sure to pack some bug spray that you can spray on yourself in the evening.
There are a few different brands of bug spray on the market that you can compare on Forbes. You could also consider trying other products such as citronella camping candles to help ward off the insects.
Bags for rubbish and dirty laundry
It’s worth bringing a few bags for separating things like rubbish, muddy shoes or dirty laundry so that they don’t end up mixing with all your other items. This is particularly necessary when wild camping as you won’t have campsite washing machines or bins.
These could be plastic shopping bags. Alternatively, you could use tote bags or gym bags.
If you’re staying on a campsite, you’ll likely have access to drinking water. However, it’s still worth bringing a few bottles of water so that you don’t have to trek to the tap every time you need a drink. Bringing enough water is particularly important if you’re hiking and camping.
You could bring some plastic bottles of water. Alternatively, for a more eco-friendly option, you could fill some tap water into reusable flasks. There are large flasks and hydration bladders that you can use for wild camping and hiking. Be wary of the fact that water is heavy – if you’re going wild camping, it could be worth planning places to fill up your water so that you’re not having to carry quite as much.
Wet wipes and hand sanitiser
Keep your hands clean while you’re on your camping trip! Wet wipes in particular can be used to clean all kinds of things from muddy shoes to a toddler’s messy face.
You can buy these items in any supermarket. Be wary that wet wipes generally aren’t biodegradable and so should never be thrown on the ground or down the toilet.
Being stuck with no toilet roll is never a fun experience. While most campsites will have toilet blocks that contain toilet paper, you can never be too certain that this will be the case.
For this reason, it’s worth bringing some toilet paper with you that you can take with you to the toilet to avoid any disasters. Always use toilet roll instead of wet wipes if you’re going to be flushing it down the toilet.
First aid kit
It’s very important to bring a first aid kit with you when camping (particularly when wild camping). If somebody gets injured, you could regret not having access to things like plasters and bandages.
You can buy camping first aid kits online. A first aid kit should ideally contain the following items:
- Gauze dressings
- Eye dressings
- Safety pins
- Antiseptic cream
- Skin rash cream
- Antihistamine tablets
On top of all of this, make sure to bring any prescription medication for any health conditions you may have.
When packing clothes, don’t just rely on one pair of shoes or one pair of trousers. There’s a greater chance of clothes getting muddy or wet when going camping. Having spare clothing options will allow you to stay dry and clean.
It’s worth bringing lots of pairs of socks. When it comes to shoes, consider some wellies and some hiking boots. On the topic of clothing, make sure to pack for all weathers. Even if it’s summer, it’s worth bringing a warm jacket and some gloves just in case it gets very cool at night.
Batteries and portable chargers are commonly forgotten when camping. This can lead to torches and phones quickly running dead. If you’re trying to take a digital detox, then this may not matter too much. However, for the majority of us, not having working digital devices can be a nightmare.
When it comes to electronic items that require replaceable batteries, make sure to bring the right type of battery – check torches to see what types of batteries they run off of. When it comes to keeping your phone charged up, consider bringing a portable charging pack that can contain multiple charges (just make sure to charge up this portable charging pack before you go). It’s worth also bringing your regular charging cable just in case you find a plug point (many campsite facility bathrooms now have plug points). You may also be able to use your car to charge up your devices.