As a first time camper or perhaps one that does it annually but isn’t a designated expert in that area, there is much to remember. Once you have a few years of experience you become quite skilled at rememebring the essential stuff as well as the stuff that you have found out about along the way. Here is a quick top ten of items we think are essential to a great camping trip. You will also find a checklist at the end of the blog that you can print out so you prepare the best you can for a lovely holiday in the UK.
There are other tools of course but those tent pegs are far easier with a mallet. No clattering as metal hits metal, you can hit the peg with any part of themallet, asthey have a bigger surface area it makes accuracy less essential. If you put your tent up in the rain you will be thankful of your trusty mallet!
2. Toilet Roll
One of those items you never want to forget, sure you can nip to the shops and stock up but it is nice to arrive with several rolls so it isn’t a cause of any anxiety. If you add in some kitchen towel and wet wipes you will be prepared for any emergency. Wet wipes are great for wiping off mud and other outdoor items plus they will also keep the kids clean after their beans on toast or ice cream.
Tents can be complicated spaces that quickly become muddy and messy, a few wet wipes and kitchen towels will go a long way to keeping the area clean and comfy.
3. Popaloo Toilet
There are many camping toilets on the market but we are a “wee” bit bias and think Popaloo is probably one of the best …. here are some very convincing selling points as to why we think it is …
When packing for a family camping trip, space in the car and the trailer or roof box is at a premium, the Popaloo is considerate of this as it packs away flat taking up a much smaller amount of room. It comes with a carry case, 10 Eco Powder bags, wet wipes, seat cover and a slither of emergency toilet tissue, and if you are really desperate can be assembled in less that 30 seconds! The extra packing space the Popaloo provides gives you more room for nice things like Beer, Wine and Baked Beans.
Popaloo uses a dry powder Bio Degradable bag waste gelling system, so no smelly fluid chemicals and is much better for the environment than chemical toilets. Popaloo also offer two variants of pop up tent that can be used for your own “Private Convenience” as well as additional storage and as the ground sheet is removable can also be used as a shower tent. Both tents are also great as clothes drying area and wet suit drip drying after wet days.
Avoid night time trips over a hazardous obstacle course to the toilet blocks with the kids, the Popaloo toilet system ticks all of the boxes and will make your camping trip that little bit more comfortable and remember: “It’s something we all have to do…but it’s a lot nicer with a Popaloo”
Light your way with something that is reliable. You don’t have to rely on your Mobile Phone torch … whenever you are moving about at night you will want a lantern with you and when the fire dies a powerful lantern can take over in an instant, inflatable Solar lanterns are another great space saving, effective and illuminating idea.
A torch is also a good idea as backup but lanterns are great for lighting larger areas. You can also take more than one and create a nicely lit space for outdoor entertainment. There are lots of lanterns on the market some come with mood lighting so you can go for a fresh daytime style white light or a subdued warm orange night glow. What more could you need?
Duct tape is ideal. Whether you have brand new kit or aged equipment you would be amazed what duct tape can fix. It can seal things, add strength to rope showing wear and tear, support weak structures and can also make sure seals are waterproof. Duct tape is a real life saver so don’t set off without it.
6. A tent with a wider berth than needed
If you can, consider a tent with a larger berth than the amount of people sleeping in it, giving you extra space for luggage and possessions. If the weather turns you need enough space inside the tent to relax, you might be able to pack some in the car but there will be things like clothes, wellies, food items that you will want close by in the tent with you.
7. Sleeping mat/bed
Camping beds, airbeds, or sleeping mats are often overlooked by first time campers. A sleeping bag straight onto a tent floor doesn’t give you much cushioning at all. You don’t have to spend much on a foam sleeping mat but the thicker your base and protection from the nobbly ground the more soundly you will sleep in the evening.
8. Bin bags and carrier bags
Take a few rolls of bin bags and make sure you pack plenty of carrier bags. They don’t take much space up but they are completely essential to a harmonious camping trip. Tidying away food securely, covering items to keep them waterproof, collecting all of your rubbish for easy disposal, and separating your dirty washing from your clean washing in tight spaces.
I could probably go on with the amount of times plastic bags could save your day but it is not the most stimulating subject matter. Don’t skimp on the bin bags!
9. Tin opener/bottle opener
The amount of stories you hear where bottles of wine and tinned food were packed ready for a self-catering stay in the middle of nowhere, only to arrive and find no opener in sight! Pack them first. I always have a bag or a box of essentials so that as soon as we arrive, I can put the stove on, boil some water, grab a cuppa, crack open a beer, and enjoy some snacks. In that essentials bag I make sure I pack the important tools like cutlery, tin opener, bottle opener, tea bags, milk (milk cartons), tea spoons, washing up liquid etc etc.
If you have a tin opener and you have water you can survive the night and make a road trip for anything else when the shops open. Forget those and it will be a dark and hungry evening!
A simple but incredibly flexible item., tie bags up, tie things up like attaching a picnic blanket to your camping rucksack for a day trip, you can use it for a washing line, to secure the tent if parts fail, or to hang clothing inside a dripping tent to dry, loads of practical uses and an item you will probably be thankful for more than once!
That concludes our list of ten items we think top the list of those most forgotten by our fellow camping adventurers. We haven’t stopped there though!