Best of British Camping Checklist

Published: August 3, 2016

Best of British Camping Checklist

Not everyone is a seasoned camper so for those of you that are trying a few nights under canvas for the first time, we have put together a checklist we hope you will find useful. 

Whether you are camping as a couple or off on holiday with a group of friends there are bound to be things you will have wished you had brought with you. Picture the scene - just as you sit down and relax by the BBQ with that cold can of beer or bottle of wine – and realise you have left the corkscrew or bottle opener behind in the kitchen drawer.

Well here’s a checklist of camping essentials that certainly won’t break the bank – but hopefully means you have a safe and enjoyable few days away:-

  • Tent – Choosing a tent can be a daunting task, with some many different sorts on the market these days. Our number one tip is to make sure you choose a slightly larger tent than the number of people going camping with you – that way you will always have space for a bit of storage and luggage space. A 2-man tent is likely to be quite a tight space when you actually get to bed down – so maybe pick a 3-man tent for a couple. It is always worth checking the size before you buy and if possible see if the sleeping positions suit you and your camping partner.

    If you haven’t had the tent out in a while – maybe unpack it and make sure all the bits are still in one piece and you know how to put it together. Nothing worse, than arriving on the campsite and find one of the tent poles is missing ;0(
  • Tent accessories – Tent pegs, mallet, spare groundsheet to go in the porch area of your tent. A small brush is essential to keep things nice and clean on the inside and brush your tent down before you are due to pack up.
  • Lighting - There is a huge range of lighting options out there (LED, electric, gas, dual fuel, battery operated, and wind-up torches) to suit every budget, so it is worth shopping around to find one that suits your trip. LED lamps are cheap, bright and easy to use. Don’t forget to pack a little rope so you can hang it from a tree.

    Invest in a headlamp – you will be amazed how useful they can be – particularly for families. Try and find the brightest and best you can afford – you won’t regret it!
  • Electric Hook-up - If you are staying on a pitch with electric hook-up don’t forget a decent length of cable. Most camp sites have these to hire or buy if you do get stuck
  • Camping furniture – Creating a little “home from home” is part of the fun of camping and with so many furniture choices these days you truly can go to town and really establish yourself. Camping chairs and tables go a long way to creating a real social space outside your tent or living area.

    A folding table is a crucial part of every camping checklist – whether it is used for prepping food, sitting down for a meal or playing cards well into the night. They are simple and often inexpensive.
  • Wind Break – Even though you might not use it down at the beach, a wind break is a simple way of giving you just that little bit of privacy (as well as keeping the wind out).
  • Bin Bags – Something that should be near to the top of your camping list. Of course they are useful for clearing up and leaving you camping space spic and span. But they can also double up as a floor covering, a dry clothes store or if the weather takes a turn for the worse – a ready-made rain poncho.
  • String or cord for a clothes line – It’s surprising how quickly things get wet when you are camping, so being able to string up a washing line in order to hang up wet clothes or towels to dry quicker can be a god-send. 
  • Sleeping Bag – This one sounds pretty obvious – but it is worth buying the best sleeping bag you can afford. Waking up in the middle of the night because you are cold is one of the worst feelings – so the tip here is check the tog rating and buy a sleeping bag that is going to suit the season you are camping in.
  • Sleeping mat or airbed – Having a sleeping mat is a great way of keeping warm and put a bit of insulation between you and the ground. If you are looking for that extra bit of family comfort an airbed is worth taking along – but don’t forget to pack a pump and ensure you can blow it up!
  • Pillow – an easy one to forget – but you won’t be disappointed if you have your favourite pillow to sleep with.
  • Extra clothing – the temperature does drop at night, so it is a good idea to layer up and you can remove layers as you get warmer during the night.

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Depending on the type of camping and facilities you have on your campsite, this checklist might alter. If there is a large group of you going or family members that require specific dietary items then you may add other things to the list. Here are a few essential items:-

  • Water container – a simple container that you can use for drinking water and trips to the onsite water tap
  • Stove or BBQ – whatever method you choose to cook on make sure it is reliable. A good camping stove will last a number of years if you look after it. Check with the campsite if you are able to use BBQs and firepits. (Never take a BBQ or stove into a tent to keep warm – as you run the risk or setting your tent alight and carbon monoxide poisoning).
  • Gas / Charcoal – depending on your choice of cooking appliance make sure you have enough for your trip.
  • Pots & Pans
  • Kettle
  • Chopping board
  • Cooking Utensils & cutlery
  • Tableware – plats, bowls, cups etc.
  • Wash basin - even if not used to wash the dishes, it will certainly help for carrying dirty dishes to the campsite wash area.
  • Tin Opener – all the food and no way to open it is never good.
  • Bottle Opener – that bottle of wine will not open itself!
  • Cool box
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Wet Wipes - personal hygiene can go a bit out of the window on a camping trip – so packing some baby wipes can help to keep you fresh and clean your hands quickly
  • Duct Tape - A multi-purpose tool. Hole in your tent? Need to keep your belongings together until you get to the campsite?
  • Elastic Bands & Zip Ties – two essential items that can save a number of sticky situations.

Health and Safety Checklist

Don’t forget to pack your own medication if you need it whilst you are away. Apart from these essentials a standard first aid kit, sun cream and other items below should also be part of your camping kit.

  • Personal medication
  • First Aid Kit - Make sure it is a well-stocked first aid kit, up to date and includes items such as insect repellent, plenty of plasters (with children around, you can never have enough plasters).
  • Sun Cream – factor 50 is still a good choice to pack when the sun is out in the UK
  • Hay fever tablets
  • Anti-bacterial handwash
  • Insect Repellent
  • Extra Batteries
  • Toilet Roll – you can never have too many of these!

Don’t worry too much if you do forget one of the items on the checklist, most campsites have a little shop where you can get the essentials.

However, if you are taking a family holiday to one of our BoB parks – don’t forget to pack the kids and the dog! Best of British Parks are some of the best campsites in UK

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