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Camping Essentials

Essential Camping Equipment Check List

Planning a camping trip? If you are a novice, the sheer amount of kit that you will need to take with you may seem daunting, although actually once prepared is not quite as complex as at first glance.  Making a definitive list of absolute essentials beforehand is strongly recommended so that nothing crucial is forgotten.  You are really only limited by your packing space and how much you can carry.

This is not an exhaustive list but a general one that covers most campersí basic needs and should point you in the right direction.  The more camping trips you take, the more the packing will become second nature, and you will probably find that you refine the list according to priority when you have more experience of what is definitely necessary or in fact more of a luxury item!

   camping essential - shelter


  • Tent with fly sheet
  • Ground sheet
  • Pegs/Fixings
  • Mallet
  • Mat for entrance
  • Extra stakes


  • Sleeping bags
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Air mattresses/sleeping pad/camp beds
  • Air pump and repair kit
  • Storage bags
   camping essential - cooking


  • Large water jug and water bucket
  • Cool box and block ice
  • Thermos flask
  • Camping stove and fuel
  • Matches/lighter
  • Charcoal, firewood, newspaper and firelighters
  • Campfire bbq/grill
  • Plates, bowls, cups, glasses, cutlery
  • Aluminium foil
  • Kitchen roll/paper towel
  • Rubbish bags
  • Washing up liquid, bowl and tea towel
  • Cooking oil
  • Food storage containers
  • Oven gloves
  • Pots and frying pans with lids
  • Cooking utensils/tongs
  • Tin and bottle openers
  • Folding table and chairs
  • Seasoning, condiments and sugar
  • Supply of easily prepared foods and drinks

   camping essential - personal


  • Shower shoes/flip flops
  • Towels
  • Soap/shampoo/shower gel
  • Deodorant
  • Comb/brush
  • Razors and foam
  • Feminine products
  • Toilet roll
  • Shower bag/5 gallon bucket
  • Camping shower/pump
(the last two items only if no showers on site)

First Aid Kit

  • Personal medicines (bring extra if essential)
  • Roll/triangular bandages
  • Surgical tape
  • Antiseptic wipes/spray/cream
  • Sterile gauze/pads
  •    camping essential
    Cotton wool
  • Plasters
  • Tweezers and safety pins
  • Scissors
  • Insect sting kit and repellant
  • Sunburn and burn lotions
  • Anti-histamine tablets
  • Paracetamol/ibuprofen
  • Small bottle of water
  • Eye drops
  • Anti bacterial handwash
  • Latex gloves
  • First Aid manual


  • Lantern with fuel/batteries
  • Torches with batteries
  • Extra batteries and bulbs
  • Compass and binoculars
  • Insect repellent and ordinary candles
  • Water filters/purification tablets if needed
  • Water bottles
  • Maps
  • Multi-purpose knife and tools inc.  scissors
  • Backpack
  • Tissues
  • Carrier bags
  • Rope- thin and thick
  • Washing line
  • Bungee cord/straps
  • Duct/electrical tape
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Utility gloves
  • Umbrella
  • Sewing kit
  • Camera, batteries and film
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses


Pack clothing appropriate for where you are going but always take plenty of warm and waterproof items and donít forget to take hats.  Wherever you are going, plan for all weather possibilities.  Sturdy walking shoes or boots are a must.

Whether you will need to take everything from the list will be determined by where you are planning on camping.  If itís a campsite with full facilities, such as a shower block and a well-stocked shop nearby, then you can pack accordingly.  If you forget that essential bottle-opener, then your fellow campers will be more than willing to help you out.  There also a variety of space and time saving gadgets and ideas out there which will help you to reduce your luggage and hopefully be useful in all sorts of situations, so if you are becoming an enthusiast, do check out the web and these pages for some interesting ideas.

Donít forget things to entertain, particularly if youíre taking children.  Bikes, fishing rods, games, a radio and so on will keep the family busy. 

So get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!

Camping Equipment Suppliers click here for a full list.

Camping Parts and Accessories click here for a full list.
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