When going out on a camping trip, it can be easy to forget to pack the essentials when you’re getting excited about getting back in touch with nature, but it is important to remember the basics.
Unless you’re planning on living on air and alcohol for the duration of your stay, you’ll need the means with which to live, and that includes staying warm and keeping yourselves entertained.
While food, music and books are all relatively easy items to remember, we have put together an essentials ‘checklist’ for you to think about when going camping, which includes a wide range of items from those ‘no brainers’ to those smart choices you might not have considered.
Here, James from online army surplus superstore Survival Aids discusses the most essential items to take out with you when scaling the wilderness this summer.
1) Flint and Tinder
You’ll want this, a matchbox, or both just to be safe. A flint and tinder is great for starting fires and often does the job better than a set of matches. A flint and tinder can be a bit tricky to get the hang of but once you’ve tried it a few times it makes lighting a fire a breeze.
Not everything is going to be bright and breezy when camping so packing a good strong torch is essential. Make sure to pack spare batteries in case you end up using your torch more than you mean to. Another choice would be to pack a wind up torch as they need no batteries.
3) First Aid Supplies
Plasters, painkillers and bandages! A small first aid kit is always a great idea to pack when camping as you never know when an injury is just around the corner. It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!
4) Bug Repellent Spray
Depending on the time of year you plan to go camping, you might want to try out different bug sprays. Bugs can be incredibly annoying and while not always bitey, they can get in your hair and your food and it really ruins the mood of a camping trip. Spray it away!
5) Swiss Army Knife
Good for a whole multitude of things, not least checking if the chicken is done and uncorking your beer! You might want to get rid of an offending root under your tent or cut away a few branches for a makeshift fire.
6) Waterproof Jacket
While we all hate the idea of camping out in the rain, with the fickle nature of the British weather it is important to be prepared for rain. Waterproof jackets are essential; as they can be quickly whipped out and they keep you warm and your clothes dry. Perfect!
7) Camping Lantern
For those evenings when a torch just won’t do. The good thing about camping lanterns is that they can often be quite bright and are ideal for story circles or for sorting things out when you need two hands. Spare batteries are essential!
8) Sleeping Bag & Sleeping Mat
This might seem like a silly item to add but some people think it will be easy enough to sleep on the floor, or just in the sleeping bag. Sleeping on rough, solid ground is a lot harder than you would imagine and a sleeping mat often cushions the blow quite nicely.
9) Aluminium Foil
Great for cooking sausages, keeping food warm, keeping bugs out of soup and a number of other purposes. A neat little item but a necessary item to pack nonetheless.
10) Nylon Rope
For those little emergencies! No seriously. You might have trouble properly erecting your tent, or you might want to make a makeshift cooking pot. Nylon rope has a plethora of uses and is a good item to take when camping.
You could be a seasoned professional or you could be a fresh faced young camper out on their first trip, these essential items should be on any checklist, whether you’re camping in a field right next to running water and electricity or all the way in the outback with only the stars for company.
It is always best to be prepared and unless you’re an expert in surviving in the wild, you need to make sure you’re ready for almost anything.