This guide aims to give the first time camper ‘a beginners guide’ to ensure your first time camping is a great success.The first step in our guide is the Camping Checklist to ensure you have all the necessary components for a successful camping trip. One bad camping experience can be enough to put anyone off for life (especially the wife who prefers a hotel), so make sure you don’t get caught short and read through our comprehensive guide to ensure you are well prepared to take on Mother Nature and all her fury.
Four Simple Steps to Success
Step 1 – Beginner’s Guide – Camping Check List
Camping is a highly excitable holiday, especially for the little ones, it can also be a relaxing and comfortable retreat with some of the modern technologies increasing the amount of glamping holidays now available. Whether you are taking the family camping for the weekend, or wild camping, it is really important to ensure you are well equipped to ensure your comfort, safety and enjoyment. To help you through your first camping trip, we have created a checklist of everything you need within our four simple steps to success.
Camping Checklist (Beginner’s Necessities)
- A Tent / Shelter (including pegs and a mallet) Berth, firstly you need to decide what size of tent you require and how many people you will need to sleep within the tent. Tents are measured in berths; always give yourself more space than you need. For example, if there were two of you going camping, then a three to four berth tent would be most suitable as it would give you a little bit of living space and storage space too. Avoid Condensation, we always advise choosing a double skin tent to reduce condensation. Another way of reducing condensation is to open all the air vents to keep a natural flow of air coming into the tent at all times. Trial Run, make sure you erect your tent before you go away to ensure everything is present and working.
See our ‘Buying a Tent’ guide for further information and advice.
- Sleeping bag(s) - Even during the warmer summer months, it is important to have a sleeping bag as the temperature can still drop relatively low (especially in the UK). Seasonal Ratings, All sleeping bags are measured in seasonal ratings, however, always check the comfort temperature rating to confirm the sleeping bag is suitable for the conditions. Construction, There are many different styles of sleeping bag and many different construction types, double offset construction is the first sign that you are onto a decent sleeping bag. Shape, There are two main shapes of sleeping bag, the Mummy sleeping bag is a tighter, contoured design, which keeps you warm by constricting your space within the bag and using your own body heat as a radiator. Square sleeping bags offer a bit more space in the chest, footwear and neck area meaning you can sleep more comfortably.
See our ‘Buying a Sleeping bag’ guide for further information.
- Self-Inflating Mattresses, Airbeds or Camp Beds - It is really important to have some kind of insulation from the ground whilst sleeping. This will lower the chances of you becoming ill whilst camping and also increase your comfort level. A roll mat is the most basic form of insulation and elevation from the ground. Self-Inflating mattresses or airbeds tend to be the choice of most people for camp trips, though those who have the space can elect for a camp bed for a more elevated sleeping platform.
- Camping Stove - you will need something to cook on unless you are planning to live on fast food and takeaways, which isn’t always a great idea without the prospect of your own toilet. Eating well guarantees that you will have the necessary energy for all those outdoor activities during the week. We recommend you take a minimum of a single burner stove along so that you can cook the basic foods to keep your spirits high.
- Camping Table – To rest stove upon whilst cooking.
- Camping Chair / Stools – a comfortable chair never hurt any one, or if you are pushed for space in the back of the car, then you can always get a lightweight stool which saves weight and space.
- Storage Unit – For Food / Clothing to keep it from becoming damp.
- Food & Drinks – make sure you pack suitable foods and drinks for the climate you will be camping within
- Tableware – You will need something to eat from, plates, knives and forks are necessities.
- A Torch / Lantern – when you are desperate for the loo in the middle of the night, a torch is a worthy companion.
- Toilet Roll – a no brainer, you will appreciate your Andrex super soft toilet roll, it’s the little luxuries that make it all worthwhile.
- Insect Repellent – if camping in warmer climates, always take insect repellent.
- First Aid Kit – a useful kit to have in an emergency.
- Clothing Spares / Shoes – always take spare clothes in case you get caught in a downpour. Warm, dry clothes can be a massive morale booster.
- Bag for dirty laundry – Ideal for keeping damp / wet and dirty clothing in.
- Toiletries - don’t forget the little luxuries like toothpaste and toothbrushes.
Optional Camping Accessories
These are optional extras, they are not essentials like the list above, but they will make your trip a little bit more comfortable.
- Footprint – perfect for camping on rockier or muddier grounds, protects the underside of your tent, a must if you have a sewn in groundsheet.
- Carpet – great during the colder camping trips to provide comfort underfoot and added warmth to the tent.
- Coolbox – ideal for storing dairy products and meat to keep them fresh.
- Camp Kitchen – Organise your camp kitchen, with space for storing food and a table top for your stove.
- Camping Heater – Take the chill out of the air with an electric or gas heater.
- Porta Potti – handy for those who don’t want to use the public toilets in the middle of the night.
- Sleeping Bag Liner – for the colder nights camping, a liner will just add that little extra warmth to your sleeping bag.
- Compass / Map – essential for those planning a wild camping trip. You need navigation in case you get lost. In fact, we always recommend taking a map and compass, even if you have a GPS unit, as they are not always reliable in poor weather conditions.
- Electric Mains Hookup – useful for those on a family camping trip, as it allows electricity within your tent.
Other Useful Camping Resources Related to Camping Checklists.
Thanks for reading the Camping Checklist – Beginner’s Guide, Step 1. If you feel we missed anything, please comment below or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to add anything we may have missed.