I shared this list on Babyccino a couple weeks ago, but thought it might be good to share here too: a handy reference list for what to pack for your camping trip!
Packing is always the hardest bit about a camping trip. The unpacking and laundry following a camping trip is tedious, but the packing is way more time consuming and requires lots of thought. Somehow, it’s always a bigger task than you imagine it to be, and inevitably, no matter how organised you are, there will be something you’ll forget. (The last time we went camping, we forgot our dustpan and broom, which is essential for keeping a big tent clean and tidy!) I finally got around to creating a packing list, which will help make future trips easier.
Camping Check List: LARGER THINGS
- First, you’ll need a good tent: Ours is the Classic Bell Tent from Homecamp, and we really love it. I get a bit claustrophobic in small tents, but this one is spacious enough to stand upright inside, it fits three double mattresses plus a travel cot, and it feels so nice and roomy inside. The seven of us can sleep inside without feeling too squashed. It’s also easy to assemble and folds up into one large bag, which fits easily in the boot of our car. Let’s face it, it’s also the prettiest tent you can buy! : )
- Mattresses: We have two queen-sized self-inflating mattresses, and we’re really happy with them. They are easy to inflate (simply unscrew the four ports to allow air inside), comfortable to sleep on, and deflate and roll up easily into a long, round bag. We usually strap these two mattresses to the top of our car on our roof racks, alongside our surfboards. We also have two single-sized foam mattresses, which roll up easily and fit inside the car (the girls usually sleep on these, side-by-side).
- Bedding: We always just bring our regular pillows and duvets from home. We have a couple sleeping bags the boys sometimes use, but we’ve found that it’s easy enough to fold up our duvets and re-create our beds inside the tent. I have a stack of old cotton sheets we use for camping, which we put over the mattresses.
- Camp Stove: Unless you’re camping somewhere with on-site barbecues or fire-pits, a camp stove is a handy thing to have. We only recently bought one, and it’s made things so much easier, quick morning coffees being one of the luxuries. We have this fold-up 2-burner LPG stove, and it’s nice and compact and easy to pack. (For coffee, we just bring our Bialetti stove-top coffee maker and make coffee as we do at home.) Remember you’ll need a gas bottle to hook up to your stove!
- Camp chairs: We don’t have chairs because we can’t fit them into our car, but we’re always jealous of friends who have theirs. So it’s not a necessary camp item, but a nice one.
- Cooler/Ice Box: You’ll need a way to keep all your perishables cool. We try our hardest to plan meals that don’t require too much food from the fridge (pastas, curries, etc.), and we try to bring UHT milk so it doesn’t take up space in the cooler, but you’ll need the cooler for things like cheeses, beer, yoghurt, dips, etc. We have this 57L cooler on wheels, and again this fits into the boot of our car. (The ice only stays frozen inside the cooler for two days, so when camping for longer periods of time, we have to make sure we are not far from a gas station or shop where you can buy more ice.)
- Lanterns: We have a couple of these battery-operated lanterns. We hang them in our tent at night, use them for trips to the bathroom in the dark, set them on our picnic table at dinner time, etc. They’re so handy to have. Michael also has a headlamp for hands-free lighting.
- Picnic blankets: We like to create an outside lounge area outside of our tent, so we usually put a couple large blankets outside for the kids to sit and play on (this also keeps them from constantly going in and out of the tent during the day and making a mess of everything). Michael and I received one of these roll-up wool picnic blankets from Pendleton when we got married, and we use it ALL the time. We also love these camp blankets from Homecamp as well (we keep one at the entrance of our tent, to try to keep things neat and tidy inside). These indoor/outdoor rugs are handy too, because you can sweep them to keep them clean.
- Water: Depending on whether you’re camping somewhere with running water, you might need to bring your own. The last time we camped, we had no running water, so we needed large bottles of water for drinking, washing dishes, washing hands, etc. It’s good to know what the water situation is before you head off on your camping adventure.
- Large bucket: A flexible tub (or even two!) is super handy for washing dishes, washing dirty feet, washing hands, etc.
- Solar Camp Shower: If you’re camping somewhere without showers, this portable solar shower is so handy! Simply fill with water, set in the sun to heat up, hang from a tree, and use whenever you need warm water.
Camping Check List: SMALLER THINGS
- Dishes: We have a set of these Falcon enamel ‘deep plates’, and they’re so handy because they can be either bowls (for cereal in the morning) or plates (for lunch/dinner meals). We also have a set of enamel tumblers for drinking water (and wine!).
- Pots & Pans: We usually bring a big pot for boiling water for pasta, a small sauce pan, our Bialetti coffee maker, and a small fry pan.
- Utensils: Don’t forget cutlery, knives, a big mixing spoon, a can-opener if necessary, etc.
- Wooden cutting board: We’ve forgotten this before and regretted it!
- Dustpan & Broom: Essential for sweeping out the tent.
- Dish washing liquid and brush: We usually pour some dishwashing liquid into a small jar and bring that along. We also bring a scrub brush.
- Dish towels: For drying dishes, drying hands, etc.
- Matches: and newspaper if you’re planning on having campfires
- Hand soap: For washing hands. We also bring a hand sanitiser too, for easy hand washing.
- Solar Charger: We’ve had one of these WakaWaka solar chargers since our round-the-world travels, and we still use it all the time. It’s so handy for charging phones, and it’s also a light for bedtime reading, etc.
- First Aid Kit: We always have one in our car, so we’re never far from it. But it’s definitely a camping essential, especially when camping with kids.
I hope this list is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions (or camping tips! pease share!).