Camping Essentials *

Last year I took a road trip up the North East of England and up to the Scottish Highlands. Along the way I stopped in Kinlochleven and stayed in a glamping pod! It was a great experience and strengthened my love of camping and the outdoors.

Camping can be a great way to spend your staycation and this post covers the essentials I take for any camping trip.

[Missed a post in my staycation series? Catch up here.]

Shelter / Sleeping

Tent and tent pegs

Unless you’re glamping, you’ll need to pack a tent. My favourite is a lightweight two man tent, with a separate living area. They’re relatively simple to put up and light enough to travel with on a motorbike too.


Ever tried to put your tent pegs in the ground without one of these? A can of food also works well if you forget to bring one.

Sleeping bag

I prefer the mummy sleeping bags due to the hood. It gives extra cushioning for your head on the ground. I usually choose one that’s good for multiple seasons.

Ground mat

My favourite is a self inflating one which, like the mummy sleeping bag, gives you about moee cushioning from the hard ground.


You can get solar powered lights to put in the ground outside your tent, which are great for finding it at night on a trip to the loo.

I also like battery powered fairy lights or hanging lanterns.


I don’t recommend you bring the one off your bed, unless you have a large tent and are traveling by car. Instead I much prefer a travel pillow, mine is fleece on one side and folds up into it’s own bag for storage.

Torch / Head torch

For finding your way to the loo and back!

Bin bags

For collecting your rubbish but also great for storing wet or muddy shoes.

Camping chairs

For lounging around the campsite and eating dinner.

Stove and gas

For cooking or making yourself a nice cup of tea (or coffee) in the morning. There are many different kinds available in all shapes and sizes.

When I toured Paris on a motorbike I used a twist stove (similar) which fits on to a gas canister. It’s small and lightweight so perfect if you don’t have a lot of space. Don’t forget to pack a fire starter (like matches) to get it going.

For car journeys where space isn’t an issue, I use my larger cooking stove (actual).


Think pots /pans, utensils, tin opener, and tableware (plates, bowls and cups).

Cool bag / box

For food storage

Washing up liquid and a tea towel

For washing up after dinner! Yep, even camping comes with washing up… Unless you eat out, of course. 😉


I tend to pack light on toiletries when I’m camping, I’ll typically pack:-

  • First Aid Kit
  • Tooth brush and tooth paste
  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo / Conditioner
  • Sun cream
  • Toilet paper
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer

I think these are pretty self explanatory but if you’d like specific recommendations, let me know. 😊

Warm clothing

Base layer

A base layer or long John’s are great for keeping you warm when the temperature drops at night. I own two sets of base layers and find they’re also great for a run in cooler weather.

Mid layer

A fleece or hooded jumper will keep you warm on trip across the campsite to the toilets, mine was kindly gifted to me by Simply Hike*. They offer a wide range or camping and hiking gear and have an extensive skiing range as well.

My fleece is perfect. It keeps me warm and looks good too – I’ve found a lot of fleeces can look frumpy but that’s not the case with this one. I went for black so it can easily match with other items in my wardrobe. The only issues are the sleeve length – too long – and that there are no pockets.

Outer wear

I usually pack a rain mac and a lighter jacket (leather or demin depending on the season), as you can never predict the lovely British weather.


What I pack varies depending on the length of stay and facilities on the campsite. We had a microwave our glamping pod and a corner shop nearby, so picked up some ready meals but you could also eat out at the outside restaurant or cafe if there is one.

For more ‘wild’ camping, you can try specialist camping food which can easily be cooked on a camping stove. Simply Hike gifted me a couple to try, they taste great and are very simple to use. A lot of them just need hot water added!

Other types of food I like to pack are dry snacks such as trail mix, crisps and cereal bars. Along with cup-a-soup or Mug Shots ( which is typically pasta soup in a cup).

For drinks, I use my reusable water bottle and bring UHT soya milk. My local supermarket do a great range of small cartons which are perfect for camping trips.

Optional extras

Think about any activities you might do during your camping trip such as hiking or swimming.

If you’re planning on hiking a whistle and compass come in handy. I pack my seven in one survival whistle for any camping trip, just in case I go on any walks or hikes from my campsite. Along with a waterproof pouch for my mobile phone – it even floats! Which was great when I went kayaking.

Do you enjoy camping? What are your camping essentials? Let me know in the comments. 😊


  • Ashley

    April 10, 2019 at 22:14

    We recently started going away on glamping trips and now my husband wants to take it to the next level … camping! Thank you for these really useful tips – I had no idea where to begin with it all! xxx


    1. Kim

      April 13, 2019 at 16:20

      You’re welcome lovely, I hope they come in handy. xx

  • Brad

    November 30, 2018 at 18:52

    I have also tried the Wayfayrer food and it is ok for what is it. It works really great on a camping trip and my children really likes it!

    1. Kim

      December 11, 2018 at 17:33

      Thanks for your comment Brad. We enjoyed trying it out and like how compact it is – perfect if you’re limited on space.

  • Lauren

    November 30, 2018 at 13:07

    Such a great list, I have never been camping before, I guess I could try clamping haha. Fancy camping

    1. Kim

      December 11, 2018 at 17:27

      Glamping is a great alternative if you’re not in to camping. I hated camping as a kid but enjoy it more as an adult.

  • Anca

    November 24, 2018 at 12:32

    I love camping, but in the last years I’ve only been camping in the touring caravan, so my essentials are a bit different.

    1. Kim

      November 27, 2018 at 17:43

      What essentials would you bring touring? Also would you be interested in writing a guest post? 😊

  • Kim

    November 24, 2018 at 02:53

    Thanks for your comment! Glamping is a great alternative and I loved it when I got to do it in Scotland. x

  • HannahAlex

    November 22, 2018 at 16:33

    Great list! I ALWAYS forget things when camping, or even travelling anywhere shamefully! hahaha


    1. Kim

      November 24, 2018 at 02:55

      Haha, I hope you’ll find this list useful in the future! I used to forget things all the time. x

  • Ruth Josey

    November 21, 2018 at 23:01

    I’m not much of a camper. I’ve slept in a tent once or twice and under the stars once. I think I’d be much better at glamping. This is a great list, though. Essential for someone who hasn’t done much camping before.

    1. Kim

      February 26, 2019 at 19:44

      Thanks for your comment! Glamping is a great alternative and I loved it when I got to do it in Scotland. x

  • Chloe

    November 21, 2018 at 20:00

    I haven’t been camping very often in the past but it is something I’d like to do in the future so this list of essentials is great. I’ll be making sure to take everything i need off this list!
    Chloe x

    1. Kim

      November 24, 2018 at 02:54

      I hope you find it useful and get to go on some camping trips in the future. 😊

  • Charmae Martin

    November 21, 2018 at 19:58

    Great post with knowledgeable information! I am a HUGE camper and majority of your list covers all I bring with! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Kim

      November 24, 2018 at 02:52

      Thanks for your comment! 😊 I hope newbie campers find it useful and experienced campers can utilise it as a packing list, of sorts. x

  • chelsea

    November 21, 2018 at 18:46

    This is a great post for someone like me! I don’t camp often, so a list like this helps so much!
    xo Chelsea |

    1. Kim

      November 24, 2018 at 02:50

      I’m glad you found it useful. 😊 Thanks for your comment.

  • Charlie

    November 21, 2018 at 17:28

    Very good list! We always take our Jetboil stove because it cooks so well in all conditions, but for road trips we would love a camping stove with 2 rings so we could cook even better meals! 😛

    1. Kim

      November 24, 2018 at 02:51

      Thank you! When I’m going on hikes I prefer my smaller stove, it’s much easier and lighter to carry around with me.

  • Asher Downer

    November 21, 2018 at 17:17

    This post is so so different! I love it

    1. Kim

      November 24, 2018 at 02:48

      Thank you! 😊 I’m glad, and I hope you find it useful.

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