March 09, 2021 3 min read

If you have been thinking about a camping trip and lets face it, most of us are especially with what we have all been going through this year, you may be new to camping, and as you’ve never camped before, you’re probably feeling daunted over where to start.

But you’ve bitten the bullet and decided to give it a go! Well done – you won’t regret it, and you’ve come to the right place.

We want to help you get started, so let’s look at five camping essentials:

1. Tent

Narrow your choice firstly by how many people will be sleeping in it.

From there you can work out which features you require and match it to your budget.

Practice setting your tent up in the backyard, that way you’ll know nothing is missing, and be better prepared to set it up in the campsite.

4-6 person tents are popular family options. They come in all price ranges, are relatively easy to set up and fit into most vehicles.

Family tents offer tonnes of living space and are ideal for longer stays (1 week+), but they are bulky when packed and harder to set up.

 

2. Sleeping gear

An air mattress is a cost effective sleep solution. They come in a wide range of sizes and you can get electric pumps that make inflation easy.

Alternatively, there are self-inflating mats that (mostly) inflate themselves. These aren’t as high as an air mattress but offer better insulation.

Try both before you buy, and make up your own mind. 

You’ll also need a sleeping bag.

Look for something designed for general camping, and if you’re buying for kids allow room for growth.

Temperature ratings can be confusing, but as a general rule, for spring/summer camping a 5 degree plus bag will be more than adequate, whilst during winter you should consider something rated to 0 degrees and below.

 

3. Food & Drink

You’ll need something to keep food fresh, and drinks cool.

Most people have an ice cooler in the shed, and with block ice, this will probably keep your food cold for a couple of days.

An icebox has better insulating properties, and with block ice, you can keep food and drinks cold for up to a week.

The key points here are to use block ice, keep the ice box out of the sun, and only open it when you need to.

  

4. Eating

Some say eating is the best part of the trip, especially when combined with drinking.

If you’re going to have an open fire where you’re camping then make sure it is safely set up or choose to use a gas stove.

Gas stoves come in a range of price and sizes.

They come with the hoses required, you’ll just need a compatible gas bottle and gas.

Don’t forget pots, pans, utensils, plates, bowls etc. Often you can take some old things from home, just make sure it is unbreakable (leave the china at home).

5. Relaxing

Definitely the most important part of camping.

Whether you’re fishing, boating or relaxing with a good book, you’ll probably need somewhere to sit and relax the end of the day.

So you’ll need comfortable chairs and tables its a must. It’s all personal choice here and often comes down to budget and what will fit in your car.

Now go camping!

That’s the basics, apart from personal effects. With this gear your well on your way to a fully equipped camp set-up.

When you’re in your camp, keep a running list of the extras you want to bring next time it will make packing even easier next time.