A camping holiday can be an amazing opportunity to enjoy beautiful scenery and quality time with loved ones, without spending a small fortune. With so many beautiful sights in the UK and beyond, exploring the Great Outdoors can be an amazing experience for the whole family. But before you leave the city behind, make sure you're well-equipped for a trip in Mother Nature with our camping checklist.
From easy-to-set-up tents to cooking equipment, this camping checklist covers the basic essentials that you'll need for the ultimate holiday in the Great Outdoors. Remember to check with your camp site to see if things like picnic tables, firewood, and restrooms are available. Feeling nervous about sleeping outdoors? Here's a top tip - gather the items from this camping checklist and do a test-run in your garden first!
Sleeping underneath the stars certainly sounds romantic but it's a lot less fun in practice. Make sure you're sheltered from the elements (and the insects!) with a sturdy tent that will comfortably fit everyone in. You can pick up a two-person tent for as little as £15 or opt for a more advanced model like the Ozark four-person tent, £175, that comes equipped with double layers for extra protection and ventilation, a porch area and a divider to create two separate bedrooms, and can be set up in under two minutes. When looking at tents, be sure to check out the Hydrostatic Head (HH) rating – a measure of how waterproof a piece of fabric is. Generally, you'll need a measurement of around 1000 HH to resist light showers and around 2000HH for heavier rain and wind.
There are plenty of options when it comes to picking bedding for your camping holiday. An airbed might be the most comfortable (an electric air pump makes getting ready for bed a total breeze) but make sure you have enough room in your tent for it and that you're able to carry it with you. Otherwise, the classic option is to bring a sleeping bag. Even if the weather forecast says it will be nice and sunny where you're going, temperatures can really drop in the evening so packing a sleeping bag for every camper is probably a good idea. If you're not bringing an air mattress, bring a few blankets or a camping mat to lay the sleeping bags down on.
Plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, pots and pans are all essential for a successful camping holiday. Don't forget to bring oven mitts and a tin opener with you as well, plus a large bowl or other vessel to do the dishes in. Find out what cooking gear will be at the camp site before you travel, as depending on your options you may also want to bring a portable barbecue or a stove and fuel with you. And unless you want to use sticks for grilling marshmallows, bring some skewers with you!
Even if you're going to a popular and well-equipped camp site, you'll want to make sure to bring certain essentials with you like matches, flashlights (plus batteries), a water carrier filled with fresh water and a first aid kit.
Fun and Games
Going camping is all about connecting with nature, so switch off those phones and devices and indulge in some old fashioned entertainment instead with board games, cards and reading. Why not gather around the fire and take turns reading out loud? Or spend the afternoon playing a family-fun game like Trivial Pursuit or Twister.