Pan cooking over a campfire.

What To Pack In Your Camping Kit

Camping is a fantastic family activity, often chosen as the accommodation option for a staycation within the country to enjoy the outdoors. Camping offers hundreds of opportunities for adventure and excitement at a far lower cost than almost any other holiday accommodation option.   

Depending on who you are bringing with you and where you are going there can be a huge variation on what you need to bring. A kit list for hiking in the mountains alone while carrying your equipment yourself will be completely different to bringing your whole family on a trip and setting up your tent in a campsite with amenities. Some camping equipment to bring with you are essentials, such as a tent and sleeping bags. Other equipment brought on camping adventures, such as marshmallows or folding chairs are not precisely necessary, but can make your trip a lot more comfortable.  

A lot of speciality camping kit is only sold in outdoors shops and if you don’t camp often you may not have it available at home. If you don’t have the equipment you need for a camping trip, then asking neighbours and friends to borrow a tent (or any other kit you may be lacking) can be a fantastic way to save further on your camping holiday. Many don’t often use their camping kit and are happy to loan it out to friends and family when they need it.  


This list will describe some essentials to bring with you and it is important for you to bring them.  

  • Tent  

Selecting a tent that can fit everyone in the family and hold up to any wet weather is key to ensuring your camping trip goes smoothly. A good tent is the most important piece of camping kit you have. It is recommended to select a tent that can fit at least one extra person than goes on the trip, this gives you some wiggle room for any equipment or bedding you would like to keep in the tent. If your tent does not have a built in mosquito net it may be worth looking for one to buy or borrow. This is especially true if you are going to camp in an area near water, as insects can be an issue at night. 

Working to put up the tent in the back garden at least once before your trip is an important task. If there are missing pieces or rips and tears in the fabric, it will become apparent once the tent has been put up and you will be able to fix them before you go.   

  • Sleeping bags 

What you need from a summer and winter sleeping bag can be completely different depending on the temperature. Discussing different models in the shop and how much heat they keep in is a great way to find a sleeping bag that will work for your trip. Bringing extra blankets for a spring or autumn camping trip will help keep everyone warm in the tent as well.   

  • A mat  

Select a mat for each of the family, and set them up inside the tent before you leave to ensure each of them fits in the tent. A lot of mats can be quite unwieldy, but remember that the mat will be the only layer between you and the ground, so it may be worth selecting a bulkier option.  

  • A stove 

You can always go out to a café or restaurant for a meal and some campsites provide catering for guests, but this can be expensive. Bringing a small gas stove so you can heat up a kettle and cook meals while camping will make your trip a lot cheaper and less stressful for you.   

  • A kettle 

Bringing a metal camping kettle for your stove is a definite must. When you arrive back on the camp site in the evening, being able to put on a nice warm cup of tea can be a lifesaver.  

  • A tin opener and scissors  

A tin opener and scissors brought along for any tins or packaging that needs to be opened will be immensely helpful. These are tools that we don’t often consider in day to day life, but are necessary wherever you go. 

  • A bottle opener 

This is an essential item to have around – many can come in the form of a keyring that is easy to transport and can stay with you all the time.  

  • A water bottle 

Staying hydrated while on holiday, especially during summer, is vital to your wellbeing. Dehydration can make you feel tired, give you head aches and make you feel run down over time. Having water constantly on hand is important to help you and your family to stay healthy. 

  • Saucepan and spatula 

Whether you are making a pasta salad or a stew, having a saucepan and spatula on hand are vital cooking tools for you to keep with you when you are camping for even the simplest cooked meal.    

  • A knife and cutting board 

These are vital for any form of food preparation, from making fried onions for your hot dogs, to making a salad to go along with a bigger dish. Just the one is required, as long as they are washed well whenever they are used for chopping raw meat for your cooking.   

  • Crockery and cutlery  

Camping cutlery and plates and bowls are generally not too expensive, but any plastic crockery you have (potentially for picnics) can be used instead. The key is to bring things that are unlikely to break, as many people wander around campsites in sandals or bare feet, so broken glass can cause a lot of issues on site.   

  • First aid  

Bringing a basic first aid kit containing painkillers, plasters, wound wipes and any specific medication your family members may need, such as an inhaler or antihistamines for hay fever will be essential. While if anyone feels seriously ill it is best to see a doctor, for minor ailments like a headache or a scraped knee it is best to have what you need to treat them on hand.   

  • A torch 

Having a torch to help you navigate at night is something that everyone should have while out camping. Most campsites have bathroom facilities and showers available at night, but in the dark it can be hard to find them, especially for children.   

  • Toiletries 

Selecting which toiletries are necessary, such as shampoo, conditioner, sun cream, toothpaste and tooth brushes can be a juggling act. Bringing a small bag with travel versions of toiletries for each person can keep things organised. Make sure to bring enough towels for everyone as well, especially if there are any water sports that you might want to try.   

  • Weather specific clothes 

For the summer you will need sun hats and shorts and in winter rain coats and wellies are equally necessary to make sure everyone is comfortable. Warm jumpers and socks are a must no matter the season, as even in hot summer weather nights can be cold for people trying to sleep outdoors.  

  • Games 

Camping is a fantastic way to bond as a family, with minimal connection to any Wi-Fi, games can be a great activity to do together. Games such as Uno and simple card games are easy to pack and to teach to any novice players. For older children, a travel chess and checkers set can be used for a tournament to see who comes out on top.  

If you are interested in camping with us at Bewl Water, please contact us here. We will be delighted to discuss our beautiful campsite and what amenities it can offer to our visitors.