What to pack for a camping holiday

"camping essentials"

Camping was never Mummy’s style. She likes her super-kingsize bed with Hypnos mattress far too much to leave it without due care and consideration. But we have friends who twisted her arm tempted her into giving it a try. We are just back from our 5th trip with them, and Mummy reckons she has finally got her Camping Packing List maximised for comfort. So for anyone wondering whether they can cope with a camping trip, here are our best tips for what to take. Click the link above for a tick list you can use for your own packing. If you want to know how I would pack, scroll down to the bottom for my own unique version!

"family tent"(Clockwise from top left) The Quechua Base Seconds 4.2 tent: Ever stopped to laugh at the campers struggling with poles, yelling out their frustration in the rain as their tent refuses to co-operate? This is a brilliant tent for the inexperienced camper. It literally pops open, and all you have to do is secure the guy ropes. It has 2 zip-up sleeping pods to fit double blow up beds, and a middle section for everything else. Camping within 15 minutes!

Friends: This is essential. We took some for M&D, and one each for ourselves. This meant that we were free to get on with our own stuff – playing in haystacks, comparing sausages, squabbling over marshmallows – whilst the parents were safely occupied with drinking wine, building fires, and talking about boring stuff.

Sunhats and Suncream: Well you never know….

Hot Chocolate: Very useful at the end of an evening, when it’s beginning to get chilly. Also keeps us in our camping chairs for a while once it is so dark that no-one can see us beyond 1m distance!

Disposable BBQ Trays: These are genius! Basically just a disposable baking tray, they have slots cut into them, so that the smoke from the fire/bbq makes it through to the food, giving it the very essential bbq flavour. Oh, and a motivated adult who has researched his camping food recipes and is keen to do the cooking, is rather an asset too!

Marshmallows: Haribo Chamallow are obligatory. Don’t even consider a lesser marshmallow. You will need lots of wooden skewers too. There really is no point having a camp-fire if there are no marshmallows for roasting!

Other essentials: 

  • Coffee – you must not ever approach Mummy before her morning latte, hence small cartons of UHT milk are advisable too, as are chocolate chip brioche.
  • Portable Burner for making said coffee.
  • Crocs – yes, they are ugly, but they go on and off really easily, and you will want to remember to always remove shoes before entering the tent, because if you get grass and mud inside you will need to make Mummy another coffee… Also handy for showering in if the facilities aren’t great.
  • Bog in a Bag – we took the Bug’s old Potette portable potty for night-time emergencies, but the Mummy Whisperer, who has also written a post about essentials for a camping trip, recommends the Bog in a Bag. So much better than stumbling through cow pats to the dodgy camping toilets on site!
  • Books/iPhone/DS – we will wake early. What do you expect with all that natural light and cheerful bird-tweeting? Mumble, switch on the iPhone, and leave us to it for an extra hour’s sleep. Headphones advisable.
  • Bedsocks – nothing worse than cold feet at night.
  • Duvets – you might think this is over the top, given the winter-weight sleeping bags (don’t think you can get away with lightweight bags). You may find you require duvets on top, and if you don’t they come in very handy to put underneath you, to stop the cold air which circulates inside your airbeds from causing joint seizures as the ground cools down throughout the night!

Things you won’t need:

  • Jewellery and make-up – there are no mirrors on a campsite so you’ll forget what you look like, and won’t remember to care what anyone else thinks. Besides they’ll look just as rough as you!
  • Anything requiring a power source; we ended up with a flat car battery from charging the iPhones!
Finally, your ideal campsite for children would lay on guinea pigs and puppies that don’t mind being stroked from morning till bedtime, as well as hay bales for romping in!

"Gruffalo Trunki child's suitcase"Now, I promised you a packing list befitting the average 7 year old, and it all begins with a Trunki Suitcase. Here is the Bug, proudly modelling what the Gruffalo Trunki child’s suitcase can do, but I am a packing force to be reckoned with, and I quickly figured out what the Trunki was capable of!

Take a look at what I managed to fit into mine. Mummy said there was no way I would need my entire jewellery box, but I say, it pays to be prepared for every eventuality!

"trunki child's suitcase"

Disclosure: we were given the Trunki suitcases for the purposes of review, and we love them! All other links are simply there because we like them too!

23 thoughts on “What to pack for a camping holiday”

  1. This list made me feel really nostalgic about when my parents took us camping when we were younger! I always think as an adult that I hate camping, but I completely forget about how much fun it really was as a child. Sure it’ll be us taking our baby soon so I’m taking a mental note of the advice. PS love the Gruffalo Trunki!

  2. Looks like you had a good time. If I’m ever brave enough to go camping I’ll know where to come for my list! I’m off shopping today and will be looking out for Haribo Chamallow…never heard of them till now! x

    • I hadn’t either until my French frind insisted. They are so much better and it’s all they sell on that campsite! (along with some great organic cider;)

  3. Ah – thanks Actually, a great list, but unfortunately it’s about a week and a half too late for me. And as I am NEVER GOING CAMPING AGAIN it is entirely by the by! (But I will keep it handy just in case I DO get persuaded to come again another year…I suppose it’s a bit like child birth. If enough time passes in between, you can convince yourself you can manage it again…! 😉

    • Lol! Oh dear it sounds like you had a bad one! Our first was terrible too. It gets better and the kids love it so much. To be fair we were lucky with the weather too

  4. Great list, thank you. I’ve recently discovered marshmallows too, and although I’ve not tried Haribo yet, there are definitely different grades out there! Must check out the Bog in a Bag, too 🙂 Love my Trunki already, even before a camping trip.

  5. Gorgeous post. I’m writing a story about bunnies camping, so will be *borrowing* extensively if that’s ok! I especially like the image of hot-chocolate-drinking to keep the evening going just a little while longer – and ‘comparing sausages’ is a brilliant expression!

  6. Aw, we love camping over here but you forgot bunting and fairy lights! Not essential I know but I take them every time! 😉

  7. I don’t think you would survive camping with us, we go into the backcountry, which means canoe, portage, canoe, and find a camp site. Our list is long, but only because there are five of us, but everything has to fit into two canoe’s and one kayak, so forget the duvet! Coffee is a must, but forget the ipod, ipad, cell phone ~ it won’t work in the middle of nowhere any ways. Oh yes, let me tell you about the toilet – it’s a box in the woods, there are no walls, but you are in the middle of nowhere, so walls aren’t necessary.

    You are welcome to join us next time!

  8. I so love your list, tentatively placing a toe in the camping world after guest blogging and camping at Camp Bestival. List is brill, wine a must!
    I need price for that tent, looks so easy!.

    • Click the link for the tent. I think we paid about £120 and so worth it. Wine and coffee essential – couldnt camp without them!

  9. When you are packing your clothing for a camping trip, remember that it is best to dress in layers! This way, you can add or remove clothing to make you more comfortable.

    Take along a rain coat that you can put on top of every other layer to keep you dry if it rains. 🙂


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