How To Pack For Camping Travel
For all the back-to-basics simplicity of a camping holiday – fresh air! charred sausages! scampering kids! campfires! – there’s a veritable army of things you don’t want to forget. It’s best not to leave your tent pegs at home, for example. Or to overlook the right utensils and have to open a can of baked beans with a fork. In the rain.
It pays, in short, to have an effective car-boot packing list. Below are some tips for ensuring you arrive well kitted out. Camping can be heaven – but it helps when you’re not having to use a scrunched-up jumper as a pillow.
Banner Image Credit: iStock.com/Jacob Ammentorp Lund
As well as the fairly indispensable tent and pegs, pack a decent lightweight mallet – stamping pegs into the ground using the soles of your shoes rarely ends well. Bedding, of course, is another priority item: sleeping bags and travel pillows are great in terms of saving boot space, but if you’re able to squash in duvets and proper pillows then they’re an advisable indulgence. Don’t forget airbeds and, no less importantly, a pump. Bring towels too.
Unless you’re camping under the Arctic Midnight Sun, you’ll want to pack a couple of torches – the head-torch variety can be particularly good for avoiding those times when you’re scrabbling round for your toothbrush in the dark and keep treading on the mallet. And as well as toiletries, don’t disregard toilet paper. Most campsite washroom blocks are reliably stocked these days, but the old scouting motto holds true. Be prepared.
For mealtimes? In addition to a stove and/or barbecue (with fuel and matches) you’ll need cutlery, mugs, a knife and chopping board, tongs, a bottle-opener and a can-opener. Some people swear by disposable plates and cups; be a little more eco-friendly by bringing plastic crockery and a washing-up bowl. Got all that? Now squeeze in a fold-up table and chairs. You’re virtually good to go.
Modern cars can hold a surprising amount of kit, which is good news for campers – sometimes the little luxuries make all the difference. (And if you’ve never previously thought of things like wet wipes, marshmallows, ketchup and frisbees as luxuries, you’re in for a whole new world of pleasure.) The weather being the fickle beast that it is, it’s sensible to bring not just sun cream and insect repellent but also raincoats and wellies. And depending on where you pitch your tent, a windbreak can be invaluable.
Other things to check off? A car charger for your mobile phone, a pack of playing cards, a washing line, a first aid kit and a football are all valuable items for very different reasons (don’t get these confused – playing solitaire with sticking plasters gets a little frustrating). Also prudent to bring are books, plastic bags, a dustpan and brush and some sort of large water container, to save you walking to the communal taps ten times a day.
Where food and drink are concerned, teabags, cereal, biscuits and canned goods are easy enough to store, but if you’re bringing meat, milk and perishable veg then a cool box is a godsend. On a similar note, baguettes and baps can be simpler to deal with than standard bread loaves, and it’s sensible to opt for fruit that doesn’t bruise easily, such as apples. Lastly, you’ll almost certainly forget something – just try to make sure it’s nothing as downright vital as Marmite.