NOTE: I have not included much in the way of clothing here, except for the obvious, as the clothing you take camping will depend on where you are camping and the activities you will be doing. This is also mainly aimed at wild camping but in general, camping is camping regardless.
*Large group camping at Loch Tummel*
THE MAIN ITEMS:
Tent (with guyropes and tent pegs,
- I have a 5 person tent, but it's definitely more like a 4 person tent - max!)...and we only use it for the two of us :)
- If you don't have sleeping bags, why not bring a duvet? We've been doing this, as a couple, for ages, and as long as it's big enough to cover the two of you, there's no issue with it! Though definitely more of an option for summer/warm camping.
- I'd actually say this was optional. Definitely better to have a pillow, but if you're going to be walking around with camping gear on your back, you can always stuff clothes inside a pillow case or just roll up a hoodie, for example.
- Essential for a good nights sleep! I personally use self-inflatable mattresses for myself and my partner. They're great, as you can just leave them in the tent to inflate while you enjoy the barbecue or crack on with the rest of the tent-setting-up routine. I've also used roll mats, such as a Thermarest, and they are a much nicer fabric, which is much better than the cold plastic-y feeling of the inflatables, if you roll out of your sleeping bag/duvet in the night!. Either do very well for comfort though.
Camping chairs - to sit on....
Head torch - for going to pee in the woods in the night!
Tarpaulin - life saver if it begins to rain, and in the summer time, you sleep under it and enjoy the freedom of no tent! If you don't want to buy tarpaulin, we have used old plastic sheets before and simply tied it between trees, using guy ropes.
Wind breaker - again, optional, but very useful if it's windy. We were once lost up the Cairngorms, and camped in a very random spot, with little coverage from the wind. The wind breaker was seriously handy for stopping the gusts of wind from putting out our fire and barbecue! If you're in a shared campsite, they can also give you a bit of privacy too!
First Aid Kit - MUST. BRING. THIS. Comes in handy even when you least expect it!
Hammer - optional I would say, as if you've got sturdy boots, you can generally kick the tent pegs in!
Map - feels obvious, but when we were lost (as mentioned above) we could really have used a map to get out of the Cairngorms the next day! Do not reply solely on GPS!
Blanket - you never know when you might need that extra layer, whether you're trying to sleep or feeling the chill by the campfire.
Axe or wood-chopper of some sort - optional, depends on if you'll be making a campfire, and some people use the fire itself to burn through larger pieces of wood rather than chopping it down by hand.
Cooker/BBQ - you'll generally need one of these if not both, though you should definitely try cooking on the fire one day! Bear Grylls-ing it!
Waterproof Jacket - definitely needed, as the weather can turn at any moment, and you'd rather be dry than damp! Would even recommend some waterproof trousers if you have them, especially if you don't have tarpaulin or equivalent.
Thermals - I always bring my thermals. They are mega comfy, perfect to wear as PJs, and never fail to keep me warm when it's a cold, drizzly night (which is pretty much every night we go camping here in Scotland).
Walking boots/Wellies/Old shoes - definite must. I take my walking boots, mainly because they were that pricey I want to use them as much as possible, but they're useful for kicking in tent pegs (see above), they're waterproof, they're warm, they are perfect for varying terrain and above all, they're GORGEOUS AND COMFY :) if you're not using shoes that are made for the outdoors, make sure they're old and not white!
Toilet roll - Always. Bring. This. I always forget and end up having to use the classic "shake" method.
Safety Pins - can be the ones included in your First Aid kit, but these can definitely come in handy! Where it's a ripped piece of clothing or a tent door that does not work (myself last summer...) these can come very much in handy!
Water - unless you're good at filtering water, and would rather do it that way, definitely bring water. Especially if you'll be having a few beers or ciders at night by the campfire, as it's refreshing to have a big bottle of the stuff to gulp at in the morning!
Again, this is a very basic list I'd say. These are, for me, essentials to ensure you have a successful, fun camping trip! I'd also suggest taking a boat/kayak if you'll be near water (for messing around on the loch or lake, or for a serious trip), or at least some playing cards or a book to amuse yourself if it rains!
Let me know what your own essentials are for your camping trips in the comments!
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