With the number of nights camping I’ve done, both abroad and in the UK, I decided it was finally time to make a packing list.

Obviously what you’re packing will be highly dependent on your location, access to electricity, weather – I could go on. For the purposes of this article, I’m writing for what you’ll need if you’re going away for five days to a week, camping with minimal or no access to electricity and if you can only pop into the nearest civilisation (say a town) every couple of days. Let’s start.

This is VERY dependent on your personal activities and what time of year. However, below are some essentials that I usually take whenever I am camping.

  • 2/3 x pairs of zip-off trousers
    These will work as both shorts and long trousers without you having to double up in your packing. They are quick dry and very easy to move in.
  • Sleeping Bag (3 season)
    I always like 3 season sleeping bags as they’re great, lightweight and you can very easily slip a fleece liner if it’s in in the wintery end of autumn. This does however, very much depend on your location and weather.
  • Self-inflating Roll mat
    About a year ago, I got the BEST roll mat I’ve ever had for camping. It inflates, keeps you warm and much higher off the ground than a foam one does and it rolls up into the size of a coca-cola can. I’ve linked it here Vango Aotrom Inflatable Mat (outdooraction.co.uk) I call it my bubble wrap mat, as that’s exactly what it looks and feels like.
  • Swimwear
    For me, this is a must pack. You never know when there might be a lake or a river you can go into.
  • Walking Boots
    Wear these to travel in – if you’ve got a good pair they’re brilliant for walking, campsite use and cooking in in any weather.
  • Trangia
    If you’re cooking your own food, a trangia is a perfect lightweight cooking device. I’ll be writing up some recipes I’ve used on a trangia soon – it is possible to create delicious food cheaply, simply and easily when camping!
  • Thermals
    These are far better to sleep in than pyjamas when you’re camping. They keep you warm and if you’re restricted by weight you can double them up as layers in the day.
  • Waterproof or Poncho
    You can’t control the weather. You can only plan for it.
  • Solar Powered Power Bank
    Without access to electricity, a good solar powered charger can keep your phone charged enough for a week or so – and more if you get one of the bigger ones. It’s an essential for combining camping with modern life.

Let us know what your camping essentials are in the comments below.

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