What to Take Camping: A Quickstart Guide

If you’re new to the camping and touring, it can be a little overwhelming to know what essentials to take that might not seem so obvious at the time. As a touring park, we know our way around a campsite and are well versed in knowing what to pack for a great camping holiday.

To help you prepare for your next camping trip, we’ve decided to share our top 5 things to take camping. We’ve not included a tent or sleeping bag – but hopefully, these more obvious essentials are already on your packing checklist.

A Head Lamp

There are few things made easier by having one hand tied behind your back. When you’re camping and it’s dark however, this is basically what you’re stuck with. When you need to keep one hand on your touch or lantern, usually simple tasks like getting in and out of your tent to visit the bathroom becomes about 10 times harder.

A head lamp provides essential light while keeping both your hands free. Need to re-tie a knot or open a rucksack in the dark? Neither are a problem with a head lamp. They may not be the most fashionable thing in the world, but you’ll kick yourself for not bringing one!

A Mallet with Peg Puller

You might think that pushing your tent pegs in with your foot is a perfectly fine way to pitch your tent, but if the ground is hard – as it usually is during summer – then that’s a perfect recipe for a damaged shoe and a bent tent peg! A mallet will let you drive your tent pegs in properly and will ensure a secure tying point for your tent’s guide ropes.

Once you’ve got your tent pegs in nice and deep, how do you go about getting them back out again? Sometimes it can be hard to get them out by hand, but you should never just leave them in the ground. Instead, get yourself a tent peg pulling tool – they make uprooting your tent pegs easy.

To save space, why not pick up a combination mallet and peg puller? These are lightweight and inexpensive, making them perfect for a first-time camper.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is a universally useful invention – but even more so in relation to camping. It’s perfect for temporary fixes around the tent, especially when fixing tears in the fabric of your tent or patching up a camping chair. Putting a strip of duct tape on both sides of the tear creates a strong and waterproof repair.

It can also be used to seal food packets, temporarily covering injuries or blisters, stopping a tablecloth from flying away in the wind and much more. A roll of duct tape (or two) is an essential and inexpensive addition to your camping checklist.

Camp Chairs

Comfort around the campsite isn’t limited to sleeping. Having a proper chair to sit in and relax makes a real difference when spending time around the campsite, whether you’re sitting and chatting with friends or just spending some quality time with a good book, it’s a lot nicer when you’ve all got a place to sit.

Camping chairs come in many different varieties, from basic folding chairs to camping high-chairs for babies to camping sofas and some stylish high tech reclining chairs – there’s a wide range to choose from. No matter what your preferences however, you’re bound to have a better time on holiday with a good camping chair.

A Roll Mat or Mattress and Other Bedding

While bringing a sleeping bag might be obvious, bringing something to put underneath it might not be. Whether it’s a basic foam roll mat or something more comfortable – like an air mattress or even a camp bed – you want something to provide a little padding or insulation. This isn’t just because the ground is hard and uncomfortable to sleep on, but during the night the ground gets very cold. Insulating yourself from the ground is a big part of staying warm during the night.

Hardwick Parks is a touring park and campsite set among the beautiful parkland of Oxfordshire. If you’re looking to take your first camping holiday, there are few places better to start! With an onsite bar, fishing and watersports lake, there’s so much to do in and around Hardwick Parks. Click here to learn more or to book a stay with us.

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