7 essential items you need for camping in 2017

By February 17, 2017

Thinking about what to pack when we go camping is always tricky, and there is always something we forget.

But, no worries, if you’re planning an adventure this year we’ve got you covered with our list of 7 essential items you need for camping in 2017.

Camping tent in the top of mountain in the morning


Pretty damn essential you would have thought and surely something none of us would forget.

You’d be surprised.  I’m sure there has been more than one less than happy camper who has pulled up to a site sans tent.

However, assuming you will remember to pack the thing, you do need to make sure last year’s tent is still in good repair and fit for purpose.

Maybe it’s time to invest in a new model or maybe the family has grown so you need a bigger tent?  A handy tip is always to take a bigger tent than you need so you have plenty of space to store extra gear.

If you do need a new tent check out our recommended picks here.

Camping without a tent in the UK means one thing, you are going to get wet. The only time I camped without a tent was in Kenya and still, one night got wet.

Plugged womans ear for protection.

Ear plugs

Possibly not something you would put on the essentials list but, after an invigorating day’s hiking, you will want a good night’s rest.

Unfortunately, unless you are in the wilderness, it is more than likely your campsite will be shared by others whose nocturnal habits may not correspond with your own.

The group of lads splitting six packs until three in the morning, the family with noisy kids who run around screaming all night or the couple with a dog which insists on yapping until dawn.  Annoyances we’ve all experienced and which can be negated somewhat with a good pair of ear plugs. You can pick up a pair for less than a £1 here.

If you need your beauty sleep then these are a must for you.

Beautiful view of dark forest at night lit by old gas lamp


After your tent probably the most important piece of kit you need for any camping trip.

A source of light, whether it is a handheld torch or head torch, is vital for keeping yourself safe on the trail after dark or even for finding your way to the loo during the night.

Your torch will also come in useful for finding equipment or to help you see well when cooking or reading.

Don’t forget to test your torch before setting out and make sure you have plenty of spare batteries in your pack. You can see a great range of torches here at Amazon Amazon or from the Family tent store.

group of cheering hikers jumping in a sleeping bags on the seaside

Sleeping bag

You need to keep warm during the night and, depending on where in the world you are, even summer nights can be very chilly. If you are unsure which bag to purchase check out our handy sleeping bag guide.

Make sure your sleeping bag is in good repair and has a temperature rating a little lower than the expected temperatures – just to be on the safe side.

Remember, for colder nights the snugger fitting the bag the better. A larger sleeping bag is less efficient as it has dead air.  Conversely, a looser fitting bag is better for warmer temperatures.

Making sure your sleeping bag is the right season bag is crucial. Heading to a campsite in the middle of winter, even if its good for your health could make you quite ill and have the opposite effect. You will need a 4 season bag, whereas in the summer you can get away with a 2 season bag.

close up of a garbage bag on white background with clipping path

Bin bags

The marines never leave a man behind, and you should never leave any litter behind.

Take plenty of bin bags with you and make sure you bag all your rubbish to either take home or to dispose of at the site if they have the facilities.

Using separate bags for food waste and recyclables will make it easier for you do your thing for the environment when you dispose of the rubbish.

If you don’t have any lying around your house, you can always purchase some just for camping here, but you wouldn’t want to turn up to a campsite and have to clear the last groups rubbish so don’t do it for other. Leave the site how you would like to find it.


A person wrapping his friends injured arm in gauze

First aid kit

A small first aid kit you can store in your backpack when out hiking can, quite literally, save you a world of pain.

A small supply of bandages, antiseptic spray and sticking plasters are invaluable for dressing minor wounds after a mishap on the trail or in the tent.

This is one of the main people forget to take (myself included) and you sometimes don’t even realise it’s not there until it’s needed, which isn’t great. Especially if you are wild camping or the campsite is pretty basic and remote. They can be purchased so cheaply and well worth the investment. For the best deals click here.

Yawning chihuahua dog sitting near camping tent at sunny meadow

Your dog

A surprising item for some perhaps, and I appreciate not all of you are able to lay your hands on a canine at short notice but, for the dog owners out there, taking your pooch camping is a brilliant experience.

You and you four-legged chum will have a great time exploring trails and hiking together.

So there you go, our 7 essential items you need for camping in 2017 to ensure your trip is a success. If you are now in the mood for camping and have all the gear but not sure where to stay, check out our guide to the UK best campsites in 2017.


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