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The ultimate camping checklist


Camping gear. Photo by cdamian (Flickr)

So, you’ve picked your campsite and you’re all set to get away for a well-earned holiday (be that taking the kids camping, setting off in a motorhome or heading out to the middle of nowhere for a wild camping break). And yet, there still lies ahead the daunting task of packing for a camping trip… how on earth are you going to remember all the bits you need to be self-sufficient for several days and nights?

With the Pitchup ultimate camping checklist, that’s how. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced camper that’s been caught out before, our handy list of what to take camping should see you sorted…


Tent and sleeping equipment

Tent – get out from storage a few days in advance to air it, and check it's all still in working order (and that you can remember how to put up a tent…)

Tent pegs and mallet/hammer

Sleeping bag(s)


Extra blankets (if you're a chilly type)


Air mattress (and air pump)

Tent windsock or marker


Stove – with extra fuel

Frying pan

Saucepan with lid

Kindling or newspaper for lighting the fire

Lighter and matches

Charcoal if using a barbecue

Tin opener





Sharp knife

Chopping board

Knives, forks and spoons

Plastic beer and wine glasses

Ice chest

Ice packs

Groceries and supermarket items

Dishwashing sponges

Tea towels

Washing-up liquid


Toilet roll

Pocket tissues

Sandwich bags

Cooking oil or lard

Salt, pepper, herbs and spices



A few packets of dried ready meals, like pasta in tomato sauce or vegetable rice, that only need boiling water

Tea and coffee


Something for your first night's meal if cooking over a campfire and the shops are closed – such as potatoes for baking and tinned stew or baked beans

Snacks for all those odd in-between times/occasions you can't quite get the barbie going

Showers and washing

Baby wipes

Mini hand sanitiser gel

Travel size shampoo and conditioner

Travel size shower gel


Toothpaste and toothbrush

Comb, brush, hair clips etc



Shaving foam

Make-up bag

Towels – at least two


Insect repellent



Bandages – don't forget safety pins


After-sun cream

Lip balm




Matches – a few boxes

Gas lantern – and gas

Spare lantern fuel


Head torch

Solar or battery-powered outdoor lights


Phone charger/spare battery pack

Camera charger

Deck of cards

Travel board games


Extra toys and games for kids

Beach ball or inflatable ball


Spare carrier bags

Empty water bottles

Disposable plastic cartons with lids – will hold anything

Safety pins

Swiss army knife


Outdoor chairs

Sink plug

Clothesline and pegs

Compass and map

Extra bank card/credit card


Gaffer tape

Swimming shorts or costume



Rain gear


Hurrah – all done. But before you go, we’ve got a couple more handy hints…


Don’t overpack

That perhaps seems like a daft thing to say after we’ve just listed a whole heap of things, but the danger is in the next step – the extra one of these, the ‘ooh, that – just in case’ things. Unless you’ve got heaps of space, leave them behind. It’s a holiday, not an expedition to the moon. And here’s a handy newsflash: shops exist elsewhere, so you can always pick things up if you forget/break something.


Keep it together

Yep, it’s a bit of a faff to bring all this camping kit together, so once you’ve done it, keep it! Most of the essentials (the first aid kit, the cooking implements etc) can be kept in a big plastic box and stashed away somewhere for next time – that way you’ll be halfway there next time it comes to packing for your next camping trip.

Speaking of which… you might also want to have a little browse through our collection of tent pitches all around the world for inspiration on where to travel to next…