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Camping Essentials List

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Camping Essentials List

Camping for first timers may seem like a daunting prospect. Especially when it comes to deciding what camping gear essentials to take. But fear not! Here is a guide to the camping gear essentials for first timers. Leaving you less time to worry about packing and more time planning your camping trip activities.


First things first is you're going to need somewhere to sleep. The type of tent you pick completely depends on where you plan on camping, whether you’re travelling by car or public transport and whether you feel confident enough as a first timer to tackle a tent with poles. From pop up tents, to family tents with a gazebo or a canvas tent, be sure to do your research. Always check your tent will be suitable for the weather conditions in the place you are camping and be sure to get a tent that fits you (any friends or family you may be bringing) plus all your camping essentials too.

Sleeping Gear

Simple stuff really. You’ll need a sleeping bag, a pillow and also a mattress or role mat for the floor and a sleeping bag liner can also be useful. For those looking for a little more comfort when camping you may decide that an air mattress is best. But for those looking for ease of setting up their tent and less luggage a roll up floor mat may be the choice for you. When it comes to selecting a sleeping bag it is best to get a good quality bag that covers all weather eventualities. You don’t want to be shivering if the temperature drops or sweating once the some comes out!

Campsite Games

A deck of cards or some travel sized board games makes for an essential piece of camping gear for first timers. You may find yourself with a few hours or two to keep yourself occupied. Plus, they make for a great opportunity to make friends with your fellow campers too.

Cooking Items

This is completely dependent on how much cooking you decide to do during your camping trip. For those looking to make the most basic of meals and also a cup of tea or two, the absolute basic essential items you are going to need are as follows:

  • Portable cooking stove (with gas cannisters too)
  • Mess tins and cutlery
  • Kettle and mugs
  • One pan
  • Chopping knives
  • Plus sponge and detergent to wash it all up!

Obviously if you don’t plan on cooking at all, you may leave some (or all) of the above at home. Alternatively, those who are keen cookers may decide to pack a few more of each item plus some BBQ items too.


You may think a torch isn’t an essential item to pack for camping, but you can’t always rely on your phone being available, so be sure to bring your own. Plus any spare batteries you may need too. A head torch can really come in handy for keeping in your tent off a night and for navigating your way around the campsite. Campsites aren’t usually well lit at night and you’ll need it to avoid those pesky tent ropes.

First Aid Kit

You never know what may crop up when you go camping, so it’s always best to be prepared. A camping first aid kit can handle the likes of blisters, splinters and other small scratches and cuts. Plus the scissors that are provided may come in handy during your camping trip too.

Travel Bottles and Mugs

Absolutely essential when camping (or for any type of trip really) is a re-usable travel bottle. You’ll cut back on single use plastics during your camping trip, plus you’ll always be sure to have water to hand whilst camping with these items.

Quick Drying Towel

The final camping gear essential for first timers would have to be a quick drying towel. They’re lightweight, compact and as the name suggest, quick drying. Making them the perfect bit of gear to take camping with you. Whether it’s your first- or fortieth-time camping!

By Sage Fitzpatrick Sage - Fitzpatrick is a travel blogger currently living in London. She can be found drinking tea, reading and traveling the world. When she’s not travelling, she spends her time blogging about her travels over at A Virtual Postcard.

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