Before any hardy campers get too far ahead of themselves, let us clear a few things up. This is not about proving your ability in true Bear Grylls style; jumping off waterfalls, eating snakes and drinking your own urine. Leave your pride at home. Upgrades in camping equipment have made roughing it, well… not so rough. Grylls, take note.
We’ve honed in on the 10 most essential camping tools, to ensure safety once you’ve wandered into the wild.
1) Don’t forget the wellies. The humble wellington is a life saver when it comes to camping in muddy conditions. Even in the midst of the summer you can never be too sure what the British weather will throw at you. Kit out your fellow campers with a sturdy pair of wellies or if you’d prefer walking boots, go for a rubber sole to prevent water leakage.
2) Think before you pitch. Have a good look around before pitching to ensure you have everything you need close by. Toilets are often forgotten by the rough and ready camper. But come midnight, when you reeeeally need to go, you’ll be thankful of a toilet block or even a bush hidden from sight. Once you’ve found a suitable place, find a flat area to pitch, but try to avoid low lying areas that may become ponds or rivers if it rains.
3) Make a list. Even the most seasoned campers forget the simplest tools. Toilet roll, wipes, cutlery, pillows and insect repellent all make life more pleasant, yet are forgotten.
4) Bath time. While getting muddy is all part of the experience, it’s time for
a wash when you can’t identify your campmates under the layers of grime. Pack a
few buckets to fill with water, soap and a water gun if you really want to let
5) Stay warm at night. When the sun goes down, there’s only one thing standing between you and a peaceful night’s sleep – aside from the suspect noises, poking and sniffing around your tent - that’s insulation keeping you warm at night. An extra duvet or blanket over your airbed can make all the difference. Bring lots of thick socks, hats, and thermals to make you feel at home without being uncomfortable.
6) Rucksack. There are lots of fancy bits adorning rucksacks these days, but none of them are worth considering. To be honest, as long as it fits in all the essentials needed and is comfortable to carry, then you’re on to a winner. Longer trips will probably need a bigger bag for extra food and fuel.
7) Garbage bags. Perhaps the most commonly forgotten, garbage bags are actually one of the most important items when camping. Of course they can be used for the disposal of waste, but are remarkably versatile. Almost weightless and extremely transportable, try packing your clothes in a bin liner then put them safe in your rucksack for protection.
8) Don’t get lost. Even the most seasoned camper can get lost. Without mobile reception in the middle of a wood, it can be terrifying. It’s possible to find your way home, or at least get help, but why risk it? Maps fold up to just about anything and can fit in your back pocket. Be sure to grab a map of your location and enjoy a stress free trip.
9) First aid kit. It only takes one slip up to cause an injury. Branches can be sharp, rocks can be slippery, and trials can be rocky. Be prepared for the worst case scenario with a fully functioning first aid kit.
10) Luxuries. If you’ve been good about keeping the weight down, you should have room for a treat or two. Some decent chocolate is always a winner, or if coffee is your thing, you could take a metal or plastic cafétière. Don’t go mad, but do enjoy yourself.