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Camping Essentials

Camping Essentials



Camping firepit by a lake


Camping Essentials Checklist

Whether you’re going camping or to a festival with family, friends or on your own, make sure to take the very essential supplies and equipment that will make your outdoor adventure a bit more comfortable.


Having a camping checklist is important because it helps you remember everything you need to bring on your trip and ensures that you don’t forget anything important. It also helps you stay organized and saves time when packing and unpacking.


Most campsites provide picnic tables, a space to park your car and a spot to pitch your tent. Some places have shared bathrooms and running water. Check these points before traveling.


Here at UK Camping and Leisure we have a comprehensive range of items for the new or for the more experienced camper.


Our camping and glamping essentials checklist covers a wide range of items to make your stay fun and comfortable. You will notice we have added a few extras, although they’re not necessary, they can make your camping feel more like glamping!


Check each item as you pack to make sure you don’t leave anything behind and write down extras items you might need.


 Download our handy printable camping check list here


Essentials Checklist


Campsite basics

  • Tent. If possible, choose a bigger berth than the number of people sharing the space, this will add extra room for either entertaining or for extra storage.
  • Tent pegs. Choose your pegs according to the terrain you’ll be camping on. A few extra pegs will always come in handy in case of unexpected conditions.
  • Mallet. A rubber mallet will help you stake your pegs and tent into place.
  • Sleeping bags. When it comes to sleeping bags there are plenty of options, from adult sleeping suits to luxurious feather filled sleeping bags. You’ll be sleeping away from home for a few days, so it makes sense to choose a comfortable one.
  • Pillows and blankets. You can’t go wrong with taking extra pillows and blankets if you have the extra storage space.
  • Torch or lamp.
  • Camping chairs.
  • Camping table. Some campsites provide camping tables, so check before you travel.
  • Portable toilet. Some campsites have toilets available, but sometimes it is handy to have your own portable toilet, especially when you’re camping with young children or if you don’t want to leave your tent during the night.

A woman standing  next to a camping tent on top of a mountain.


Campsite optional

  • Hammock. If there’s space to hang it, this will make your camping a bit more comfortable.
  • Books/reading material. You can’t go wrong with your favourite book! 
  • Board games/toys. Extra entertainment for quiet evenings.
  • Clothesline. You can either take a portable clothes dryer or use a rope tied around trees or any extra poles you might have available.
  • Portable shower. In case there’s no shower available at a particular campsite.
  • Sleeping pads. Do you need sleeping pads when camping? Well, sleeping pads play two very important roles for getting a good night's sleep in the great outdoors: cushioning and insulation. Although sleeping pads are great for cushioning, the most important use might actually be the insulation part, allowing you to stay warm during throughout the night.
  • Cot. If you’re traveling with young children, a portable and lightweight cot will be very useful. Choose one that you can easily carry and fold.
  • Electric hook up cable. This is the cable you'll need to get power to your caravan, motorhome or camping unit. Useful to plug all your low wattage appliances and comms. This will make you feel at home.


Kitchen basics. This is going to vary a lot depending on how much you plan to cook. You can prepare food in advance and pack in take away containers or you can prepare every meal from scratch if you enjoy cooking alfresco.

  • Water containers. For drinking water and washing. Be prepared to treat water if needed.
  • Stove or BBQ. When choosing a portable cooking device think about the type of fuel it uses and how you will have to clean said device. It’s also important to think about size and how portable it is. And finally, think about how long it takes to properly heat and the kind and amount of cooking you’ll be doing.
  • Fuel. Depending on your cooking device.
  • Pots and pans. To prepare and cook food.
  • Cooking utensils. Cooking scissors, knives, serving spoons, etc.
  • Cutlery and tableware. Knife, forks, spoons, bowls, plates, etc.
  • Tin/bottle opener. 
  • Kettle. From foldable to compact kettles, UK Camping and Leisure has the perfect travel kettle for you.
  • Cool box/ice packs. In case you don’t have a portable mini fridge and a hook up cable to connect the fridge. A cool box and some ice packs will be enough for a few days, you can always buy extra ice if needed.
  • Matches or lighter.
  • Drinkware. Glasses, jugs and mugs. You can always use mugs as glasses in case you’re short of space.
  • Kitchen towels.
  • Chopping boards.
  • Food containers. To store food.


A person cooking sausages on a camping grill


Glamping kitchen



  • Lightweight tops and bottoms. Depending on the season, choose short or long clothing.
  • Sleepwear.
  • Underwear.
  • Waterproof outerwear. Always be prepared for unexpected conditions. Pack lighter jackets during spring/summer and heavier jackets during the autumn/winter seasons.
  • Shoes. Pack the right shoes according to your campsite location and weather: hiking boots, wet shoes, flip flops, etc.
  • Sun/winter hat.


Couple wearing hiking boots and relaxing in a tent.


Clothing optional

  • Eyewear. Always look stylish with your favourite shades.
  • Indoor shoes. It can be flip flops or your favourite sleepers, whatever makes you feel comfortable.
  • Swimming gear. If you’re camping near the beach, a river or swimming pool don’t miss the chance to go for a quick swim!
  • Gloves/mittens. Very handy during the colder months.
  • Extra layers. Even if the weather is looking good, it might get a bit chilly during the evenings. Pack a few extra lightweight layers if you have the extra space.


Cleaning. Yes, we know you want to spend a few days enjoying the great outdoors and not thinking about cleaning, however, these are a few supplies that will keep your caravan or tent clean and tidy.

  • Washing up liquid.
  • Biodegradable wipes. Very useful around the tent.
  • Handwash.
  • Bin bags.
  • Camping sink or basin.
  • Dustpan and brush.
  • Sponges.
  • Toilet liners.


Health and hygiene. Travel size toiletries can be easily bought from most supermarkets and online stores.

  • Toilet paper. Do not forget the toilet paper!
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Deodorant/antiperspirant.
  • Shower gel or soap.
  • Conditioner and shampoo. You can buy the 2 in 1 version.
  • First aid kit. An essential item when you’re enjoying the great outdoors. Be prepared for treating small blisters and minor burns. Add some pain relief and even a fire blanket if possible.
  • Quick dry towel. These have been specially designed to speed up dry time.
  • Personal medication. Camping is a fun recreational activity, but you must remember you will be away from your house and its comforts for a few days, so make sure to pack any prescribed medication appropriately, and why not, you can also take a few over the counter meds like pain relief or antihistamines with you. A clear container will help you keep these away from dirt.
  • Sanitary items.
  • Suncream. Clouds don’t block UVA/UVB rays, always apply sunblock if you’re going to be outdoors for an extended period of time.
  • Insect repellent. And/or citronella candles, if you’re using candles, make sure to use them safely.


Health and hygiene extras

  • Moisturiser. Your hands might get dry while being outdoors, a small bottle of cream can be useful.
  • Spare eyeglasses/contact lenses supplies.
  • Cosmetics.
  • Razor and shaving cream.
  • Brush/comb.
  • Hair straighteners.


Tools and repairs

  • Rope. A simple item that can be used on multiple ways: It can be used as a clothesline, you can attach a tarp to your tent or trailer, hang a hammock, secure your luggage to your vehicle, and more!
  • Duct tape. For minor and temporary repairs.
  • Multi tool. If used appropriately, a good multi-tool can be very handy to have during unexpected situations. Choose one that’s small enough and lightweight to carry on your pocket, backpack or belt. Make sure it has the basic tools you might need when being in the outdoors, such as a knife, screwdriver, tin opener, tweezers, etc. Finally, think about being ergonomic and if it’s easy to use, you would want one that you can easily open and close with ease.
  • Extra batteries. Check what type of batteries your appliances need and bring some extra with you.
  • Extra bulbs. For your vehicle or portable lamps.
  • Shovel. Choose a light and portable mini shovel.
  • Saw or axe.
  • Mini sewing kit.


Other extras

  • Campsite booking reference (if needed). If you have booked a space at a campsite you might need to bring your booking reference with you. If you’re wild camping, make sure you have the permits necessary to camp overnight, wild camping rules in the UK are strict in order to protect the natural environment and wildlife from damage,
  • Charging cables. For your phone, portable lamps, cameras, etc.
  • Credit card or cash.
  • ID.
  • Camera.
  • Guidebooks / maps. If you’re going to a place you haven’t been before, it might be handy to have some guide books or trail maps to better plan your stay.
  • Compass.


 A couple with packing trekking backpacks and camping equipment in a car.


Having the right camping supplies can make a huge difference in the overall camping experience, ensuring that you're well-prepared and comfortable during your outdoor adventure.


Download a free printable checklist here

All you need for camping or glamping



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