After packing all our equipment and gear and excitedly heading out to spend a night under the stars, arriving at camp to find an essential item has been left behind can put a dampener on things. Something as small as your cup for your morning coffee to forgetting your matches, we have all been there at some point.
Whether you are heading to a designated campsite with all your creature comforts or trekking into the wild with only the basics, we want to help make your camping trip as successful and as comfortable as it can be.
Camping lists vary depending on the time of year, length of your trip and your planned location. This isn’t a list of the more obvious items as nobody would forget their tent, sleeping mattress or stove, right? Instead, these items are those that don’t necessarily spring to mind, but are definitely ones you do not want to forget.
This one is at the top for a very good reason. It is that time of year when midges are having the time of their lives, looking for prey to devour and calling all their friends to join the party. Dropping your bag and declaring it a perfect spot for pitching, can turn into you running like a creature from the wild flapping one arm across your face and the other holding your opened pack and what belongings you could grab in your haste in less than 20 seconds flat. Lifesystems Midge DEET Free Repellent will provide the effective protection you need in all environments. As well as repellent sprays, mosquito coils are ideal for lighting at camp to keep those unwanted flying guests away. Combined with wearing long sleeved shirts, trousers and a mosquito and midge head net, you can enjoy your time outdoors whatever the season.
Other items to keep in your bug kit are a tick removal tool to remove ticks quickly and safely, anti-histamine tablets for any reactions to bites or stings and a Lifesystems Bite and Sting Relief Roll-On which provides that much needed soothing relief from not just insect bites, but bee and nettles stings too.
It might seem like an obvious one, but frequently overlooked is water. Depending on where you choose to camp you may not have access to clean water, or any water at all. The mistake often happens when taking enough to last the day, but then finding it is warmer than expected and you need more, or forgetting to take enough to cook your evening meal or for your hot morning beverage. Collapsible water containers such as a Platy® Water Tank are ideal to store and carry water to camp for drinking, cooking, cleaning and brushing your teeth. There are also a number of devices available for cleaning water available on the market, but if you do not want that initial outlay or extra weight the simplest method would be to take Lifesystems Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets or Droplets.
First Aid Kit
The unexpected happens outdoors, so something never to leave behind is a first aid kit. Which is why we list here the Lifesystems Camping First Aid Kit. Not only does it contains items for treating and preventing infection in burns, cuts, grazes, blisters and other minor injuries, it also contains one of the most useful items to take with you on any expedition…duct tape! Ideal for on the go repairs to tents, air mattresses, sleeping bag tears, pack rips and even temporarily fixing hiking boots.
Camp Shoes & Spare Socks
It might seem like a good idea to save a little weight by using the same pair of hiking boots or shoes for the whole camping trip, but throw in a rainy day hiking, or walking through mud, and you will be very grateful for an extra pair of shoes or socks to wear specifically at camp. A simple pair of flip-flops or Crocs are not only lightweight, but also allow your feet to air out and recover from a day spent on your feet and that extra pair of socks will feel like the most luxurious item you own.
No camping trip would be complete without a reliable head torch to keep your hands free as you set up camp, cook dinner or simply relax in the comfort of your sleeping bag whilst reading your favourite book. Choose one with a red light like the Lifesystems Intensity 280 LED Head Torch to not only preserve night vision, but to prevent disturbing your camping companions.
Electronics are great, until you find you have forgotten to replace or charge the drained battery. So don’t forget to pack those spare batteries or a power back for those rechargeable devices (and the required cables!).
Good hygiene practice is essential when out in nature. Hand sanitisers come in small travel sized bottles and work well when clean running water isn’t available for washing your hands. Lifeventure Dry Body Wash is a favourite as the Aloe Vera is a much nicer smell than the heavy alcohol smelling versions, but there are plenty available.
If toilet facilities are not included on your camping trip, adhering to the Leave No Trace principles to keep nature as it should be will require a little cathole digging. Instead of struggling trying to use tent poles or sticks, a lightweight and durable trowel such as the Deuce of Spades is ideal - just don’t forget the toilet paper!
You have all your food prepared for cooking. Plates, utensils, stove and fuel canister are all at the ready. Then you realise you are destined to a night of eating trail mix and a morning with only cold coffee to get you through the day as you picture your lighter or matches sitting in the drawer at home. One of the most enjoyable elements of camping is eating outdoors, so make sure to keep something tucked in with your stove at all times. The new windproof and rechargeable Lifesystems Plasma Lighter is perfect for lighting gas stoves and camp fires. You might also need to carry out your own kindling and logs if you are in a campsite or an area that allows campfires, as they are not always provided or accessible.
Although getting away from technology might be one reason for heading out on a camping trip, smartphones will still be carried for navigation or emergency situations. So why not use them to enhance the experience! Taking along a tripod such as the GorillaPod® Mobile Mini allows you to set up your phone to take group photographs or have fun making a time-lapse of camp life or the clouds.
Finally to give yourself the best night sleep at a busy campsite, or in the mountains on a bleak and windy night, earplugs are a must. Keep them in your sleeping bag pocket so you always have them close to hand.
What items have you left behind that we have missed out? Share below to help others not suffer the same misfortune!