7 essential items you need for camping

Thinking about what to pack when we go camping is always tricky, and there is always something we forget. 


But, no worries, if you’re planning an adventure this year we’ve got you covered with our list of 7 essential items you need for camping in 2020.


Pretty damn essential you would have thought and surely something none of us would forget. 

You’d be surprised.  I’m sure there has been more than one less than happy camper who has pulled up to a site sans tent.

However, assuming you will remember to pack the thing, you do need to make sure last year’s tent is still in good repair and fit for purpose.

Maybe it’s time to invest in a new model or maybe the family has grown so you need a bigger tent?  A handy tip is always to take a bigger tent than you need so you have plenty of space to store extra gear.

If you do need a new tent check out our recommended picks here.

Ear plugs

Possibly not something you would put on the essentials list but, after an invigorating day’s hiking, you will want a good night’s rest.

Unfortunately, unless you are in the wilderness, it is more than likely your campsite will be shared by others whose nocturnal habits may not correspond with your own.

The group of lads splitting six packs until three in the morning, the family with noisy kids who run around screaming all night or the couple with a dog which insists on yapping until dawn.  Annoyances we’ve all experienced and which can be negated somewhat with a good pair of ear plugs.


After your tent probably the most important piece of kit you need for any camping trip.

A source of light, whether it is a handheld torch or head torch, is vital for keeping yourself safe on the trail after dark or even for finding your way to the loo during the night.

Your torch will also come in useful for finding equipment or to help you see well when cooking or reading.

Don’t forget to test your torch before setting out and make sure you have plenty of spare batteries in your pack.

Sleeping bag

You need to keep warm during the night and, depending on where in the world you are, even summer nights can be very chilly.

Make sure your sleeping bag is in good repair and has a temperature rating a little lower than the expected temperatures – just to be on the safe side.

Remember, for colder nights the snugger fitting the bag the better. A larger sleeping bag is less efficient as it has more dead air.  Conversely, a looser fitting bag is better for warmer temperatures.

Bin bags

The marines never leave a man behind, and you should never leave any litter behind. 

Take plenty of bin bags with you and make sure you bag all your rubbish to either take home or to dispose of at the site if they have the facilities.

Using separate bags for food waste and recyclables will make it easier for you do your thing for the environment when you dispose of the rubbish.

First aid kit

A small first aid kit you can store in your backpack when out hiking can, quite literally, save you a world of pain.

A small supply of bandages, antiseptic spray and sticking plasters are invaluable for dressing minor wounds after a mishap on the trail or in the tent.

Your dog

A surprising item for some perhaps, and I appreciate not all of you are able to lay your hands on a canine at short notice but, for the dog owners out there, taking your pooch camping is a brilliant experience.

You and you four-legged chum will have a great time exploring trails and hiking together.

So there you go, our 7 essential items you need for camping in 2020 to ensure your trip is a success.

What’s on your essential list? Let us know in the comments below.

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