The British camping season is now truly upon us, offering inexpensive holidays under canvas.
Here are 25 bits of kit that will make your life a lot easier, whether you’re cooking, foraging, hiking, or relaxing under the stars.
It goes without saying that you’ll need a decent tent if you’re planning on sleeping in a field.
My personal favourites are Khyam tents. They come in a wide range of sizes and styles and are generally quick and easy to erect. You may pay a bit more but you can usually find them on special offer, and they’ll last a long time.
2. Camp Camping Chef Stove
Realise the joys of cooking outside with a compact camping stove like this one from Campingaz. It’s got room for two pans and can even grill toast.
3. 24 LED camping light
LED lamps push out a lot of brightness without using up huge amounts of power, so you’ll be able to see what you’re doing as night falls.
4. 12 LED wind up lantern
This wind up lantern means you’ll never have to worry about running out of batteries. Simply wind up to recharge it then hang it in the tent.
5. Inflatable Chair
OK, we had to get at least one inflatable piece of furniture in to the list. Just watch that it doesn’t blow away.
6. Wind up torch
This wind up torch will ensure you can go exploring (or trying to find the toilet) without tripping over tree roots and bushes. Again, no batteries to worry about.
7. 12V socket air bed inflator
If you’ve got your car with you on site, don’t waste time using a manual foot pump to inflate those air beds. Use this automatic inflator to quickly pump them up.
8. Portable cool box
There’s nothing worse than waking up to gone-off milk because you couldn’t keep it cold. This portable cool box is powered from your car’s 12V socket and has a 35 litre capacity.
9. Magfire Pro Fire Starter
Forget soggy matches or cigarette lighters. The Magfire Pro Fire Starter is the stylish way to start that camp fire.
It produces A 3,000˚ hot spark and will last for 3,000 strikes.
10. Remote Control camping lantern
This remote control camping lantern requires batteries but more than redeems itself by allowing you to lazily turn it on and off via remote control. Who says home convenience has to be left at home?
11. Electronic bug killer
Banish those irritating mozzys and other flying critters with this electronic bug killer. The ultra violet light attracts all flying bugs up to 100 square feet (let’s hope it doesn’t suddenly stop working once they’ve arrived otherwise you’ll be eaten alive).
12. Pocket Hand Warmer
You just know camping in Britain is going to bring its unfair share of cold, damp weather, so what better way to warm up the extremities than with this pocket hand warmer.
Stays hot for around six hours.
13. Portable digital aerial kit
When you just have to keep up to date with the latest TV even when enjoying the great outdoors, this portable aerial is for you. Might look a little less strange on a caravan than a tent, but then if needs must.
Wideband to cover the whole UHF spectrum, it comes with 5m of coaxial cable and has 10 elements including reflector.
14. Portable BBQ grill
Yes, you can buy a “BBQ in a bucket” but why skimp on quality when you can get the Grill N Go Portable BBQ Grill?
Dual gas controls offer a full range of cooking temperatures, while heat-resistant side handles allow it to be easily and safely moved. It features non-stick cooking surfaces and even has a central light so you can still see what you’re doing when it gets dark.
15. Professional Sighting Compass
For the serious orienteers and ramblers among you, this
professional compass will ensure you stay on the right track.
Features include a notched bezel with self-cleaning effect, adjustable declination correction scale, sighting hole in mirror with luminous points and built in clinometer.
16. Toilet / Utility Tent
I’ll be honest: I’ve never taken a portable toilet tent on a camping holiday, but if you’ve got the room and it’s important to you, why not?
17. Wind Up Phone Charger
You know you’re going to be deeply upset when your mobile phone runs out of charge two days into your expedition, so use the
wind up torch and phone charger to revive it. It has adapters for most phones.
18. Portable Cooler/Warmer
We’ve already featured a large fridge, but this compact unit can also be used to warm up items.
19. Self Heating Meals in a Can
When you really can’t be bothered to get the stove going, why not have some of these self heating meals on hand?
They heat up in 10-15 minutes and then stay hot for 45 minutes. Maybe not Cordon Bleu, but this is camping.
No camping equipment list is complete without a multifunction penknife. You can even get a personalised engraving on this one.
Comes with 11 functions including corkscrew, knife, screwdriver, scissors, saw, nail file and bottle opener.
21. Tent speaker
No need to skimp on playing your tunes with this tent speaker built in Ethylene Vinyl Acetate foam with flat panel speakers using NXT technology. Accepts any device with a standard 3.5mm audio jack.
22. Wind up radio
Another hand-powered device, the compact wind up radio and torch gives AM and FM radio reception, with up to 20 minutes of play from 90 seconds of winding.
23. Solar Shower
The solar shower: a great concept, the only problem being the line “allow the sun to heat the water”. Given our usual British summers, you could end up having a few cold showers under this.
24. Multifunction Watch
The Suunto Core Watch offers a wealth of functions for the serious outdoor explorer, including altimeter, barometer, compass, storm alarm, sunrise/set times, compass and logbook. It tells the time, too.
25. Electronic Fly Catcher
Banish those pesky, pooh-loving flies with the electronic fly catcher. Makes a great game when you’re bored, too.
So there you are. Those are my suggestions for a great camping experience. What gear would you add?