The ultimate family camping
trip essentials

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Staycations and camping trips are on the rise in a post-lockdown world, and here at intu we’re pretty excited about this as we love the great outdoors. There’s something special about switching off from our tech-filled, busy daily lives, and spending quality time exploring the outdoors on a family camping trip.

We’ve rounded up a camping checklist of essentials, tips and ideas to make your staycation this summer your best holiday yet!

Camping Essentials

camp chair in front of tent

Make sure you create a camping checklist before packing for the trip, so that you remember everything you need to take to make it a success.We’ve listed some essentials for camping below, plus a few items you may not have thought about that will make camping life so much easier.

The tent

Picking the right tent might seem tricky, with so many different brands, styles and features to choose from. The most important thing to get right is the size. Think about what you’ll be using your tent for to decide the best size to go for. For example if you’ll just be sleeping there, or if you’d like room for a bit of living space too if you’re going camping for a bit longer? Once you’ve found the perfect tent, don’t forget to bring some items to make it feel extra cosy and homely.

We recommend packing:

  • A mallet for securing the tent pegs
  • Dustpan and brush (to keep your temporary home spotless)
  • Sleeping bag, pillows and extra blankets
  • Air bed and pump
  • A torch and spare batteries (so you can see when it gets dark)

Travel Tableware

Camping mug and glasses on table

If you’re planning on doing a bit of campfire cooking on your trip, don’t forget to pack some essentials like plates, bowls, knives and forks, and travel mugs. If you’re not so skilled in building campfires, why not cheat and take a portable camping stove (we won’t tell). Remember to bring the following items to make life easier.

We recommend packing:

  • Lots of water – for cooking and drinking
  • A lighter or matches
  • Bottle opener
  • Teabags

Clothes for all weather

Person wearing hunter wellies on grass

Being prepared for all weather is essential when planning a camping trip in the UK including wellies. Make sure you pack plenty spares of everything and even better, leave a few bits in the car in case your tent gets soaked in a rainstorm.

We recommend packing:

  • Warm pyjamas (it can get freezing at night, even in the summer)
  • Extra socks
  • Swimwear
  • A hat

Toiletries

Just because you’re camping, that doesn’t mean you can’t have your favourite toiletries to hand, you can buy mini versions of almost everything to keep fresh and clean during your trip. As well as all your favourites, we’ve got the following essentials we recommend taking too.

We recommend packing:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Spare toilet roll 
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit

Campside entertainment

Little girl on shoulders with fingers around her eyes

A trip away to the great outdoors sounds like an ideal way to switch off for a week, but what happens when the kids get bored? Make sure to bring plenty of games and activities to keep them busy while you relax. Remember a few games to play inside the tent too, in case it’s a washout, it is the UK after all. Browse our list of other camping friendly games here to inspire you for your trip.

We recommend packing:

  • A power bank
  • Playing cards
  • Your favourite book or magazine
  • Binoculars – for stargazing or wildlife spotting!

Camping food

Sausages being cooked on a camp stove

Exploring the great outdoors is sure to work up an appetite. Even putting up the tent can be a tiresome task. Make sure to take lots of snacks, meals, and drinks to keep your energy up.

Why not pre-cook a few meals at home before you go, so it’s quicker to heat up when you’re there. This will free up more time for entertainment and spending time together as a family. Check out our following suggestions for tasty camping food you need to have on your trip.

Making s’mores

S’mores are an American campfire classic. Transform your toasted marshmallows into a real tasty treat to enjoy around the campfire. These are not only delicious but fun to make too.

Ingredients:

  • Rich tea biscuits (two per s’more)
  • Marshmallows (two per s’more)
  • Milk chocolate (a couple of bars of your favourite)

Method:

  1. Take your biscuit and place a square of chocolate on top, pop this on a plate while you wait
  2. Take a marshmallow and toast over the campfire using a skewer until crisp on the outside and melted in the middle
  3. Carefully place your marshmallow on top of the chocolate
  4. Using another biscuit, press down on the marshmallow, creating a sandwich and allowing you to remove the skewer safely
  5. Take a big bite of your delicious toasted s’more!

Warning: This requires an adult’s supervision to toast the s’mores and little ones should not try this on their own.

Cooking up an easy camping breakfast

Camping breakfast equipment laid out

A one-pot wonder is perfect for breakfast time around the campfire and feeding the family before a day of exploring. This recipe will save you time, lots of washing up and go down a treat with the whole family!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin of beans
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Eggs (one per person)
  • Chipolata sausages (two per person)
  • BBQ sauce
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:

  1. Fry the sausages in the pan until fully cooked
  2. Add in the tin of beans and the tomatoes, bring to the boil
  3. Stir in a dollop of BBQ sauce
  4. Crack the eggs on top and allow to simmer without stirring until eggs are cooked
  5. Take off the fire, and season with salt and pepper (You could sprinkle on some fresh herbs for extra flavour)
  6. Let the family dig in straight from the pot, no fighting over the last sausage!

Need more BBQ inspo? Check out our top tips for hosting the perfect one this summer.

Responsible camping

Two tents in woods with sun shining

Camping is great fun but can make a bit of a mess. Be sure to respect the beautiful surroundings by making sure you leave no trace of your visit after your stay.

  • Take plenty of bin bags to pack up any litter and food waste
  • Use a designated area for setting a campfire, or BBQ to prevent the land being damaged
  • Take tin foil or lunch boxes to bring home any leftover food
  • Invest in some reusable cutlery and plates rather than using disposable items, you can re-use them in the garden or at picnics in the future!

Running out of ways to stay entertained at home? We’ve been rounding up a whole host of ideas and tips to recreate your favourite leisure experiences at home over the lockdown period, check them out here.

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