I’ve Got the Tent – What Else Do I Need?
If you’ve just got yourself a tent and aren’t sure what else you need, read this article. It’ll tell you what camping gear you need before your first camping expedition.
A Sleeping Bag
If you are camping in very warm weather, you might not need a sleeping bag, but even in warm countries nights can quickly get cold. An alternative to a sleeping bag is to use some bedding from home, but this will take up more space than a sleeping bag. The best ones are filled with down, but they are expensive and don’t insulate when wet through. Hollow synthetic fibre types are the next best thing, and are cheaper and insulate when wet. They vary in thickness depending on how cold the nights are likely to be, with thicker bags best for colder temperatures. Personal choice also comes into it, as some people feel the cold more than others.
These are usually made from closed cell foam, and fold or roll up for transporting. They can make a huge difference to warmth when used beneath your sleeping bag, and help to make the ground more comfortable.
Inflatable Mattress Or Self-Inflating Mat
Inflatable or self-inflating mattresses make sleeping a lot more comfortable. As their name suggests, self-inflating types don’t need pumping up. Inflatable types will need a hand-operated or foot-operated air pump, or electrical air pump if you have an electrical supply from a vehicle or the site.
Utensils For Cooking And Eating
If you don’t mind cold food, you won’t need any cooking gear. Some sites allow fires, and it’s possible to cook on these, but more often you will need a camping stove. These can be powered by several different fuels, just make sure you take enough fuel or can buy the right type where you are camping. Some small stoves can be unstable with a pan on them, and this could cause injury if hot food or liquids fell off the stove. Try to get a stable one for the extra safety it provides.
There are many types of pans available in camping shops, just don’t take too many with you as it’s surprising how few you need to get by. You can also eat straight from the pan if you want to keep the amount of gear you take to a minimum. Lightweight cutlery is also available from camping shops, and you might also need a cup for drinks.
Most camp sites get very dark at night, so don’t forget to take a torch. Head torches are very useful, leaving both hands free to cook, read, pitch the tent etc.