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What Camping Equipment Do You Need?

When you are going camping with your own tent you will need to think of virtually everything possible inside the tent to make your life as comfortable as you can, which is completely different to going to a campsite in France or other destinations that have the essentials already set up.

Some of the large campsites will be able to supply you with the tent plus the contents, which will include an electric hoop-up for a fridge, beds and cooking facilities, cutlery, etc.

But when you are organising your own camping trip with your own tent, then this is a completely different kettle of fish and you will need to make sure that you have all of the essentials but some additional extras that can make life even more comfortable.

The first thing that you need to consider is how you will be sleeping as there are numerous different options available, from the basic roll out mats, through to air beds and even the proper camping beds.  Now personally we do not like being virtually on floor and therefore opted for airbeds, which you can get in numerous different sizes and heights, and like our queen size airbed it is actually slightly higher off the ground than our normal bed at home, which definitely made for an exceedingly comfortable nights sleep!

What Camping Equipment Do You Need?
Camping Equipment

Yet many airbeds do naturally lose some air over time and therefore need to be pumped up slightly every so often to keep the desired inflation, so you need to make sure that you have a pump and the means to do this.  We utilised a 12 volt cigarette lighter socket from the car and also from an emergency power kit that we had purchased, which was also great for charging our mobiles phones, but if we had been stupid enough to drain our car battery (which we did do once before in the past) then the emergency power kit would have been able to jump start our car as well!

Ok, so you can sleep, but next you have to think about eating.  Yes, rather important, as we wouldn't last long otherwise unless we opt for the expense of eating out every day, but then we still need to think about making a cup of coffee!  The first thing needed is of course the cooker.  Now you certainly will not be having an oven, but you can have a hob and even a grill.  Gas bottles power most of the camping cookers, but you can also get one that is powered by petrol.  We actually have both types and the petrol fuelled Coleman cooker works just as well as the gas fuelled cooker, although the Coleman does not have a grill.  Both of the ones we have are two burners, which we have found invaluable, as the basic one burner hob is more for one person on an overnight stay, especially for those carp fishing fanatics who just want a hot soup or quick brew during their carp fishing session.

Over the years there are many items that have been brought onto the market to make life easier and one of these is a proper cooker stand.  These come in a variety of styles from the basic one that has room on the top for the cooker itself and a shelf below through to a large cooking station like we have that has two work surfaces either side of the cooking station and also has two larder cupboards that are completely enclosed and zip up, so that no bugs can get to any of your food.  We found that having the work surfaces made cooking and preparation far easier and serving the food was also less hassle and they do collapse down, so are easy to transport.

Obviously you need pots and pans to be able to cook your food in and you can get the proper camping pots that have fold out handles and sit neatly inside each other so they pack up really small, or another option are the army mess tins that again collapse down.  But if you are thinking about cooking for a family, then like us, you will probably find that these are too small and we opted for some cheap saucepans that have a non-stick coating and are quite thin so that they heat up the contents quickly.  Also having a non-stick coating means they wash up very quickly, especially from things like baked beans!  Also we always take a cheap frying pan as well, so that we can still have things like fried eggs, omelettes, rosti, etc.

You will obviously need a kettle and again these come in various sizes, but one that has a large base and is stumpy rather than being quite high, actually boils the water a lot quicker, so you do not end up using as much gas over the time of your camping holiday.

When it comes to the kitchen utensils, you can get proper camping sets, but anything old from home will do, just remember to make sure that you have a decent tin opener with you!  The cutlery sets that are designed for camping are OK, as again they pack up really small and are convenient, but the knives are not very sharp and if you have opted to get some nice meat from the local butchers, then you could end up struggling, so we have a standard set of cheap cutlery to make life easier.

When it comes to plates the standard picnic plates are fine, but if you want something more durable you can use time and time again that will not end up with cut marks on them, then a melamine set is definitely the best option and they are also very easy to clean.

The next item you need is somewhere to sit and eat and you can get a collapsible table and chairs that are separate and these are very lightweight and come in a range of sizes.  Or you have the folding picnic tables that look like a case when closed and open up to a table and four seats, but if you have a larger family then the separates are an obvious solution yet do take up more room when you are travelling.

We have never been to a campsite in France that does not have facilities for washing up and even doing a quick bit of hand washing, but we always take a washing up bowl to put all the dirty dishes in straight away after we have finished our meal.  And although we have never bothered, you can get proper stands that a bowl will sit in and has a space as a drainer, which could be quite useful if you only have a limited amount of cups etc and want to wash up something quickly to re-use it!

Before we finish this, we thought we had better mention one more thing that we found a necessity and that was having a cool box.  We say cool box, because the first time we went camping, we used a cool bag as we thought it would be more convenient for travelling or taking out for a picnic, but we were camping in a forest and ended up having holes in the bottom where little animals had chewed their way through trying to get to the contents!

So a cool box is definitely the right choice and you can get these in all manner of sizes, but bear in mind the larger it is, the more ice packs needed to keep the contents cool.  But instead of using ice packs, in some of the places we have been camping in France, they have had the facility of providing frozen water in bottles.  This is a great way to keep your food cold, especially with items like margarine, but because it is also proper bottled drinking water, as it defrosts it is great for those refreshing cold drinks on a hot summers day and the bottled water in France and Spain is a lot cheaper than it is within the UK.

Camping Equipment You Need

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