Any camping trip you make with your family will be an education, and invariably every time you camp you will pick up some tips from the people camping around you that you will file away to remember for your next outing. There will always be a number of camping essentials that you really cannot live without. Here are Ladram Bay’s top seven suggestions to get you going.
Rubber wine glasses
Obviously when we’re camping, especially with a family, we forgo glass, and yet when space is at a premium, the last thing you need is lots of hard plastic everywhere. However, plastic tends to be rigid and when it gets squashed it invariably breaks. Investing in rubber glasses is a great idea. They don’t break if you drop them and you can squash them in order to store them. If you’re taking your children with you these are perfect for holding their squash, juice or fizzy drinks too.
A woolly hat is just made for campers everywhere. Primarily it helps cover up those awful hair days – when the campsite showers have failed to rinse the conditioner out of your hair – or you’ve spent too long on a windswept coast. Besides covering up horrendous hairdos and cold ears however, they are perfect accessories to help keep you warm in bed. Regardless of whether you’re a duvet or a sleeping bag camper, wearing a hat to bed will ensure that the uppermost part of you keeps cosy too so bag a beanie and bung it on your bonce.
First Aid Kit
We’re of the mind that it’s better to be prepared rather than to hoof it, so a first aid kit is an obvious essential camping resource. You can buy first aid kits from most pharmacies or online or you can personalise your own. Simply buy a waterproof bag (a toiletries bag would be fine) and fill it with plasters, bandages, antiseptic cream, adhesive tape, diarrhoea rehydration sachets, bite and sting cream and perhaps allergy tablets (such as Piriton), spare inhalers or other family medication – but do of course remember to keep any tablets out of the reach of your children.
You might look like a complete geek but a head torch is a definite camping essential for family camping trips. Picture the scenario – it’s eleven at night and you have one child who has vomited and another who wants to visit the loo. You have to take both of them, a towel, shower gel, toothbrush and clean clothing to the shower block and getting there requires navigating a bumpy field in the pitch black. You will worship your head torch! Alternatively it’s great if you’re playing cards with no other means of lighting available.
Zip lock bags
While any plastic bag that you acquire from a supermarket will come in handy while you’re camping, the joy of zip lock bags is that they secure your items, you can see into them and they come in a variety of sizes. You can keep maps in them if you’re going out in the bad weather, or you can keep matches in small ones to save them from getting damp.
As you will not have access to running water, every time you need to wash your hands or wipe anything down you will find yourself in a quandary. Baby wipes (or their equivalent) are a brilliant camping essential. You can mop up small spillages, wipe down tables, wipe out mugs and beakers, clean down other surfaces, smarten up children’s faces or even attack your own mucky feet before you get into bed.
Bedside Storage Caddy
There’s nothing worse than waking up in the night and not being able to find your water, mobile phone, tissues or your torch because they’ve rolled away. Having something like this bedside storage caddy is the perfect solution, although any waterproof, semi-solid bag would do. Keep all of your essentials safely tucked up right next to you for instant access when the occasion demands it.