There’s such a huge range of tents and camping equipment out there that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But in reality, you really don’t need much to go camping. If you’re planning on going camping for the first time, you don’t want to splash out on lots of fancy and expensive gear incase you don’t end up using it again - although we’re sure this won’t be the case once you’ve had your first night sleeping under the stars and woken up to the beautiful sound of birds singing in the trees. Just start out with the basics of a tent and a sleeping bag (and food of course), and once you’ve caught the camping bug, you can buy more gear to make your next trip more comfortable.
You’ll learn as you go what little extras will make your life easier and more enjoyable, and you can take as little or as much as you like. Just remember you’ll need to carry it all! But you should consider borrowing kit from family or friends to start with so you can ‘try before you buy’. And once you have a couple of trips under your belt, you’ll have a better idea of the kind of equipment you would like to buy for yourself. But first, you’ll need to decide what sort of camper you are. Let’s look at the different types of camping so you can choose the right kit for you.
There’s also Van Camping, Backpacking/Trekking, Wild Camping, Winter Camping and lots of other different ways to enjoy nature and the outdoors.
So now you know which type of camping you’re going to do, now you can make sure you have the right equipment to get yourself set up for your first camping trip. Let’s start with the basics:
Don’t forget to pack enough changes of clothes for the whole family and toiletries. Plus suitable shoes and backpacks for you to take out on your day hikes.
And if you’re taking your furry friend along, make sure you’ve packed for them too. As well as their lead and collar, it’s also good to take toys and handy space-saving collapsible bowls for their food and water. And remember to get a number for a local vet, just in case.
What type of tent do I need?
There are lots of different types of tents on the market, and deciding which one is right for you depends on what sort of camping trip you’re planning. If you’re trekking across Europe, then you’ll need something lightweight, waterproof and easy to carry. But if it’s a two-week family trip then you need something spacious, with good sized bedrooms, as well as a living area. Tents are classified in berths, meaning sleeping spaces, but this doesn’t take into account any luggage. So if you’re a family of four, a 6 berth tent may be more comfortable. But you’ll need to check what size restrictions your campsite has in place as you don’t want to get charged for multiple pitches.
Here are just some of the different styles of tent you can choose from: