Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A recipe for happy camping.

I enjoy family camping trips once I get there.  But I don't enjoy the packing and preparation for a family camping trip.  Next week we're planning a few days camping and cycling and my heart's already sinking at the prospect of getting everything ready.

Wouldn't it be good if I had a list? I thought. Instead of the half-lists I have in the back of old diaries. (You know how much I love a good list).

Light bulb moment! If I stick a camping list on the blog I'll always know where to find it and I won't have to search through old diaries ever again.

So this one is for me. A sneaky little blogpost all for the benefit of myself (and you never know, maybe someone else might find it useful). What have I forgotten?

Happy camping recipe:

Ingredients (adjust the quantities depending on length of camping trip)

Clothes: underwear, socks, PJs, jeans, shorts, jogging bottoms, T shirts, tops, jumpers, hoodies, fleeces, waterproofs, gloves, hats.

Footwear: walking boots, trainers, wellies.

Beach stuff: towels, wetsuits, swimming stuff, goggles.

Toiletries: add according to personal taste but must include toothbrushes and toothpaste.  

First aid kit: including Calpol/paracetamol/antihistamines and insect repellent.

Entertainment: camera, phones, charger, ball, books, kite, paper, pens etc.

Cleaning: teatowels, washing-up bowl and liquid and sponge.

Eating: matches, stove, gas cannisters, kettle, frying pan, pans, mugs, plates, bowls, cutlery, skewers.  TIN OPENER (we always forget this one)

Food:  a few basics to get started such as teabags, coffee, cereals, bread, sugar, pasta, tins, sunflower oil, water

Sleeping: tents, pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, airbeds/camping mats

Cycling: bikes, cycling shorts, gloves, helmets, pump, puncture repair kit, spare inner tube, oil, tools.

Essential (because it will be sunny won't it?): sun hats, sun cream, sun glasses

Misc: candles, torches, maps, campsite details, Scruffy Ted


1. Write or print out the list.  

2. Begin accumulating all the stuff WELL BEFORE your departure day.  Tick things off the list as you go.  

3. Get increasingly tight-lipped with your partner or children (if you have them) as the preparations intensify, because it will probably seem that they aren't doing half as much as you are to get this trip off the ground.  

4. You know you have reached maximum boiling point when on the morning of departure, you want to have a 'quick' tidy-up and hoover before you leave the house, so that you don't return to a bomb site, but the rest of the family just wants to get on the road!

5. If you have made it this far and everything is ticked off your list then the hardest part of the whole trip is over!  Well done - you can relax and enjoy.  When you get to the campsite you will have forgotten something but don't worry, there will always be a happy camper who will lend you a tin opener!

And if this puts you in the mood for reading more lists, take a look at the todolist blog !


  1. I know exactly what you mean about getting ready for and cleaning up from a camping trip. Sometimes it seems overwhelming. Good idea to make a list. We have lists that we use for travel, but not one for camping.
    Have a good trip. Oh, I don't remember. Do you have insect repellent on your list?

  2. No I didn't have insect repellent on the list, but I do now! No wonder we got bitten alive in Wales last year on a campsite by a river!

  3. Good list, Sarah. I'll remember its here when I camp next (I can use your list as a starting point).
    I do lists, too. I find them sometimes, years later. I especially love to reread travel planning lists, as I remember all the fun and folly we had on particular trips! The old lists make a nice addition to the scrapbook, too, in an odd sort of way.

  4. Yes, in the search for last year's camping list we had fun looking at lots of other old lists in the diary which reminded us of things we did in 2011. And hey, you didn't mention that you have a great list on your blog today!

  5. Great list! I love camping, but I always seem to forget something. This takes the guesswork out of packing! Have fun on your trip :)

  6. Thanks Rebecca! Just hoping the rain holds off for our trip...

  7. We are caravanners and after 29 years of saying" we should have a list" , I finally said to DH to make a bleeping lis. He of course made a spreadsheet which is now laminated and used with a whiteboard pen!! Hopefully this will save any random purchases eg trousers, waterproof jacket that have had to be made in bygone years!

  8. Hi Catriona, Wow...a laminated spreadsheet...that takes 'the list' to a whole new level! Great idea! We always end up making random purchases too, (charity shop blankets last year because it was FREEZING at night!) but hopefully not this year! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  9. Hey Sarah! We only forgot pasta on our camping trip last week, so it wasn't so bad. We've decided that we are going to bag up all our camping stuff and leave it where we can access it as we anticipate a lot of last minute decisions to just go on a good weekend. As for clothing etc... I need to do a checklist also generally for trips - so it's great to cross-check against yours. laminated sounds great, as you can check off and wipe down for next time! My Hubby loves a spreadsheet so i'm sure he'll oblige if I hand write it as i wander around the house for inspiration. Have fun on your trip... don't forget the skewers for the marshmallows!

  10. Thanks, skewers have gone on the list - I'm updating it as the comments come in! Once I think I've got a definitive list I shall go with the laminating for next time. Bagging up the camping stuff sounds like a great way of simplifying the packing process. Ditto, making the most of nice weather on the spur of the moment!

  11. This is really helpful as we are going camping soon and I have done very little planning, so I will be referring back to this!

    1. We've done the trip now and for us that list worked pretty well. The only things we bought extra (apart from food) were a couple of books in a charity shop as I finished mine half way through the week and a bike inner tube (which is going on the list for next time)!

  12. Im lucky to have a camping trailer and it is fully stocked with everything needed in plastic boxes labelled Kitchen, Laundry, Bedding, Untilities etc. When we go camping we literally pack an esky of food to take and our personal items (which fit in the boot of the car). I think we save alot of time each time by making sure everything is clean and tidy when we pack up that way there will be no surprises or missing things next time.

    1. that would be Utilities, why dont i pay attention to that red line that says spelling mistake?