Once upon a time, our family started buying camping gear. Everything was so expensive, we couldn’t justify buying all that stuff. So our beautiful tent sat in the garage and the air bed was put aside for guests and the occasional lounge room sleepover… Until very recently, when I realised we were missing out on making memories with our family, not to mention that camping is supposed to be simple, no fuss, getting back to nature sort of holidaying. So why did we need all of that stuff anyway?
You really only need a small amount of basic necessities for your camping trip, depending on what sort of place you’re going to. I’ve made a free printable checklist for anyone else experiencing the same budget crunch as us, so you can enjoy camping budget friendly and fuss free (as it was originally intended to be).
This checklist is for camping grounds that have:
- BBQ’s or kitchen facilities
Sleep and Shelter
Getting a good night’s rest IS possible when camping. You need somewhere to sleep, (that would be a tent, swag, boot of your car, whatever works for you!), and something to keep you warm – a blanket from home is fine if you don’t have a sleeping bag.
Grab something to put underneath you too like an air bed, cot or mat. Trust me, you’ll seriously regret not having something under you come the morning.
You’ll need a lantern or torch to tell ghost stories with. Obviously.
It’s also ideal to get a ground cover tarp. It’ll help keep any dew from the ground off your tent.
Cooking and Kitchen Items
If there is a decent kitchen facility, you really only need dish washing gear for the sink there, a picnic set to eat from, and plenty of napkins for dirty faces and hands. If you’re cooking, you’ll need cooking utensils, chopping boards, trays, pans, and lots and lots of water.
You might be camping at a place with picnic tables, but my tip for you is that just because they’re there, doesn’t mean you’ll get one! Take a compact table and chairs with you just in case.
Grab some camping and BBQ friendly food and take that with you, including a bunch of condiments.
(Would you be interested in me sharing some camp-friendly foods? Let me know in the comments)
Don’t forget to take some garbage bags too. It’ll be a lot easier to make sure everyone cleans up after themselves if there is somewhere to put rubbish.
Make sure you grab some weather appropriate clothes, swimmers if there’s somewhere to swim, and towels (for showering and for swimming).
We wouldn’t go somewhere without showers, so toiletries is a must, as is sunscreen and a first aid kit (which are two things that really aren’t optional). For comfort, toilet paper, citronella candles, and bug spray are good ideas too.
If you’re staying somewhere you can light a fire, don’t forget waterproof matches. You might even want to take your own kindling and wood if you’re going to a park where collecting wood may be frowned upon or restricted. We got this amazing multitool which is part axe, part saw, part a bunch of other stuff (including mallet to help get tent pegs into tough ground) so that we can sort out our fire needs. Oh and a little shovel too.
I learnt how to make these DIY fire starters. It’s cool because I’m recycling garbage and they are super helpful to get a fire going.
I didn’t include clothing, because that’s another list in itself. In fact, that sounds like a future blog post!
Would you add anything to the list?
I’d love to know what you can’t live without when camping! Because let’s face it, I’m still a camping rookie.
Thanks for stopping by,