Whether you’re refining your bowline technique, replacing a stray guy rope or hanging wet clothing out to dry, you’ll be surprised how handy a decent piece of rope can be whilst camping. Try any hardware store or chandlery such as: www.marinesuperstore.com

2. Hot water bottle

Despite the surprisingly summery weather Britain can offer, evenings can be cool when camping, so a hot water bottle can provide a welcome source of bedtime comfort after lights out. Handy for easing sore muscles after a day on the trails too. If you’re saving weight, try filling a Nalgene (or similar sturdy water container) with boiling water and wrap in a piece of clothing for equal warmth.

3. Notepad and pen

Come a rainy day, board games are sure to make an appearance along with a few rounds of ‘Rummy’. Break the habit of reaching for the smartphone and record the family games scoreboard for the week in a notepad. It’s also useful for keeping a record of any wildlife you spot during your camping expedition.

4. Dustpan and brush

A dustpan and brush is a lifesaver for sweeping up grass, mud and sand that inevitably wends its way into the sleeping/eating area. It’s also useful for making sure the tent is clean and dry before you pack your tent away.

5. Fresh herb pots

A couple of fresh herb pots can liven up a classic camping dish or be a flavoursome addition to a beach barbecue. Try growing versatile herbs such as basil and parsley in your garden or kitchen at home.

6. Slip-on waterproof shoes

Slip on shoes can be handy when it comes to the dreaded midnight toilet trek or for when visiting the beach for a spot of rockpool exploring.

7. Binoculars

Whether you’re eyeing up next-door’s fry-up or heading out for a day of wildlife-spotting, a good pair of binoculars are well-worth taking on any camping trip.

8. Head torch

A hands-free, guiding light for those night time re-adjusting-the-guy-rope-sessions or for a spot of nocturnal wildlife watching. If you’re planning on doing the latter, try and source a head torch with a red light feature, so as not to disturb nesting animals. Try ‘Petzl’ for a reliable, versatile model: www.petzl.com/GB

9. Insect repellent

Despite our temperate climate, our rivers and lakes still seem to attract those pesky midges. If you’re planning on venturing up into the highlands or camping near a water body, be sure to pack some insect repellent to ease the discomfort of being nibbled. If you are sensitive to the ‘Deet’ component found in most insect repellent’s, Cotswold Outdoor offers a skin-friendly alternative: www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/smidge

10. Ear plugs


You’ll thank yourself for these come next-door’s midnight sing-song or if you don't fancy waking with the wildlife. A basic pair of foam earplugs are handy to ensure a peaceful sleep when camping; available at any supermarket or pharmacy.

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Sophie Pavelle
Sophie PavelleZoologist, science communicator and author

Sophie is a zoologist, science communicator and author.