It happens to the best of us. We go off on a camping trip, pack the car until it’s groaning under the weight of all of your kit, and still find out that something we need isn’t there! Here are our top 5 little things that are easy to forget, but difficult to live without.
- Gaffer tape
Or duct tape, if you prefer. It’s light on one side, dark on the other… and you know the rest. It’s got a lot of uses around the house, and even more on the campsite. Aside from the obvious things, like sticking a well-loved map or guidebook back together, it can also be a temporary fix for just about anything on the campsite. If you’ve accidentally snagged your tent and made a hole, a quick patch with some gaffer tape can mean the rip won’t get worse and you’ll stay dry until you have time to repair properly. The same goes for repairing a split bag. If you’re really desperate, you can even patch up and repair your shoes in a pinch. Finally, if your camping furniture is the victim of a night-time stumble or a clumsy tent-mate, a bit of duct tape can have it back in service in no time.
- Tent spares
What does that mean? It means making living in a tent a bit easier! Start off by getting some extra tent pegs, in case any get lost or bent. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even pick up some that are specific to harder or softer ground, depending on where you’re camping. Then add a peg puller, to make putting everything down a bit easier on the hands. A spare guy line or two can also get you out of a pinch, and are really handy for hanging things up. A handful of safety pins can hold a broken zip together, and then, of course, throw in a roll of gaffer tape!
- A doormat
Hopefully you’ll be enjoying a lot of the great outdoors while you’re away camping, and that means muddy boots! Having a doormat in your tent gives you somewhere to stand while you take off your boots, and somewhere dry to leave them too! It keeps bits of mud, stones and general dirt out of your living and sleeping area. Camping-specific doormats can curve up at the edges to hold everything in, but if you’re in a pinch, why not put an old towel down?
- Extra toilet paper
It doesn’t matter how well-stocked your campsite facilities might look, this is something you don’t want to be caught without! Aside from the obvious, you can also use this to quickly mop up any spills in the tent or on your kit. If you’ve been out in the rain, you can stuff your shoes with this to help dry them, and if you’re struggling to light your campfire, both the paper and the roll can be a handy bit of tinder to get you started.
- Tin opener
This one needs no explanation. You’ve packed everything but the kitchen sink… and your tin opener, and now your dinner might as well be locked inside Fort Knox! Tinned food is great when you’re camping, because it doesn’t need to go in the fridge, but it’s no good if you can’t get in there! In the same vein, double check you have your bottle opener if you’re going for a more grown up trip.
Remember, if you do forget any of this stuff, it’s not the end of the world! You’re never far from a Halfords where you can order any spares, or even just the full kit, to collect in store. Most campsites also have a little shop where you can get the essentials.