The Ultimate Camping Checklist for Families, Festivals and…

The Ultimate Camping Checklist for Families, Festivals and More

21 October 2022

Whether you’re pitching the tent for a family camping trip in the countryside, pulling on your wellies for a festival with friends, or simply heading out on your solo adventure; there are some outdoor necessities you don’t want to forget when camping. So, while you’re packing why not use this handy camping checklist to make sure you have everything you need.

The Essentials


If you’re planning on having any sleep, a tent is a must (obviously!). Whether it’s a single or an 8-man tent, you’d be missing the whole point of camping without one!

Spare Tent Pegs

You have your tent but keeping it in place is essential. So spare tent pegs are always a good idea, in case one or two get lost or broken.


Make things a little easier when you’re putting up your tent with a mallet to hammer in the tent pegs and keep it secure – it’s a must when you’re pitching up on harder ground!

Sleeping Bag

It’s likely to get pretty cold outdoors at night so a sleeping bag is on our camping checklist of must-haves. Extra blankets are a good idea to have on a camping checklist for families especially, to make sure everyone stays warm.

Sleeping Mat & Pillows

Perhaps not an essential, but it’s always nice to have a little extra comfort especially when sleeping outdoors.

Camping Chairs

Again, maybe not entirely essential but when you’re back from a day of adventure, a camping chair is nice to have to put your feet up around the campfire.


A torch is a trusty tool to battle the dark evenings. You might even want to bring a camping lamp or lantern to keep around your tent.

Toilet Roll

If a camping site has toilets, you can’t always rely on them having toilet roll, or those toilets being close enough to you when you wake up during the night. Toilet roll is also on our camping checklists for festivals; unless you’re glamping you’ll need it for the Portaloos, and even if you are it’s good to have to wipe away any extra glitter!

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is always important, and even more so when you’re not near any amenities and you’re outdoors adventuring all day.

Camping Tent

Cookware Checklist

Whilst not everyone will need cooking supplies, if you’re camping out in the wild with very few amenities around you, you might have to cook for yourself. So, here’s our list of cookware essentials.

Camping Stove

Heat up your dinner and make delicious hot drinks after a long day of adventures. Be aware that you might need gas or charcoal for some of these stoves, so check before you head off on your camping trip.


Carrying matches is always a good idea and not just for cooking; they’ll also be useful in starting a fire for warmth. In extreme situations, survival matches are even better as they’ll be more reliable in the cold; and are waterproof!

Camping Tins and Pans

Mess tins are great camping pans for both cooking with and eating out of. They’re also easy to store away and carry, so won’t take up too much space in your backpack.


If you’d prefer to plate up your dinners, we recommend bringing durable plates, bowls, cups, and glasses that are easily washable – melamine options are lightweight and waste-free; unlike paper options. You can find hardwearing, lightweight cutlery sets that are perfect for long camping trips too.

Cool box

Our camping checklist for families wouldn’t miss this off. When you’ve got many mouths to feed, taking a cool box on walks is perfect for carrying all the family’s sandwiches and drinks.

Washing Up Equipment

Make sure your pots, pans, plates, and cutlery are squeaky clean after dinner as you won’t find any washing up equipment in the wild!

Camping cooking

Health & Safety

Keep yourself safe on your adventures and remember to pack health and safety equipment.

First Aid Kit

Just some of the basic items to carry in your outdoor first aid kit include plasters, sterile dressings and bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relief, blister treatment, tweezers, and safety pins.

Other must-haves include:

Sun Cream

Insect Repellent

Hand Sanitiser



Shampoo and Shower Gel

Whether you’ve got shower facilities at your camping site, or you’re washing in a spring or lake, it’s always nice to get clean after an adventurous day in the outdoors.

Extra layers

You can never be too prepared for the weather, especially at night. Taking extra layers is always a good idea to battle the cold.

Waterproof layers

There’s nothing worse than getting into your tent soaked through after being out in the rain, so waterproof layers are a must. Quick-drying options are great when you’re out in the wild.


Toothbrush and Toothpaste


Rope is a versatile camping must-have. It can be used for pulling heavy items, tying things together, climbing, fishing, and much more.

Spare Batteries

If you have any electricals that are battery powered, like torches or portable chargers, it’s always advisable to carry spare batteries just in case yours run low.

Aside from this list, you’ll need to bring other essentials like clothes, food, and personal care items. Having a well thought out camping checklist helps you avoid any forgotten essentials and means you can focus on your adventure-filled camping trip - and we love adventure at the Army Cadets. Find more adventurous activities with the Army Cadets and search for your nearest detachment today.

Camping image by Mac DeStroir: https://www.pexels.com/photo/t...

Tent under the stars image by Josh Hild: https://www.pexels.com/photo/p...

Cooking equipment image by Clem Onojeghuo: https://www.pexels.com/photo/t...