How to reduce the amount of gear you take camping

How to reduce the amount of gear you take camping
If part of you loves the idea of pitching a tent and making it into a little den that will keep you safe and warm somewhere away from home, then you probably can’t wait until your next camping trip. You may be a hardened camper, for whom an airbed would defeat the whole point – in which case, you will probably just be able to pack a rucksack and be off. On the other hand, if you rather like the idea of comfort as well as enjoying cheap accommodation, it can be very easy to get carried away and try to pack half of everything you own.

To exemplify: all you really need for a camping trip is your tent (don’t forget the poles and pegs), sleeping bags, a torch, a change of clothes and toiletries. To add a little comfort, you could also take pillows, extra blankets, airbeds or sleeping rolls, a lamp, table, camping stove, pans, paper plates, plastic cutlery and some foldaway chairs.

Factor in an electric hook-up, though, and the world is your oyster (don’t read this if you’re one of the ‘airbeds are for the weak’ type): you could take a mini fridge, hairdryer, straighteners, electric blanket, laptop, blender, toaster, kettle, sandwich maker – basically anything that isn’t nailed down in your house could be packed.

The trouble with camping is that once you’ve started to pack, it can be very difficult to stop. But fear not, campers, for there is a way to take everything you may need or want and still have room for everyone to have a seat in your car: here are 13 super items that will add a touch of class and luxury to your trip without requiring you to buy a roof box or trailer to fit it all in.

In short, taking these items will reduce the amount of gear you take camping, without actually reducing the number of items you can take... in no particular order.

1) Collapsible Wine Glass

Collapsible Plastic Wine glass for camping
Available from Amazon

Not quite the same as drinking out of a proper wine glass but less likely to get broken on the journey and the stems conveniently screw off and can be stored inside the goblet to save a bit of space. They are also available in stainless steel but come with a heft price tag.

2) Collapsible Washing Up Bowl

collapsible washing up bowl for camping
Available from Amazon
Not all campsites have washing up facilities so these can come in handy if they don't, but even if they do they are quite handing for transporting your washing up from your pitch to the washing up facilities.

3) Camping First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit for Camping
Available from Go Outdoors

Hopefully you won't need this, but it's a great idea to have a compact first aid kit with you whilst camping. Make sure you check it at the beginning of each season to see if anything needs replenishing.

4) Folding Kitchen Cupboard/Shelf

Camping kitchen shelf cupboard

Available from Go Outdoors

This is slightly extravagant and one could be accused of nearly bringing the kitchen sink. However it folds down fairly compact and comes in a neat carrying bag. It allows you to keep your outdoor kitchen tidy with everything in one place. 

5) Camping Egg Protector

camping egg protector

Avaialable from Amazon 

You may think this is verging on ridiculous but camping requires a proper fry up in the morning and if your eggs were damaged during the journey you may be very disappointed.

6) Insulated Travel Mug

insulated coffee mug for camping
Availalable from I Want One of Those

Let's face it, if you haven't had the best sleep you're going to need some coffee to get you through the day. These insulated coffee mugs keep your coffee warmer for longer and reduce the number of times you need to boil the kettle, thus saving fuel.

7) Solar Charger

Solar Charger for Camping
Available from Ravpower

Be honest... you're going to want to use your gadgets (phones, tablets, etc) whilst camping. Whether it's checking the weather, looking for local places of interest, booking a pub lunch or taking photos, don't be tempted to repeatedly charge using your vehicle; it will not only knacker your batter but it will also annoy your neighbours.

8) Solar Powered Foldable Lantern Jar

Solar powered waterproof lights
Available from Present Finder

These lanterns are great, they're made out of a soft material and fold down to a quarter of the size. They charge quickly, great for those late night runs to the loo and if you have someone in your tent who isn't a fan of the dark; the light is subtle enough to keep on throughout the night. As they are waterproof and hollow they're a great place to store valuables such as watches, phones etc.

9) Family Cutlery Set in Carry Pouch

family cutlery set in carrying pouch
Available from Outdoor Camping Direct

A great way to store your cutlery and save space whilst camping. Keeps your cutlery clean and all in one place.

10) Nesting Cook Set

Stacking cooking set for camping
Available from Camping World

The handles screw off of the frying pan and sauce pan allowing you to store them inside each other, thus saving a bit of space. They also come with a handing bag to store them in.


11)  Collapsible Kettle

Collapsible Kettle
Available from Go Outdoors

Kettles really are an awkward shape and can take up a lot of space in your kitchen box. These collapsible kettles fold down to a flatter shape making it easier to store and weirdly, they seem to boil faster than other kettles. 

12)  Travel Knives

Camping knives with sheath
Available from Go Outdoors

Keep your fingers safe with this set of camping knives that safely tuck away into the sheath for storage.  

13) Folding Table and Chairs

folding camping table with chairs
Available from Decathlon 

Tired of eating in your lap or on the ground? This table comes with 4 chairs that neatly stow away inside. Great for getting the family around the table for dinner, plus it's a great space for playing games in the evenings.

This list is far from exhaustive but has hopefully given you some ideas on how to reduce the amount of camping gear you take with you.

Do you know of any must have items that we should have included?  If so, please do pop them into the comments below. 

Discover more how to articles on Safestore’s blog where you’ll find a range of topics; from home improvement ideas to innovative storage tips and more.  Or, if you’re looking to create more space at home we have a range of self storage options in over 100 locations – find your nearest store for a quote today.

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