When you are getting ready to go camping, there are a lot of things you need to take. Most people remember the big stuff (shelter, food, BBQ etc) but in all the packing there are a few things that are easier to forget.
Some things can be worked around, others are a little tricker. If you are going camping near a town, most things can be purchased at your destination. However, if you are camping in the middle of the outback, then that makes it a lot harder.
Everyone that regularly goes camping has forgotten something at some point. It just happens, even to the most prepared of us. Here is a list of 20 items we think are the easiest to forget when camping, so that hopefully you will be sure to pack them.
- Air Pump
If you are sleeping on air mattresses you need something to pump them up with. An air pump is an extremely easy thing to forget, especially if you don’t usually keep it with your bedding. It makes for an extremely uncomfortable night’s sleep if you can’t pump up your air mattress.
If you want to avoid this problem all together, you can opt for a self-inflating mattress.
In keeping with the begging theme, a lot of people take their own pillow from home. This is a good thing for sleeping but can lead to it being easily forgotten. Some clothes rolled up in a jumper can work in a pinch but a way to avoid this is to have a special camping pillow that always stays with your camping gear.
Make sure you have packed all the toiletries you will need. Because even if you are camping in the middle of nowhere, you really do not want to go for days without your toothbrush!
- Warm Clothes
A lot of people forget to pack warmer clothes, especially when camping in summer (we went to Oberon after Christmas one year – even in summer it is still not warm!). But you need to remember that nights can still get cold wherever you are, and a tent, camper trailer or even a caravan does not offer you the same protection from the elements as your house. Always pack a few warm clothes, camping’s not much fun if you are sitting outside wishing you’d brought a jumper.
- Insect Repellent
When the mosquitos are out, you do not want to realise that you have forgotten the insect repellent. It might also pay to throw in some fly spray for those pesky flies that get into your tent.
- Torches / Lights
It is the middle of the night, you need to go to the toilet, and you realise you forgot the torch! It’s also useful to have some headlamps so that you can still have light but keep your hands free. Make sure you’ve put in a lantern or similar as well so that you have light for your campsite if you aren’t somewhere with power.
People are so used to having water freely at home, it can be overlooked as something to take with you. Even if you are going camping in a caravan park, it can be useful to take a bit water with you, just in case.
- Spare Batteries
Yes, all the stuff you need batteries for will probably already have batteries in it, but you don’t want to get halfway through your camping adventure and have something like lights run out of power. Also check that you have the right batteries for all of the things you need.
- Toilet Paper
This is one of those things you really need camping, but often don’t think about. There’s not a lot of things you can improvise with for toilet paper, so make sure you have some packed.
Camping chairs tend to be used for a lot of other things (at least in our house) like extra chairs when company comes, picnics, beach trips etc. This means that they are not always put back with our camping gear so can sometimes be overlooked. You really don’t want to be without them when camping though, as it’s always nice to be able to sit down and relax.
You won’t always need an entire tool set when you go camping, but you do need a few things to get you through some likely scenarios. An axe for chopping wood, a hammer or mallet for getting those rope pegs into solid ground, and anything you need to tighten and loosen stuff on your camper or caravan. A lot of people tend to overlook basic tools to carry with you, or don’t check that they have the right size for what they actually have.
- Lighter / Matches
You’ve got the stove, you’ve even got the gas bottle, but have you remembered to pack something to light it with. Always make sure you have a lighter or matches for your cooking or for starting campfires. And if you are bringing matches, make sure they are in a waterproof container, so they don’t get wet.
- Cable Ties / Duct Tape
Honestly, cable ties and duct tape can fix a lot of things on the fly so make sure that you don’t forget them.
- Kitchen Utensils
You can forget a bit of everything in the kitchen but the most common things we forget are a sharp knife, peeler and can opener. It’s easy to remember to bring food, but harder to remember that you also need to open, peel or chop it successfully.
An essential for every Australian holiday is a good wide brimmed hat. Make sure it’s on your list to pack and gets put in the car where you can grab it easily.
Along with the hat you need sunscreen. A good idea is to always keep some in the car or camper so you can never forget it.
- Rubbish Bags
One of the most important things to take and so easy to forget. We just keep a roll of bags permanently in the camper. Also make sure that you are securing your rubbish when you are away so that animals can’t get into it. And if there’s no bin to put it in where you are make sure to take it all with you when you leave!
- First Aid Kit
This is really a must have, especially if you are going bush. To make sure you don’t forget it, keep it in the car. And don’t forget to go through it and restock after every trip. If you want some tips as to what it should have then head to what to put in your first aid kit for camping.
I suppose you can always drip dry, but it is much easier with a towel.
- Cleaning wipes / Paper Towel
With a variety of uses, paper towel, antibacterial wipes or even baby wipes are a great addition to your camping kit, but often forgotten.
So there is our list of the most forgotten items and to be honest we have probably forgotten all of them at some point. With our camper trailer now it is a bit easier as most things stay in it permanently, but we still have a list we tick off before leaving to make sure we have everything.
If you want more of an idea of all of the things you will need to take with you on your camping adventure then check out what do you need to take camping with kids or sign up to our newsletter and we’ll send you our checklist for free.