Yay!! It’s that time of year again, everybody is talking about where they are going on hol, or maybe you are planning a staycation? Even if you are just planning pitching the tent in the back garden for a night or two (and our kids love doing this) you mght want to consider what you really can’t live without (for us it has to be marmite and weetabix).

We are planning a road trip in search of the sun, the ferry is booked and the south of France is beckoning.  I better sling some gear into the campervan and get organised:

Cooking stuff

We have a 2 ring stove like this one:

And a ‘Kitchen’‘ to stand it on.  It’s useful for storage of food, pots, plates etc..

Anyone who knows me well will appreciate that I love a bit of retro.  The fabulous  SO50’sretro has helped me kit out my kitchen with some super Tupperware and melamine crockery…

And I have these saucepans (not strictly camping ones) they are great because they all slot neatly into each other for ease of storage.  I find camping pans too small.

Table and chairs

We have this table, it works well and has adjustable legs, useful as the kids are growing …

These chairs are easy to store away when not in use and you can pick them up on eBay, at car boots or etsy…

The flexi bucket

This bit of kit is absolutely indispensable, it can be used for lugging stuff to/from the washing up station on the campsite, chuck ice in it to keep drinks cool for that barbie party and it doubles up for use as storage squishing nicely into those awkquard corners in the car…

Don’t forget:

Matches and/or stove light


Wet wipes (vital with kids in tow)

Washing up liquid, cloths, sponge scourer, washing up liquid, a couple of tea towels

Loo rolls, kitchen roll, anti bac soap (I try to keep my grubby little urchins clean-ish)

Flip flops or crocs (for the shower)

Those towelling hoodie things so you can just pop them over your kids head after the shower and they can walk back to to camp without you having to dress them 

A sense of humour (you are going to need it)

Ball or other activities for the kids e.g. Swingball/super soakers



kindle or a good book (wifi is always hit and miss)

A couple of good torches.  I’ve got a great one that can be hung from the roof of the tent with a handy clip, it’s also got a USB charger on for my phone…(no longer available on Amazon but you might find it elsewhere online)


Basically I try and pack light for myself and daughter (son needs much more because he’s a grub magnet).  I try and use washing machine on site or launderette in nearest town to avoid taking too much.  I pack clothes in neutral colours – navy, tan, white, stripes that are easily interchangeable and work well with everything.  Don’t forget a jumper for when it gets chilly in the evening. Light weight anoraks/rain coats are a must too.  I take a small bottle of washing liquid and softener combined.

Mr family blog packs his own stuff, usually at the last minute as we all sit in the van with the engine running.  It’s literally a toothbrush, some deodorant and a spare t shirt. [But to be fair he did manage to turn the car into a Tardis to fit all that stuff in! – edit by MrFamilyBlog ]


Shower gel, I tend to buy cheap stuff in bulk because one of us always ends up leaving it in the shower block.

Travel sizes of my favourite brands work well and don’t take up so much room…

Don’t forget sun cream (here’s hoping)

I’ve given up taking normal towels because they are so hard to get dry and take up so much room in the van.  These camping towels are basically big microfibres cloths that kind of buff you dry, they are light, take up hardly any room and get you dry in no time.  Genius (although mr family blog hates ‘the feel’ of them)


Sleeping bags – I’m not a fan of the mummy ones because I like to be able to move about freely in mine.  I’m also a bit of a fuss pot when it comes to sleeping next to nylon or polyester so I bought myself a cotton insert for my bag that is easy to remove and wash, it’s very comfy too…

We take our own pillows.

This is our awning

Actually awning sounds a bit grand,  it’s our dumping ground, our spare room, clothes and all sorts of junk gets flung in there as soon as we set up camp freeing up the inside of the van (that prior to this was ready to burst).  It also serves as our base, marking our pitch if we drive off somewhere for the day.

Having tried out the airbeam and the vango this one wins hands down.  Why? Because it takes 2 minutes to put up – it literally explodes out of the bag.. it’s also really simple to pack away in roughly the same amount of time.  Only downside is that it doesn’t have a sewn in groundsheet but this really isn’t a problem, I found one that works perfectly adequately in Sainsbury’s for £10.


I pack enough for the first couple of days, breakfast stuff mainly because I prefer to buy fresh local food when I get there.  For breakfast I have weetabix, porridge, eggs, bread, baked beans, tomatoes, maybe some halloumi .. a couple of cartons of longlife milk, tea bags, coffee and juice is thrown in too.

Sunshade and outside lights

This one is on trial this summer, I’ll let you know later what I make of it …

And these lights will do the job (thanks Lucy for the tip off!)

So as you can see I have packed everything apart from the kitchen sink (although I’m seriously considering making one of these)…

Have I forgotten anything?

Now all that’s left for mr family blog to do is pack it all in the van (Boy job) “it requires a 3 dimensional visualisation” (I must admit – he’s pretty good at it)

Happy camping!

Jules x

And to keep the rugrats out of your hair whilst your setting up base:

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2 thoughts on “Packing for a camping trip

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