Staycation and camping season is here. And that means it’s time to crack open those suitcases, load up those roof boxes, strap those bikes to those bike racks and prepare for an adventure!
Now, packing for a camping trip or staycation can sometimes feel like you’re preparing for a military manoeuvre – particularly if there are kids involved. We thought we’d lend you a helping hand this summer with a list of the items we reckon are essential for any trip. So grab a pen and get ready to check them off, one by one!
1. Camping set
We’re going to start with the obvious one: for a family camping trip, you’re going to need a great family camping set. You’ll want a tent that can comfortably accommodate the number of people in your family, and keep an eye out for neat added extras like a canopy that provides additional room and protection from the rain.
For the ultimate comfort, we’d always recommend teaming a sleeping bag with an airbed and a pillow. They’re quick and easy to inflate, and make the trial of trying to find a comfy position to sleep in on uneven ground a distant memory.
We love them, but bored or restless kids can be a bit of a nightmare! So stave off that storm by bringing along some outdoor games for them to enjoy. A frisbee, a football, a cricket bat and ball – it doesn’t matter what you choose, outdoor games can lead to hours of fun and tired, satisfied kids that are ready for bed. Giving you some much-needed adult time.
And as we can’t control the great British weather, it’s always a good idea to have some inside games in your suitcase as well. A pack of cards can be easily slipped into a pocket and open up a world of potential games, while there are loads of travel versions of popular boardgames that you can get your hands on too.
3. Lamp or a torch
A lamp or torch is an essential bit of kit for a whole host of reasons. Whether you want to be able to read in your tent, check on the kids without losing your way or just be prepared in the event of an emergency, a good torch can be trusted to help guide your way.
Just remember to bring enough batteries to keep it in good working order! No one wants a dead torch in the middle of the night.
4. Picnic set
We Brits love a picnic and for good reason – it’s the perfect way to enjoy some yummy food with friends and family while basking in the great outdoors. Make your picnics epic this summer with a family picnic bundle.
Pick up some plastic cutlery, crockery and cups for easy serving (and washing up), a picnic blanket to give you somewhere to sit, a thermos for those all-important cups of tea and a cool box to keep the food fresh for when lunchtime rolls around. Add in a couple of ice packs to counteract those hot summer days and we’re done!
5. Good walking shoes
Hands up all of those who’ve made the mistake of walking miles in unsuitable shoes? (Yep, us too). The inevitable blisters the following day are a pain your staycation can do without. Thankfully it’s easy to avoid by making sure that you’ve got some good walking shoes to accompany you on your adventures.
If you can, always try before you buy with walking shoes to make sure you get the perfect fit for your feet. You want ones that aren’t too tight and will still be a good fit if you plan on wearing walking socks too.
6. Cooking set
If that picnic we mentioned earlier sounded good, but you want to take things up a notch then go for a cooking set.
Your burgers and sausages will be the talk of the campsite thanks to having a handy portable double stove with a grill, while the pots and pans will provide everything you need for cooking and serving. There’s even a kettle so you can make as many cups of tea as you can drink. What’s not to love?
7. Wet weather clothes
There’s a reason we Brits like to talk about the weather so much – it can be unpredictable and dance between raining and blazing sun on a whim.
Make sure you’re covered for the wetter of these two possibilities with some wet weather clothes. As a minimum, we’d suggest an emergency poncho, waterproof jacket or cagoule and shoes that aren’t going to faint at the sight of some moisture. If you want to make sure you’re completely protected then waterproof trousers, wellies and rucksack covers are other options you could tuck into your suitcase.
8. Warm weather protection
On the other hand, make sure you’re covered for the warmer of these two possibilities with some items that’ll keep you cool and protected in hot weather. A picnic umbrella can provide a great burst of shade that you can move to wherever you need it, while a sunhat and sun cream are absolute must-haves. Remember that even when it doesn’t feel that hot or the sun isn’t directly beating down on you, you can still get burnt!
9. Outdoor dining set
Enjoy that delicious food you cooked in comfort thanks to the outdoor dining bundle.
It’ll give you a gazebo – perfect for protection from the rain or the sun – some premium foldable chairs to relax in and a handy table to hold your food. You’ll be camping in style and as everything’s portable, compact and can be neatly folded away, it won’t even take up a huge amount of the precious room in your car.
10. Repair essentials
Tape, string, pegs, spare guy ropes, waterproofing spray, bin bags, old towels… little things on their own, but together they make up the ultimate repair kit. Tape is perfect for mending unexpected tears or breakages. String, pegs and spare guy ropes can secure errant tents, while waterproofing spray does what its name suggests and keeps the rain firmly on the outside. Bin bags can be used for pretty much anything, from their original purpose to an impromptu raincoat.
We’d also recommend throwing in a mallet, as you never know when they could come in handy!
If you’re looking for some staycation inspiration this year, check out our recent blog Summer staycations: Top UK inspirational drives and destinations.
We hope you have a great time and remember, if you want camping and staycation essentials, you want Halfords.