Tent on the edge of a grassy green cliff overlooking a lake


The key to summer camping is preparation. For a weekend of family campsite fun, weight is less of an issue, which means more space for the creature comforts. If you’re hiking solo for some remote bivvying, however, you’ll want to pack as lightweight and as minimalistic as possible. Here are the basics you’ll need for every camp, plus the luxuries if you’re not lugging a heavy backpack around.

Woman in insulated jacket inside a tent and sleeping bag


A two-man tent from our backpacking range should do the job if you're planning adventures in the wilderness. Go as lightweight as possible if you'll be doing multi-day treks. For family camps, look for a larger tent with lots of porch space and look out for separate sleeping chambers to give everyone their own space.

Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag that goes down to around 0°C to -5°C should be fine for late spring, summer and early autumn. However, if you feel the cold easily, choose a bag with a slightly warmer limit or comfort rating. You can also add warmth and comfort with a sleeping bag liner and come summer don't forget about bug protection by choosing a mosquito net


Synthetic sleeping bags are great value and keep performing even if they get wet, but they tend to be heavier than down, so bear that in mind if pack weight is your biggest issue. If you’re a solo minimalist, why not consider camping under the stars in a bivi bag?

Sleeping Mat

Inflatable mattresses provide more comfort and insulation from the ground than the humble roll mat, but they are heavier and take up more space in your backpack. Therm-A-Rest craft superb sleeping mats (and a handy 65g pillow case which you can stuff with clothes before you hit the hay). But, the lighter sleeping mats tend to be more expensive.



If it's fuss-free cooking you're after, then gas canister stoves are generally the easiest to use and require minimal maintenance. ‘Remote canister’ models, which have a hose running from the canister to the stove for extra stability and wind protection, are best for UK-based camping. But if you’re munching on ready meals or food that is easy to prepare, then it’s worth considering a compact, all-in-one stove.


Liquid fuel stoves are trickier to use but are a better option for overseas camping and trekking as gas can be tough to buy in some parts of the world. 


You can take the minimal, one-pot approach or a larger set for family cooking (with pans, plates and bowls). You will also need a flask or mug for drinks, utensils and a knife or multi-tool for eating and preparing food. It’s also worth purchasing an extra water bottle to fill up and leave in your tent, just in case you get thirsty in the middle of the night!


It's essential you stay hydrated on your trip, and planning ahead and packing a reusable water bottle is a great way to minimise your impact and reduce your waste. If you're heading more off-grid, and you won't be able to fill up from a tap regualrly, then think about packing some water purifying essentials, so you can safely drink on the go.



A headtorch is a must-have for navigating at night. Whether you're on a late-night toilet run or are pitching up as the sun goes down, you'll thank us! But, don’t forget spare batteries as the last thing you want is for your torch to fail during a nighttime excursion.


If you’re camping with the family or a large group, then a lantern is perfect for adding light so you can stay up later and make the most of your time away.

Camping Chair

Again, this is a wonderful luxury when weight isn’t an issue. You can choose either an inflatable throne or a more traditional fold-out camping chair. If you’re preparing and eating plenty of food on your next trip, a camping table is ideal.

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