Top 5 Camping Survival Essentials

I don’t often feature how-to articles here on Sophie’s World. However, we’re going to Wales this summer, and I’m considering giving camping a try. Now to persuade the girls…

Today’s guest post comes from freelance writer Tom Armenante. Tom shares his best five camping tips.

wye valley camping

Getting back in touch with nature can be an eye-opening and rewarding experience.

The most experienced of campers will have their own list of must-haves, derived from years of experience in the field. The novice camper on the other hand, may not have as much insight. To that end, here is a list of the top 5 must-have items for the best camping experience.

Wind-up Head Torch

The Lightbulb Man

A torch in general is always crucial when camping for those late night saunters. The beauty of a wind-up torch means you don’t have to worry about the batteries running out. A head torch has even more of an advantage so your hands are free to make fires, set up tents and cook food.

Portable Gas Stove

Picture 050

Portable gas stoves are a god-send. If your camp fire isn’t going the way you hoped and your camping buddies are on the hungry side, a portable gas stove is the perfect cooking companion. They run for a long time on small cartridges from your local DIY store, costing only a couple of pounds. Lightweight stoves sell for under £20.


Rough Rider Camper

Invest in a good knife. Knives can be so helpful on camping trips, for cooking, cutting small twigs for fire kindling, clearing a space for camp, and much more. Always take either a pocket knife – whose other components may come in just as handy, or a knife with a sheath. Safety is paramount when camping and you don’t want to slash your fingers open when fumbling through your rucksack for your head torch!

First-Aid Kit

First Aid Box

Just in case you do end up slicing your finger or hurting yourself in any other way, you must have a full first-aid kit available. Your basic kit should consist of plasters, gauze pads, scissors, bandage, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes and instant cold pack.

Insect Repellent


Depending on where in the world you are camping, insect repellent is of varying necessity. But even in most British camping sites, especially at the height of summer, you find little biters who would have a field day without some strong repellent to keep them at bay.

There you have it! Are you a happy camper? Do you have any other camping advice?

Photo credits: Wye Valley camping site: most uncool, head torch by tj. blackwell, gas stove by AA7JC, knife by CapCase, first-aid box by C_Knaus, and insect by Gravitywave.

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17 Responses to “Top 5 Camping Survival Essentials”

  1. ItalianNotes 27 April 2012 1547 #

    I think you should stress the social, luxurious and glamorous aspect of camping, when you try to pursuade the girls. And of course remember to bring sun screen and insect repellent.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 April 2012 1621 #

      Social, definitely. Not so sure if they’ll buy the glamorous and luxurious bit… 🙂

  2. Coral 27 April 2012 1947 #

    A tent?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 April 2012 1031 #

      Good point 🙂

      • Vi 28 April 2012 1606 #

        and may be sleeping bag 😀

        • Anne-Sophie Redisch 29 April 2012 2235 #

          That, too 🙂

  3. InsideJourneys 28 April 2012 2148 #

    I wish I could think of the best way to sell it to your girls but I’ve never been a camping person either. Hmmm….
    I like that wind-up head torch, though.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 29 April 2012 2236 #

      It will take some work. They’re both hotel kinda-girls 🙂

  4. Ryan at Travel and Graphs 29 April 2012 0207 #

    You could tell the kids it will be an adventure, just like the movies!

    As for survival essentials, I would opt for some type of condensed calorie food before a stove…easier to carry!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 29 April 2012 2237 #

      Something to think about…

  5. Leigh 29 April 2012 0649 #

    If there’s room bring a pillow – it makes a world of difference. And really good food for all and wine for you.
    Even when I backpack I bring a super lightweight camping chair as I like the back support and extra comfort.
    Good luck.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 29 April 2012 2148 #

      Thanks, Leigh. Good tips. We’ll probably hire a car, so there should be plenty of room for extras.

  6. Adam @ travels of adam 30 April 2012 1639 #

    Camping can be a lot of fun but I always end up forgetting something that I could’ve ended up using. Still fun, though – and you can always make the most with what you’ve got

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 3 May 2012 0947 #

      True that. And you can always find little bits of nature that come in handy, too.

  7. Ayngelina 2 May 2012 0523 #

    I’m not a camper but I never travel without a headtorch now, its so small and I have used it in the strangest times.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 3 May 2012 0944 #

      There have been times when I’ve wished I had one – trying to avoid stepping on frogs on dark Fiji nights come to mind.

  8. David Urmann 9 May 2012 1810 #

    How about this –
    Tent, Sleeping bag, Food and Drinks, Stove, Matches

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