camping equipment checklist

The Ultimate Camping Equipment Checklist

Whether you are a first time camper, or a veteran, this camping equipment checklist will ensure you pack smart for your next camping trip.

Primary school teacher Eibhlin has enjoyed many camping holidays and has picked up some great tips and tricks along the way. You can read her top tips for camping in Ireland here. After many years of ‘winging it’ and throwing things into the boot of the car, last year she decided to compile a camping equipment checklist of all her camping needs.



Camping Equipment Essentials:

camping equipment, tent

A tent, porch, mallet, pegs and ground sheet are all essential and can be found on You can also be lucky and pick up some second hand deals on Adverts or Done Deal. I would also recommend a tent carpet – it is optional, but adds a bit of luxury all the same. Clothes pegs are handy for hanging up wet towels or clothes on the guide ropes too. 



Cooking essentials:

cooking equipment for camping

A camping kettle, gas cooker, gas canisters, a saucepan and a frying pan are essential camping equipment. Remember to bring mugs, plates, bowls, cutlery, a sharp knife, spatula, tongs, tin foil, food storage boxes, and a chopping board for preparing meals. 

Two basins, two tea towels, washing up liquid and a cloth are needed for cleaning, and don’t forget large plastic bags for rubbish. A dustpan and brush is a great tip for sweeping up sand, grass etc. that gathers inside the tent.

Camping chairs and a table are also necessary if camping for any length of time, and remember to bring plastic wine glasses and a bottle opener too! A small cool bag and reusable ice packs can also come in handy, as well as a picnic blanket for day trips.




family camping equipment - airbeds

Airbeds (don’t forget the pump), sleeping bags and pillows are essential camping equipment if you want to sleep comfortably. Bring an old blanket or sleeping bag for underneath the airbeds – this helps to create a barrier between the cold ground and the bed.



Personal Items – Clothes:

family camping holidays in Ireland

Bring plenty of underwear, socks, hoodies and tracksuit bottoms – for some reason they always get really dirty! Raincoats are a necessity, and wellies if you are camping near a river. Wetsuits are also handy if you are planning on swimming. Old shoes or runners are ideal for children, and flipflops are practical for showering.

It can get cold at night time so bring warm pyjamas and extra layers, and dressing gowns are useful for walking to the bathrooms.



Everyday items:

Bring small backpacks for the kids and a tote bag or backpack for yourself – camping is not the place for your nice handbag… Think rain or shine – umbrellas and sunglasses are a must.



Electronics and gadgets:

Bring phones, chargers, plug in car chargers for the car, and don’t forget your camera! Torches and headlights (one for each family member) are very helpful at night time.

Read: 10 staycation essentials that you should be buying now




what to bring camping with kids

As well as your children’s favourite teddies or toys, bring boardgames and a deck of cards too. Bikes, scooters and helmets are handy if you have the space – think about buying a bike rack. A portable DVD player or tablets can be a Godsend on rainy days.



Toiletries & Medicines:

Washbags with toiletries may seem obvious, but bring toilet paper, towels and wipes too – they can be really handy. Sunscreen and insect repellant should also be included. Bring painkillers and calpol / nurofen for children. 




camping equipment - what food to bring camping

Over the years, we have cut down on the amount of food we bring, as we found we were wasting it or bringing a lot of it home with us. We usually buy fresh ingredients daily from the local shop. You may have access to fridge/freezer in the camper’s kitchen (check with campsite).


This will differ depending on your family, but we bring small cereal boxes, snacks, fruit, eggs, sausages, rashers, bread, tinned food, butter, ketchup, mayo, cooking oil, coffee, sugar and alcohol. We also bring individual water bottles for everyone.
Happy camping campers!

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