Whenever we find a new piece of camping equipment or outdoor kit that we REALLY love, we’ll add it this Campfire Magazine favourites page. Everything you see here – from barbecues to mosquito repellent – has been tried and tested by the team and is now a permanent part of their essential camping kit. If something let us down after long-term use, it’ll disappear from this page! Click on any camping equipment review to get more details and the latest prices.
Folding smartphone and tablet travel chargers, and an international set too. Very neat.
Light and well-designed hammocks by Ticket to the Moon. They fold up nearly into their own attached bag and come with easy hanging straps. There’s a matching mosquito net too.
The PackTowl Luxe range – supersoft camping and hiking towels that absorb up to five times their weight in water, dry 30% faster than normal towels and stay fresher for longer. Lots of sizes – from face clothes to bath towels – and lovely colours too.
No shower? No worries. We always take a couple of packs of these totally natural Water Wipes. Not dear, either
Our favourite (non-down) sleeping bag – it doubles as a blanket/quilt and even a wrap. The Vaude Finsuit is soft, warm, versatile and really well-designed. Spring, summer and a warm autumn.
Our favourite camp chopping board, by Joseph Joseph. Made of bamboo, comes in two sizes and folds on a silicone hinge so that you can chop and pour.
A pet lifesaver. This SureFlap feeder only opens for the cat it’s meant to feed! Interlopers from next-door will have to go hungry. Cat-sitters or visiting pet-carers don’t always know who’s actually getting the food they put down. This ensures your cat gets the food intended for him. Works fantastically well and it’s all a bit Star Trek.
The Green Decore rugs are made from recycled plastic and come in lots of colours. You can use them on wet grass, muddy campsites…wherever. Soft enough to be nice to lie on, and in lots of sizes for inside and out. That’s the tarp in use too (see below).
Park4night – our favourite app (at the moment) for finding quick overnight stops for the campervan and campsites for tents and more. Lots more apps to look at in our guide too.
Simple and perfect. The Isosteel 0.9l flask is as minimal as you can get. Good value and no bits to go wrong. We tested it thoroughly. Water hot enough to make tea after six hours; drinks still enjoyable after 18 hours.
All natural Incognito keeps everything nasty away. Mosquito repellent range that’s a bit kinder on the skin. We’ve tested it in some buggy places!
Our favourite sleeping arrangement for fairweather wild camping (when we can’t use the bivvy hammocks mentioned below). Aqua Quest’s West Coast lightweight mesh tent lets you sleep safe from bugs and able to see the stars. See our wild camping kit feature too.
Cadac Safari Chef camp stove. Our favourite gas cooker. Very efficient, packs away nicely and has lots of options for cooking styles – from pizza stone to seared steak griddle plate. New models have plastic legs with a bit more wobble, but have added piezo ignition.
Simplehuman sleek canisters. A range of sizes and pull-out plastic inserts to make them easy to use and clean. Keep the ants out!
We love our neat Campingaz Bivouac. Small and effective. Been using it for years and years.
We searched long and hard for a supportive camping chair. The Coleman Deck Chair has a string back, a no-sag seat and is super light. Comes in khaki and cream.
A Waeco compressor fridge. The 21-litre CDF26 is brilliant for two. And for a family, this CFX-35, 32-litre one is superbly quiet. They both stay cold whatever the temperature outside.
The Cobb is a great outdoor ‘cobblestone’ or charcoal-fuelled cooker. Not the best barbecue, but very versatile for other types of cooking. Have a look at our review
A Samsonite toilet bag for hanging in the trees. Capacious and sturdy. (Works behind a shower door too, by the way!)
Fabulous Frontier wood-burning stove. It all packs down into a small bag, you can cook on it and keep warm. The water heater (the silver bit in the picture) is brilliant and there are kits so you can use it inside a bell tent. See our wood-burning stove feature here.
The iSmart Keep wifi security camera sends alerts to your phone when it detects sound or motion and lets you see what’s happening at home. Peace of mind when camping.
Tidy cables – a simple magnetic clasp for headphones and charger cables. Bye bye tangles. We use them for all sorts of other bits and pieces.
This HandiMoova all-terrain trolley folds small and can take loads of up to 60kg over muddy festival fields, through woodland or even over sand. Carry camping kit, coolboxes with ease. Lots of home uses too. Not cheap, but sturdy and lightweight
A tarp. Nothing fancy, just a very versatile piece of kit. String it up from a tree, attach it to your tent, use it as a shade, an extra dining area, a rain shelter. We’ve got a feature on tarps here too.
We’d been using the nice Equip waterless wash cloths, but these are now discontinued. Nilaqua make a whole range of waterless washes, foams and shampoos. Best of the lot seems to be the towel-off foam, though not for sensitive skins.
One of our funniest bits of kit…useful too. A waterproof toilet roll holder with built-in light (flashing option!). The Happy Going. Just get one. It’ll make you laugh every time you pack.
A bit expensive, but if you like bivvy camping and want to be above the ground, you’ll like the Exped Ergo. It has a (removeable) built-in mosquito net. Your camping mat slips into a zipped pocket underneath and it all hangs sort of diagonally so that you sleep more or less flat. A cheaper alternative is the double Ticket to the Moon hammock on the right, with the matching mosquito net (looking a bit misshapen here because we’ve added a mat to the hammock to make it more comfortable. A MUCH cheaper option is a standard bivvy hammock.
And in case we upset Jeff with only going for the most expensive items…these bits and pieces will cost you under a tenner and will change your (camping) life! Use the bungee cords to secure tarps, awnings, bits of flapping tent or for 101 other uses. The green clips fasten on to canvas taps, tents and so on without damaging the fabric and give you more options for securing. We’ve used a combination to make sun shelters, to keep the rain off, to create a market stall backdrop, to cover stuff in a trailer…..and more.
Give yourself a break from proper hair-washing. This Klorane dry shampoo leaves you with fresher, fuller hair and no powdered wig effect (unless you overdo it).
This handy (and cheap) little zip-up pouch holds your headtorch, turning it into a lantern. A handing cord wraps neatly around it. Clever little Petzl Noctilight!
If you’re unsure about how safe the water is, the LifeStraw‘s the answer. As well as the Steel straw version shown here, there are water bottles with the same filtration system. Gets rid of 99% of harmful nasties.
The Bog in a Bag camping toilet has to be the neatest for storing. It’s a stool with a cover that removes to reveal a hole. Fit a bag over the top and you have a toilet. It’s not a large hole, so some positioning is required. Also see our advice on the bags to use in out toilet feature.
Do you have a favourite piece of camping or outdoor kit that’s always in your packing list? Do let us know in the comments below. There are prizes for camping equipment suggestions that get a thumbs-up from readers!