Camping Gear Must-Haves – Our 60 Best Finds

When we find a new piece of camping or outdoor equipment that we love and that really works, it’s here. We have rounded up some of our best of guides to bring you our top picks from various sections.

Everything you see – from barbecues to camping showers – has been tried and tested by a member of the Campfire team and is now one of their actual camping essentials. If something let us down after long-term use, it’s gone!

We have broken this guide into sections (as it is pretty epic!) so please use the index if you are looking for a specific area or just scroll through and enjoy, we have highlighted our top must haves for each section at the top.

Click on any picture or link for details and prices. And if you’re looking for something in particular – from the best campervan to the best loo – just use the search box to find specific articles elsewhere on Campfire Mag!

Updated at least every month, and whenever we find something else fantastic for you!

Camping Shelter & Sleeping

OUR TOP TENT PICK

Coleman Tent - Green/White

Our top choice in this category. The Coleman Instant Tent Tourer 4 has dark bedrooms and plenty of living space. Can be pitched in under 1 minute. We like the large windows and dark bedroom areas. 

We don’t like faff, so we have super-easy single pole or pop-up tents for quick camping. Although, we’ve been a bit sceptical about inflatable tents, we do also like the Berghaus range, especially the Air4XL, for huge space and head height on longer trips and thoughtful touches like an electric hook-up point on each side. Affordable compared to Vango and Outwell too. 

Plenty more in our QUICK-ERECT TENT REVIEW

AMAZING AWNING

Now here’s our favourite find of the past yeat. The Sheltapod is an awning, tent and sunshelter all in one (saving you money and valuable space!). It will fit on any vehicle up to 2.8m.

It’s based on a roll-up system so that you can be totally enclosed, as in a tent, or can be open to the air and sunshine. It has aluminium poles and comes with privacy panels, window blinds, a door panel, a groundsheet and an inner tent included.

Our extensive campervan awnings and shelters guide has plenty more too

BEST VALUE

Lumaland Where Tomorrow Pop Up Gazebo with 1x Sidewall - Large Event Pavilion - Festival Party Tent - Standing Height 1.9 m - Waterproof Gazebo with UV+50 Protection - Blue

A smart, surprisingly sturdy and affordable option. The Lumaland gazebo comes with one side wall and you can buy the others separately as needed.

Comes in a minimal black, a vibrant lime and a blue for those sitting on the style fence!

It takes less than two minutes to snap the poles into place and peg it down. It’s waterproof and includes a bag and pegs. We use it in the garden, on campsites and as a workaround campervan awning. Brill and not expensive.

More multipurpose shelters here

Super-comfy sleeping

REDCAMP Folding Camping Beds wiht Mattress Pad for Adults, 28' Extra Wide Heavy Duty Camp Bed for Outdoor Travel Office Use, Grey

For sleepers that struggle with a bad back, comfort is at the top of the list of priorities. This camping bed from Redcamp boasts a study frame and a delightfully comfortable mattress for the perfect night’s sleep. 

More options in our special Best Camping Cots.

KingCamp Camping Mat Inflatable Double Air Bed Thick 10cm Elastic Fabric TPU Coating for Adult Camping Hiking Outdoor

This is such a hardy piece of camping equipment, the mattress is very lightweight and at just 10cm in thickness, you could be forgiven for thinking that it wouldn’t do much in the way of support, but the opposite is true. 

The mattress is contoured to support the body effortlessly and thanks to the anti-air leak function, you won’t need to worry about waking up and feeling the ground beneath you. Available in single or double size.

As featured in our Best Camping Mattress for Couples

Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe Si Mat - Regular Wide - Self-Inflating Camping & Backpacking Sleeping Mat, Blue

We do have an amazingly comfortable Sea to Summit’s Comfort self-inflating camping mat, but it was expensive, so for a second mat, we’ve gone for a Klymit.

We first came across them for their clever but exorbitant hammock pad, but now use their Static V2 as one of our main camping mats. They’re unusual in design, very comfortable and take up far less room.

More options in our special feature on mats.

Good Value Sleeping bag

Vango Cocoon 250 XL Sleeping Bag [Amazon Exclusive]

One of our favourite value sleeping bags that offers some great wriggle room as well as warm and comfy, It also has a handy internal pocket if you want to store your phone or spare cash there, as well as a drawstring on the hood to keep that extra bit of warmth. The Cocoon has a good non-slip fabric too.

  • Comfort 3°C and limit  -3°C
  • Pack size: 43 x 25cm
  • Weight: 1.7kg
  • Length:185cm

More sleeping bag recommendations here.

Sleeping bag for 2 people

Double layered insulation and the option to open the foot-end. Trucomfort by name and nature! Beautifully designed with heavy duty zips and a bag it easily slides back into. Plenty big enough for 2 people, probably could fit the dog in there too!

Kelty Tru.Comfort Doublewide 20 Degree Sleeping Bag – Two Person Synthetic Camping Sleeping Bag for Couples & Family Camping – Stuff Sack Included


Coleman Tent Octagon Blackout, 6 to 8 Man Festival Dome Tent, Waterproof Family Camping Tent with Sewn-in Groundsheet

Coleman’s Cortes Octagon is our favourite tent for looks and versatility. 

Standing height, sleeps six to eight, the flysheet removes to create a screened shelter and there’s a sewn-in groundsheet. 

We love the hinged door and the airy feel

There’s now a new blackout version too available now too, though this is more expensive.

Lots more options in our Fast-Pitch tent feature.

Coleman Tent Octagon, 6 to 8 Man Festival Dome Tent, Waterproof Family Camping Tent with Sewn-in Groundsheet

MULTIPURPOSE TENT THINGY

The Arpenaz Base Fresh is a very versatile gazebo/tent or campervan awning with a fixed groundsheet.
Affordable too at around £80.

Fantastic light, easy to put up and makes a brilliant campervan awning too.

Bell-tents and tipis

TentHome Waterproof Double Layers Teepee Tent Outdoor Camping 3.1M/10ft Family Tent Pyramids Indian Tent With fixed Groundsheet (Khaki)

We’ve just got excited about tipis and bell-tents because there’s only one pole to install (plus awning if you have one).

We do love the versatility of this affordable TentHome tipi.

Use the inner or the outer on its own and prop up the big canopy for loads of space. It gives you 310 x 360 x 240cm of space. Aluminium poles, bug-mesh and lots of ventilation. Great.

We’ve reviewed more over at our quick-pitch tent article

BEST FOR SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS

Wild Country Tents Unisex's Zephyros 1 Tent, Green, One Size

Our favourite sleeping arrangement for fair-weather wild camping. Wild Country Zephyros 1 lightweight mesh tent lets you sleep safe from bugs and able to see the stars.

It takes about 20 seconds to set up and is roomy, without that claustrophobic coffin-like feeling you get in many small tents.

See our wild camping kit feature too.

Tentsile tree tents

You’ll find a couple of great bivvy options on this page, but the Tentsile tree-tents are something special. They’re expensive, though.

We love the airy feel with a mosquito net to protect you, the option to pitch on the ground and the perfectly flat (unslumpy) floor).

See more hammocks and bivvies too.

Big hammock packs tiny

Ticket to the Moon Double Hammock in Express Bag Royal Blue/Grey

Don’t bother with cheap, Chinese-branded hammocks. We’ve tested a lot and they either rip or don’t measure up to the claimed dimensions.

You can’t go wrong with a Ticket to the Moon hammock. Although you’ll pay a bit more, it’ll last. For peace of mind we took ours to France five years ago…and it’s still perfect.

They fold quickly into an integrated bag and are really light to carry too.

Versatile tarps

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. This one is the good-value Unigear tarp, which comes with everything you need.

Remember to get bungee or elasticated cord for fastening your tarp (details at the end)!

We’ve got a feature on tarps here too.

Tent and tarp poles made to last

If you’ve read our articles on multipurpose shelters or our feature on tarps, you’ll know we love versatility. A good set of tarp poles means you can create a whole range of shelters and awnings.

These tarp poles are some of the best we’ve found. They’ll give you between 40 and 240cm of height and are made with lightweight (800g in total) but strong aircraft aluminium. They also have some good bits of design to add strength and make it easier to set up. They come in a set of two.


Lifesystems Unisex's Expedition GeoNet Freestanding Mosquito Net, Black, One Size

A simple freestanding mosquito net from Lifesystems. Fasten it to your campbed or use it on the ground.

This kind of ‘tent’ could be great for warm weather camping. But we’ve also chosen lots of tents that are basically a mesh shell (some with optional rainfly).

Have a look at our guide to the best tents for stargazing.

Camping Bathroom & Toiletries

OUR TOP TOILET PICK

Thetford 92820 Porta Potti 365 Portable Toilet, White-Grey, 414 x 383 x 427 mm

While a bucket with lid is usually all we need, sometimes a real toilet makes for a more comfortable trip. The best we’ve found is the neat Thetford 365.

Small enough for a campervan or tent but with decent capacity and a flush. Not for big bums, though!  

UPDATE: Never has there been such a rush on camping loos (!!). You’ll find many are out of stock at the moment, so have a look at more camping toilets here.

Should you need something a little less bulky, 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.

BoginaBag Foldable Portable Folding Toilet/Loo suitable for Festivals, Camping, Fishing, Hiking & Treking - Bog in a Bag (STOOL + 1 PACK OF BAGS)

OUR TOP SHOWER PICK

Colapz Rechargeable Camping Shower - Portable Shower for Dogs - Jet Wash for Bikes - 1 Shower Head - 1 Jet Head - Carry Case included - Campervan Essentials

We’ve been using this portable electric shower on wild camps in the Lakes, on Mull and more. Great pressure and a neat kit to carry. Recharges via USB. We filled the Colapz 2-in-1 bucket from the river and topped up with a kettle of hot water.

Colapz 2-in-1 Collapsible Water Container - Camping Water Carrier - Campervan bucket - Water Dispenser with Tap - Green

If you prefer a non-powered option, we like the Decathlon hand-pumped pressure shower and the Hozelock Portashower.

See our Best of Portable Camping Showers Guide.

Your own private(ish) loo and shower cubicle

Lumaland Outdoor Pop Up Shower Tent Dressing Tent Privacy Toilet Tent Standing Height 2.05 m Changing Tent Shelter Sunshade Camping 155x155x220 cm green

Make your own pop-up private loo space with one of these toilet tents. Great with camping showers as well. 

We really love the Lumaland gazebo, which we use as a campervan awning and in the garden at home. So, good to see there’s another goody from this German brand.

The pole system is ready installed, so you just click the hinges into place. We like the removable floor and the neat storage inside.

Multitool for toilet trenches and more

REDCAMP Multitool Hand Hiking Shovel for Camping, Small Lightweight Backpacking Trowel with Carrying Bag, 0.55lbs Black

After using a serving spoon for the job on our last trip (not recommended), I knew I had to get more professional.

Use this Redcamp trowel for digging a toilet hole on wild camps, or for sawing, chopping, cutting branches, pulling out nails and more. Use it for weeding at home. 

The shockcord-wound handle makes it extra-useful and comfortable, plus you can easily replace it when it gets worn.

FireAngels Emergency Urinal,Portable Mini Outdoor Camping Travel Shrinkable Personal Mobile Toilet Potty Pee Bottle for Kids Adult (750 ML)

Wee Tubes! If you’ve read our guide to camping toilets, you’ll know we have a healthy interest in these matters! Kathy, of binoculars fame, also won us over with these super-handy wee tubes. They fold down small, seal well and have a fit that works for women as well as men. Oh, and they cost very little.

Elsan ORG02 Organic Toilet Fluid for Motorhomes, Green, 2 Litre

Friendlier fluid for your loo. Remember to buy a septic-tank friendly cleaning fluid or some campsites won’t let you empty your loo. Not to mention the fact that you don’t want to be adding formaldehyde to the environment!

OLPro Happy Camper Happy Going Toilet Roll Holder - Grey

Skip to your loo with 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. 

Have a look at our guide to all things toilet-y!

Bathroom Essential

Reisenthel WH7003 Travelling Kulturtasche, Schwarz

Perfect travel toilet bags - The Reisenthel hanging toilet bag makes organising your bathroom kit very satisfying (am I revealing a bit of fussiness here?!)

Anyway, I embrace my tidiness! The medium size is plenty big enough, it’s easy to find things, there’s a mirror and it looks lovely. Perfect for hanging in trees, in the campervan or in the shower block.

PACKTOWL Luxe Face Towel, Deep Sea, 10' x 14'

Travel towels that dry - The PackTowl Luxe range are 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.

The Shave Well Company Unbreakable Camping Mirror - Backpack Approved - Small Fogless Shatterproof Mirror - Small hanging mirror

No-smash travel mirror - Simple and unbreakable (!) travel mirrors from the Shave Well company. Stick or hang options for shower-rooms or the windows of campervans.

Camping Essential Toiletries

Klorane Shampooing Sec Extra Doux au Lait d'Avoine 150ml

Good hair days - 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).

Better still…make your own using arrowroot or cornflour (add cocoa powder for dark hair).

Aqua Wipes Baby Wipes, (Printed Carton of 12 x 64 Wipe Packs (768 Wipes)), 100% Biodegradable, Plastic Free Wipes, 99.6% Purified Water, Newborn Wipes, Vegan, Paraben Free, Perfume Free, NHS Approved

Clean, green camping - No shower? No worries. We always take a couple of packs of these totally natural Aqua Wipes. Just water and biodegradable.

Biodegradable doesn’t mean you should ever chuck them in the wild. They take a long time to disappear and are just litter meanwhile. Take them home!

For even more environmentally friendly cleaning options…

Check out our article on 25 ways to make camping greener.

incognito Insect Repellent Spray 100ml - Maximum Strength, Natural, DEET free formula - Mosquito Repellent and Effective On All Biting Insects - Bug Repellent Suitable for Men, Women and Kids

Keep mosquitos away with All natural Incognito keeps everything nasty away. Mosquito and midge repellent range that’s a bit kinder on the skin. We’ve tested it in some buggy places! We prefer this to the old favourite Avon Skin So Soft, but try them both!

Camping Accessories & Add Ons

The Best Camping Chair

Coleman Deck Chair Outdoor Furniture - Green

We searched long and hard for a supportive camping chair. The Coleman Deck Chair has a strong back, a no-sag seat and is super light. Comes in khaki and cream.

See more camping chairs, including options with tables or coolbags attached. 

Also check out the best chair for bad backs.

Strongback Chairs with lumber support

These chairs curve in at the back rather than letting your back slump outwards.

Keeping Stuff Cool

Utterly Reliable Compressor Fridges

Dometic CoolFreeze CDF 36 Portable Compressor Cooler and Freezer, 31 Litre 12/24 V

We tested the CDF36. Despite its name, this is actually a 31-litre fridge/freezer that’s high enough to take upright wine bottles and two-litre bottles.

There’s a cold section and a smaller area equivalent to the salad drawer in your home fridge, and even an interior LED light. A pull-out basket makes it easy to transfer things from the fridge to the cooler when you’re packing. Its temperature range is +10 to -15, and, being a compressor, it’ll achieve those temperatures whatever the heat outside.

Dometic CFX3 55

If you have a little more budget take a look at the CFX3, Could this be the ultimate camping fridge? The CFX3 is Dometic’s latest compressor fridge and, although you won’t be able too inexpensive, they certainly offer a lot of features.

There are seven models – from 32-litres to 88-litres – and you can choose a model that will either chill or freeze, models with an ice maker compartment or true dual-zone fridge/freezers.

See our fridge guide here for how to choose.

A Coolbox that stays cool

If you don’t want to invest in a compressor fridge, then a good-quality passive coolbox is the answer. One of the best we’ve found is the Coleman Extreme.

There are big ones (up to 91-litres) like the one above, but also a neat 28quart/26-litre version.

We also  love the Igloo mentioned below.

Coleman 50Qt Xtreme Wheeled Cooler Hard Shell Passive Cooler - Blue/White

The VERY best passive coolbox?

It’s not cheap, but it will (used correctly) keep ice frozen for five days when the outside temperature soars to 30C.

This is the Igloo BMX and it’s a thing of beauty and sturdiness. Brilliant insulation and holds 49l.

IGLOO Camping BMX 52 Cool Box, 49 Liter, Gray/Carbonite, Carb/Grey/Blue, Qt

The Safest Campervan Heater

Dimplex OFRB7N Electric Heater, 700 W

The baby Eco Chico Dimplex is an oil-FREE radiator that warms up super-quickly and is light to carry.

It’s our choice for larger campervans or caravans on hook-up because you can safely leave it on to warm your space. We use ours in the porch at home when we’re not camping.

Of course, if you’re a skilled mechanic and you’re building your own van from scratch, you can just buy the kits for diy installation (Triclicks is a good ‘un).

The Triclicks diesel heater kit is pretty well thought-of and a very good price if you feel confident enough to DIY your heater (or if you know a friendly fitter).

Around £110 and comes with everything you need, including a remote control.

Triclicks 12V 5KW Air Diesel Heater Parking Heater Diesel Night Heater with Silencer LCD Switch Remote Control 10L Tank For Truck, Boat, Car Trailer, Motorhomes, Campervans, Caravas (Style 1)

The Best Camping Table

Nestling Picnic Folding Tables Aluminum Table for Outdoor Dining Tables for Camping/Banquet/Picnic Party/Garden BBQ - Adjustable in Height (Silver)


Stable, lightweight, cheap, not fiddly…what more could you want. 

The (individually) adjustable-leg Uquip aluminium table is great for uneven ground and folds easily into a bag. Around £55 for the medium. You’ll also find it branded Nestling if the Uquip is out of stock. There’s also a large version.


La Hacienda 58106 Camping Firebowl with Grill, Folding Legs and Carry Bag - Black

If you are in the market for a camping fire pit that looks as incredible as it performs, then this could be a viable option for you. It is finished in a heat proof black paint that will compliment any outdoor camping area. What’s more, it comes with a BBQ grill, making this an extremely versatile piece of equipment.

See our 10 best camping firepits guide

Solo Stoves are beautiful things. The smaller ones are hugely popular with backpackers and wild campers who want to cook without carrying gas.

The larger ones are (almost) smoke-free firepits and even come with a lifetime guarantee. We’ve just bought the Ranger because the size is perfect for home and for taking in the van for picnics and camping. Not cheap but gorgeous.

Current favourite is the Sea to Summit PackTap in the 10-litre version.

Easy to fill, holds enough for a weekend trip, taste-free water and you can hang it up too. The push tap is simple to operate one-handed.

Although we’re using the 10-litre Sea to Summit Packtap more and more, the Source Liquitainer has the edge when it comes to filling with water and being able to see what you’ve got left. 

It’s a taste-free, non-BPA, foldable water carrier. Holds six litres. Stands up (many water bags don’t), reliable tap and easy-fill top.

Source Liquitainer Hydration Bladder, Blue, 4 Litres

The simplest bucketSturdy and with a good lid, the Kampa (or Summit, they’re identical) pop-up bucket is one of the best.

We’ve found for lots of uses (including a night-time toilet, providing you don’t sit down heavily on it, of course!). Another goodie for under £15.

Summit Pop! 5L Collapsible Bucket with Lid Black/Grey

Fab Folding Saws

I’ve swapped my Gerber folding saw (but not the man borrowing it) for the Bahco Laplander (below), after spotting it in the timber merchants this week.

The Bahco Laplander folds away safely, the teeth cut in both directions, so it’s a bit easier to use, plus folding it up is a tad simpler. It’s super-cheap too. Both are great, though.

The Handiest holdalls

Dakine Eq Bag, Non Wheeled Luggage, 23 Litre, Burntrose

Dakine holdalls – a big range of sizes and colours. Fold up small, stylish, sturdy and easy to get things in and out of because the top opens up fully. From 23 to 74 litres.

Vango Transit Trolley

Vango Transit Trolley, Silver, One Size

If you don’t need a heavyweight all-terrain barrow, Vango’s Transit is fab. Folds completely flat and weighs just 3kg.  It can take up to 70kg and comes with an elastic tie-round.

Bungee cords, clips and bits!

Thanks to ex-para and now car-camper Tommy Graham for his tip on using stretch rope or bungee cords when tying down tarps and other shelters.

Do-it-all camping rope, Looprope is great for hanging kit at camp, but is also strong and versatile enough to tie down bikes or other loads. Lots of lengths and tying options, plus no tangles. Ingenious.

Hang anything up anywhere with these nifty carabiner and hook combinations. Look for Heroclips or Qliplet. Use them to hang backpacks, lanterns and even a bike (they can hold up to 22kg! Lots of sizes and colours.

Faithfull TARPCLIPS Instant Clip on Tarpaulin Eyelets (Pack of 4)

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 (screw-down) or black clips (slide-shut) fasten on to canvas taps, tents and so on without damaging the fabric and give you more options for securing.

CampAir Telescopic Aluminum Tent Pole 3-Section – Continuously adjustable from 90-230 cm - Twist mechanism

Tarp poles for everywhereLightweight aluminium tarp poles that can be adjusted for lots of different heights to suit your surroundings. Have a look at our article on how to rig up a tarp too.

Our Favourite Windbreak

Vango Airbeam Modular Windbreak

There are some VERY expensive inflatable windbreaks, but very few of us could justify spending upwards of £200. The best of the bunch (so far) is the Vango Airbeam. We like the fact it comes in separate panels that you can slot together.

Check out other Windbreaks Here

Nice to Have Accessories

Yes you read this right, a simple solution to an ongoing issue of lugging around extra stuff you would rather do without. We love ours and use nothing else when heading out for a long walk and a picnic it keeps everything cool and opens up to be a nice blanket when your ready to sit down. Very well made the zips look like they will last and has a decent handle so will withstand a good amount of weight. Comes in 3 sizes too at a great price.

Wild Guide Scotland: Hidden Places, Great Adventures & the Good Life

A brilliant series of guides that help you discover lovely landscapes, places to swim and camp, unusual and special places to eat and more. There are guides to ScotlandCentral England, the Lakes and DalesWalesPortugalCornwall and the South WestScandinavia and wild swimming in the UK, Italy and France.

Rite in the Rain notebooks

Rite in the Rain Waterproof Paper Geological Notebook Side Hard Bound Fabrikoid Cover White/Yellow 160 Pages 80 Sheets 20 Geological reference Pages includes conversion charts 4.75 x 7.5 x .5 Inches

Brilliant and HUGE range of notebooks and journals that you can write on even when they’re wet. Hard and soft covers, all sizes, even printing paper. Affordable and recyclable too. Now you can write your novel while camping in the rain.

Our favourite camping blanket. Packs into a pillow, good insulation, withstands damp and drizzle and made with the environment as a priority. Use them as a blanket, a wraparound, a sleeping bag and a pillow. Lots of gorgeous designs and colours (I have the Bahia), as well as models with a fleecy lining.

Green Decore recycled plastic rug

Rugs made from recycled plastic are a great idea for camping and for decks, patios and gardens. Fab Hab or Green Decore are the best. They come in loads 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.

P1 Auto Care Screenwash Pod (6)

Just imagine how many of those 5l plastic containers of screenwash get chucked away every year. Keep the one you have and use P1 Autocare screenwash pods instead. They work just as well and work out cheaper. Just add one to your empty container and fill with water. Around £9 for six (30 litres in total).

Camping Kitchen & Cooking

Our Favourite Multipurpose Camping Stove

Cadac Safari Chef 2 LP QR
Table-top or on the ground. The Cadac Safari Chef 2 camp stove is our favourite versatile gas cooker. Very efficient, packs away nicely and has lots of options for cooking styles – from pizza stone to seared steak griddle plate. Piezo ignition. And it all fits into a roomy, easy-to-carry bag and sets up in no time. High and low pressure options (ie. big gas bottle with hose or screw-in canister).
Cadac 2 Cook 2 Pro Deluxe QR

We also love our Cadac Safari Chef , but Cadac have also brought out a more traditional-looking camping stoves with two burners – the 2 Cook.

So many people have opted to camp this year, that this nifty stove keeps going out of stock. Keep popping back to see when it comes back into stock!

Camping Barbecue

Lotus Grill

The best barbecue we’ve found. The Lotus Grill. Have a look at our review. The best barbecue we’ve found. The Lotus Grill. Has a built-in fan to get your coals burning fast, and can stand on your table for comfortable cooking.

Have a look at our full LotusGrill review.

A barbecue must-have

BEEWAY BBQ Grill Mat, Set of 5 Non Stick Barbecue Baking Mats for Charcoal, Gas or Electric Grill - Heat Resistant, Reusable and Easy to Clean, FDA Aproved - Bonus 12' BBQ Tongs

So, we’ve found the best barbecues, and this (non-Teflon) grill mat is the perfect addition. Makes it easier to cook small ingredients, stops the burn and is reusable.

See our full feature on Best Camping Barbecues


CamPart Travel Camping Outdoor Kitchen Sink with Windshield

We tested lots of camping storage cupboards and kitchen stands in our special feature on camping cupboards and camp kitchens, but the Campart Valencia. really stood out. Aluminium top and even a sink! There’s a smaller model too.

Campart Travel Camping Kitchen Valencia, Height Adjustable Legs, Storage, Windshield, Alumunium Frame


We like to keep extra gear to a minimum, so we use the same pans camping as we do at home. Tefal Ingenio pans share a removable handle so they’re easy to pack and can be used on stoves, in ovens and as mixing bowls.

Look out for them in French supermarkets when you’re on your travels.

More stoves and Cooking Appliances

DWD New Improved Outdoor Camping Wood Stove

A fabulous DWD wood-burning stove. It all packs down into a small bag, you can cook on it and keep warm. 

The water heater option is brilliant and there are kits so you can use it inside a bell tent.

Our other favourite for lighter packs is the neat and easy Solo Stove .

The Campfire Solo Stove four-person stove

Campingaz Bivouac Stove

We love our neat Campingaz Bivouac stove. Small and effective. Been using it for years and years and still just as perfect.

Stows in a small bag and takes easily-findable canisters. The Cadac (also on this page) is our choice when we need something bigger and more versatile, but this is the one we use the most.

Also handy to have Windshield for your stove

H&S 10 Plates Foldable Outdoor Camping Cooker Wind Screen Gas Stove Windshield

As simple as it gets, but we wish we’d spent the £8 sooner. This aluminium windshield fits around almost any size of cooker and folds back easily to nothing! It saves frustration, matches and gas.

Instant Pot IPDuo-30 Duo Mini, Stainless Steel, 700 W, 3 liters

If you have a campervan or caravan or room in the car plus electric hook-up, the Instant Pot is a great way to cook your meals quickly and economically. From stews in 15 minutes to perfect rice and even cakes and yoghurt.

Basically, it’s a clever electric pressure cooker that also slow cooks and steams. The 3l Mini is the perfect size for taking camping (when you have power). Perfect for home for a couple too.

If you do not have power you might want to consider the Wonderbag, no power needed and keeps food warm for upto 12 hours!

Wonderbag - Non-Electric Portable Slow Cooker (Large) (Grey)
Vango 2 Litre Camping Kettle Camping Cooking Equipment, Silver, One Size

An old favourite, the Vango steel kettle has the best handle of all we’ve tested, and it folds. It has a whistle too (though it doesn’t always work). The spout cover saves steam and spills. A bit heavier and bulkier than some.

Lots more kettles in our boiling hot guide to the best!

The Best Camping Toaster

Primus Toaster-790025 Multicolor One Size

It’s the simplest and, once you get your gas flame judged correctly, it’s VERY fast. The Primus toaster folds flat and believe me, we’ve tried EVERY toaster for camping…as you can see in our special head-to-head on toasters.

WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker, Upgrade Version of Minipresso, 18 Bar Pressure, Extra Small Travel Coffee Maker, Manually Operated, Compatible with Ground Coffee

The best cup of coffee we’ve ever had? Honestly. Wacaco – a portable, hand-powered espresso maker that gets to the same pressure as a barista machine in a café. Double shot version and a pod version (if you must).

While we love the Wacaco Nanopresso and use it at home even more than when camping, sometimes you need quick, simple and mess-free for your breakfast coffee. Especially true when wild camping.

The best method we’ve found is to make your own coffee bags using unbleached plastic-free paper pockets and a good ground coffee (we use Percol because the whole company is going plastic-free).

Fill before you go, or take a jar along and pop in a dessertspoon of coffee, pour on boiling water, wait a few minutes and voilá. The bag is now totally compostable, and the coffee is perfect.

Zyliss Easy Pull Food Processor - Dishwasher safe, manual food processor with handle, in a compact design for quick slicing and dicing

Make speedy work of chopping without electricity or batteries. There are a few hand-operated food processors out there, but this Zyliss chopper is the most popular and the sturdiest. Will make hummus and dips, but they won’t be supersmooth.

For all your kitchen kit

Andes Insulated Camping Kitchen Store Travel Cool Bag Picnic Cooler Box

The Andes kitchen storer. Room for crockery, pots and pans, plus lots of pockets. An essential to keep things neat and to hand. The modular X-Cosrack is an alternative and has two cooler sections.

X-cosrack Car Trunk Organizer ,Storage with Insulation Cooler Bags for SUV,Truck,Automotive,Van,Cargo Collapsible Portable Multi Compartments with Straps, 4 Compartments Convertible, Washable

Also look at our recommendations for

Camping storage cupboards and kitchen stands.

Kitchen Essentials


Multifunction Chopping Boards, Collapsible Dish Tub Portable Washing Basin Bowl Draining Basket Space Saving Hamper Foldable Storage Container for Kitchen adnd Camping

Clever and under £15 too. The washing up bowl has good handles and a plug for draining. When you fold it down, the base becomes a chopping board. Lots more washing up bowls here.

Clever Chopping Board

Joseph Joseph 60111 Chop2Pot Folding Bamboo Chopping Board - Small

Our favourite camp chopping board, the Chop2Pot by Joseph Joseph. Made of bamboo, comes in two sizes and folds on a silicone hinge so that you can chop and pour.

We’ve got both sizes and they’ve been going strong for three years at least.

Mari Chef Set of 5 Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls | Includes Salad Bowls of 1L, 2L, 2.5L, 3L, 4.5L | Container with Grater, Non-Slip Silicone Base & Lids | Perfect for Baking, Making Salads & Storage

We love our stainless steel bowls for all our home baking and mixing. They’re even more useful when camping. These bowls (five of them) are great because they have lids, plus interchangeable centre bits for grating, slicing etc. Mix in them, measure in them, serve in them. Perfect and indestructible.

Creative Tops Into The Wild Bamboo Plates with Animal Designs, Multi-Colour, 25 cm, 4 Piece Dinner Plate Set

Avoid plastic when you can! It’s easy when bamboo crockery is as lovely as these bowls, plates and more. Lightweight, very stylish. 

We’ve got more to look at too, including beautiful enamelware and even wooden plates!

Joseph Joseph 10528 3-Piece Elevate Knife Set with Paring knife, Serrated knife, Chef's knife and storage sheaths- Stainless-steel

Joseph Joseph’s Elevate chef and paring knives come with a safety sheath and a rest to keep them off the work surface. Ideal for the camping cook kit.

The set isn’t cheap, but enough knives for home and the camping kitchen.

Nice to Have

Make Yourself a Camping Spice Tin

You’ll never have to rummage in your kitchen bag again.

Zinel 7114 Spice Box/Masala Dabba with 7 Comparments and 2 Stainless Steel Lids, 18cm, Silver, 18 cm

A masala dhaba is a great idea, providing it has airtight lids or a double outer lid.

9 Spice Jars Magnetic Rack with Stainless Trestle Rack Condiment Storage Jar Tray Set,Stainless Steel Spice Jars Multipurpose Spice Tin (Stainless Steel)

Go for a neat set of magnetic tins.

Flask & Reusable Coffee Cups

JOCO Glass Reusable Coffee Cup (Ruby Wine, 12 oz)

We’re NEVER using a throwaway cup again, so here’s our favourite to take along to the coffee shop.

The Joco Cup is the right size for a decent Americano, is nice to hold and a pleasure to drink from. We use the cardboard packaging to hold our camping cutlery!

See other reusable and insulated travel mugs too.

STANLEY 18-8 Stainless Steel-Double-Wall Vacuum Insulation Water Bottle, Hammertone Green, 1L

Simple and perfect. The Stanley Leakproof flask is Leakprrof, BPA-Free and will keep your drink Hot or Cold for 24 hours! A strong reliable flask built like a battleship.

FreeForm Reversible Tray, Grey/Black, 55 x 41 cm

A freeform tray that turns into a mat. Very neat. Lots of different colours and sizes. Great for campervanners especially, because it gives a solid surface for plates and cups on a bench seat.

Beeswax Wrap instead of clingfilm

You’ll probably have already come across individual cotton and beeswax (or vegan wax) wraps? Well, we’ve just found this fantastic plastic-free wrap on a roll.

Cut the size you need for wrapping sandwiches, using to seal bowls or for wrapping around loaves to keep them fresher. We struggled to find individual wraps big enough for large loaves, so this is a super alternative. 

You can rinse it in cold water and use it over and over. There’s also a vegan version that uses plant-based wax.

See more green camping ideas in our special feature.

Easy Camping Meals

After a long day’s walking or when you just can’t be bothered, Firepot’s dried meals are quick and delicious (and now in paper rather than plastic pouches). All natural ingredients too. Just add boiling water.

See more tasty cheats in our article on fast (but good) food.

Camping Gadgets

OUR TOP PICK

LUCI Base Light Inflatable Solar Lantern

We quite liked the original inflatable Luci light, but this bigger Base Lamp is really good. Three brightness settings, no weight, waterproof, charge lasts for ages and you can even charge your phone with it.

The best thing, though, is that it’s both bright enough to read by or illuminate outside eating areas and can be dimmed for a soft background light.


Plantronics BACKBEAT FIT 3100 Bluetooth-Sport Headset/Headphones, In-Ear, IP57 with charging case, Black

Headphones for cyclists and walkers - This is one of the best ways of listening to music or a podcast for runners, cyclists and walkers. Why?

That’s because they give great sound, but also leave your ears free to hear the world around you. It’s safer and more sociable too.

Choose either the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 3100 earpods or (below) the super-light Aftershokz Trekz (preferred by my cycling friend). And don’t forget Apple Airpods. I’m a new convert thanks to the amazing sound quality.

AFTERSHOKZ Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Bluetooth Sports Headphones with Microphone, Grey

EDITORS CHOICE

Anker PowerHouse II 400, 300W/388.8Wh Portable Power Station, 230V AC Outlet/60W USB-C Power Delivery Portable Generator for Road Trips, Camping, Emergency Power, and More

The Anker PowerHouse ll is a great portable power bank, the side torch feature and ambient light at the back will light up a camper or tent easily is a really good addition, it is super easy to use and has a really clear LED display so you can see what power you have left.  We tried this out ourselves and took maybe 4 hours to charge fully and we managed to charge the phone 6 times, the laptop 4 times and the ipad once! A very handy AC socket as well as usb outputs means you can use it for most things and it can handle charging 8 devices at once. It can be charged via solar power  too (you have to buy the panels separate). Great compact size, rugged shell, to be honest I think this will be a staple piece of gear for us even when not on site it will charge our phones and the kids tablet while travelling in the car which can save allot of headaches! 

  • Inputs: DC Input: 11-28V 5.5A (65W Max), USB-C Input: 5V 3A/9V 3A/15V 3A/20V 3A (60W Max), USB-C 60W + 65W DC Input: 125W Max (USB-C Charger not included)
  • Outputs: AC (Pure Sine Wave): 110V~ 2.72A, 50Hz / 60Hz, 300W, USB-A: 5V 7.2A (2.4A Max Per Port), USB-C: 5V 3A / 9V 3A /15V 3A / 20V 3A (60W Max), Car Socket + 5.5 mm DC: 12V 10A (120W Max)
  • Size: 255 × 148 × 139 mm
  • Weight: 4.62kg

Best Value

LE Rechargeable Camping Lantern, 1000 Lumen LED Outdoor Lights, 4 Modes Emergency Light, Water Resistant Tent Light for Camping, Hiking, Fishing, Power Cuts and More

Out of all the camping lanterns we have reviewed, the LE rechargeable camping lantern certainly stood out from the crowd. With a wide range of features and some serious brightness, this is a lantern that would suit even the most demanding campers. 

See our full feature on Best Rechargeable Camping Lanterns

Nikon binoculars

Nikon BAA710AA Sportstar EX 8x25 DCF Binocular - Black

It was our friend Kathy who introduced us to the wonders of these lightweight binoculars. For birdwatching, a pair of carryable binoculars is a really good idea.

These £80 Nikon binoculars are the best we’ve tried for portability and clarity. We’ve spotted a golden eagle, seals, yellowhammers and a naked man having a shower next to a green bucket on the beach! Who could that be?

Wonderbooms

Ultimate Ears Wonderbooms 2 Wireless Speaker, Deep Bass, 360 ° Surround Sound, Waterproof, 2 Speaker Connection for Powerful Sound, 13h Battery, Black

The best waterproof speaker, the Wonderbooms 2 is marvellous. Rugged and waterproof (even floats), connect two for true stereo for use at home, tiny form, big sound…what more do you need?

Oh. and the battery lasts 13 hours. If that’s not enough, you can choose your colour too.

Smart bulbs and plugs for security

TP-LINK Kasa Smart Bulb, Wi-Fi Smart Switch, E27/B22, 10 W, Works with Amazon Alexa (Echo and Echo Dot) and Google Home, Dimmable Soft Warm White, No Hub Required (LB110), [Energy Class A+]

Boy, these are brilliant. We’ve been using bulb timers for when we’re away, but they were unreliable. The TP-Link Smart Bulbs and Smart Plug (below) let you control your lights and a radio, say, from anywhere you’ve got signal or wifi.

Dimmable, tuneable lights with screw and bayonet fitting and the easiest, most feature-rich app to control them (Kasa). VERY impressed.

Kasa Smart Plug by TP-Link, WiFi Outlet, Works with Amazon Alexa (Echo and Echo Dot), Google Home and Samsung SmartThings, Wireless Smart Socket Remote Control Timer Switch, No Hub Required(HS100)

Luminoodle LED Rope Lights for Camping, Hiking, Safety, Emergencies - Portable LED String Light That Doubles as an LED Lantern

Fantastic Luminoodle – an LED light strip (different lengths available) with rechargeable powerbank and clever hanging options.

Bright enough to read and cook by too. Plus they come with a semi-transparent bag to make a sort of table lamp. Clever. Check out our best camping string lights article for other ideas.


Safe Drinking Water

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, Blue, 1pc

If you’re unsure about how safe the water is, the LifeStraw‘s the answer.

There’s also a flexi with gravity bag version and water filter bottles with the same filtration system. Gets rid of 99% of harmful nasties

LifeStraw Go 2-Stage Water Filter Bottle, Blue

Useful gadgets

Colapz Multi Purpose Collapsible Camping - Laundry - Beach - Waterproof Utility Bag - 35l - Blue

Very useful indeed. We use our Colapz bag for gathering wood, for washing up, for storing wet shoes and for taking recycling to the bins.

There are two sizes and both are suitable for holding water. Green or blue too.

UK to EU Euro Europe Travel Adapter with 2 USB Ports - Grounded European Power Plug Adapter for Germany France Iceland Poland Spain Russia and More (Type E/F)

The Tessan plug adaptor has useful USB inputs. Very neat. Let’s just hope European trips aren’t a thing of the past with everything that is going on!

Cable Tidy - Pack of 3 for headphones, earphones, earbud earpod - suitable for iPhone 6/6 Plus 4 4S 5 5S 5C iPad 2 3 4 mini Air Kindle HTC Samsung Galaxy S3 S4 Note iPod classic touch shuffle nano B

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 too. Oh, and they cost pennies.

SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder, White (4 x C batteries required)

Leaving Kitty at Home? 

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.

See our article on taking cats camping

Camping Security

Window Alarm 4 Pieces with Loud 100dB Alarm and Vibration Sensors - Compatible with Virtually Any Window - Perfect for Home, Office, Dorm Room

We were burgled in our campervan while sleeping in the roof bed…it made us a lot more aware of security. So, these are our choices for quick and easy alarms.

The Doberman window alarms go off if anyone tries to break a window (or knock on it loudly!). That would certainly wake you up.

Our problem was that the site was beautifully dark, so our other choice is a sensor light. It wouldn’t disturb neighbours but would deter thieves and would probably have woken us up.

Proxinova Outdoor Security Light Dummy Camera with PIR Motion Sensor | Powerful LED Floodlight Bulbs Deter Suspicious Behaviour | IP65 Waterproof | Battery Powered Lighting | Multipurpose External Use

See lots more choices at our BIG article on camping security.

Arlo Pro2 Wireless Home Security Camera System CCTV, Wi-Fi, Alarm, Rechargeable, Night Vision, Indoor or Outdoor, 1080p, 2-Way Audio, Free Cloud Storage, 2 Camera Kit, VMS4230P

Peace of mind while you’re away The Netgear Arlo security system (above) 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.

See the smart bulbs and plugs on this page too.

And I’m sorry to have to suggest this, but do have a look at our guide to security when camping. We learned the hard way…burgled in our van while we slept in it!

Apps that help

Viewranger for walking, biking and more is our favourite way of discovering new walks, cycle routes and exploring new places. We used it for the first time on a trip to the Lake District. Absolutely loved its Skyline feature for identifying fells, tarns and interesting landmarks.

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

Camping Clothing

Lightweight Walking Boots


A good choice if you want to avoid suede and leather (even on trims). However, we’ve heard from a disappointed reader who found these weren’t as waterproof as she’d hoped. Regatta say they’re water repellent.

A super boot for the price, with good grips and support. They weigh less than 400g too. You might want to go up half a size to accommodate socks or an insole.

The Columbia Redmond Mid is almost a shoe and almost a boot, so it’s a bit more streamlined than many full boots. The upper is a mix of suede, mesh and webbing, but is fully waterproof. The sole is good and grippy and weight is just over 600g.

Perfect on-off camping shoes


Toffeln AktivKlog Clogs – Lightweight, Comfortable, Breathable, Slip Resistant, Theatre Clogs - Shock Absorbing Anti-Static Materials, Microfibre Insole, Perfect for Nurses & Doctors Black

We’ve been recommending the Dirt Boot shoes for all that in-and-out of tents and vans (see further down), but we’ve just discovered the Toffeln range of professional quality clogs and shoes. Brilliant!

Toffeln AktivLite Clogs GripSafe Sole - Slip Resistant, Microfibre Insole, Lightweight Comfortable & Supportive - Non-marking Sole, Durable Machine Washable, Perfect for Nurses & Doctors, Unisex Sizes

Lightweight, waterproof, proper insoles and non-slip grips. Go for the higher-back clogs with back strap or the closed shoe. Both easy to get on, but won’t leave your feet half way to the toilet block. Around £40 and way better than Crocs. Oh, and men’s and women’s sizes plus lots of colours.

Dirt Boot Neoprene Carp Fishing Waterproof Bivvy Boots Slippers Shoes - Green

All that in-and-out, to the showers and back is a pain when you have to unlace shoes. We take easy-on/off shoes. Some of the best we’ve found are these neoprene-lined slip-ons. Sizes 3 to 13 and at a good price. Dirt Boots for women and men.

The Toffeln clogs mentioned above are probably a better bet for fast on-offness!

Waterproof Beanies

DexShell Unisex Solo Beanie Waterproof Hat

I’m sure I’ve said this before elsewhere, but a waterproof hat (and a warm, waterproof hat in winter) makes you feel invincible. The best I’ve found is the DexShell brand. Cosy inside, lots of colour choice and totally protective against wind, rain and snow. If I have one complaint, it’s that I’d like a slightly bigger, less close-fitting version, but I have a claustrophobic head!

Ponchos

Tough on the outside and soft inside! the Rubbastuff Pacmat poncho.

The poncho has straps to keep it attached to bike handlebars or a pram handle, rolls up small, nice colours and spread it out for a picnic mat. Great.

You can stash your rucksack underneath, there are reflective bits for night-time…oh, and the hood works. It’s very adjustable and has a peak.

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