The best camping kit…tested and reviewed

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.


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.


Our three favourite water carriers. The one in the middle for campervans and car camping, the two others for backpacking and wild camping.

Folding travel plugs Campfire Magazine

Folding smartphone and tablet travel chargers, and an international set too. Very neat.

Ticket to the Moon hammock Campfire Magazine

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.


PackTowl luxe

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.

folding table

Stable, lightweight, cheap, not fiddly…what more could you want. Perfect camping table for two.

Water wipes wet

No shower? No worries. We always take a couple of packs of these totally natural Water Wipes. Not dear, either


Vaude Finsuit

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.

The RISA electric ukulele. Silent when not plugged in for on-site practising. Concert or tenor sizes.

Lotus Grill barbecue Campfire Magazine

The best barbecue we’ve found. The Lotus Grill. Have a look at our review.


Joseph Joseph chopping board

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.

Sureflap automatic cat dog feeder Campfire Magazine

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.

Green Decore camping picnic outdoor rug Campfire Magazine

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 app

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.

Isosteel thermos BPA free drink flask Campfire Magazine

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.

Joseph Joseph safety knife

Joseph Joseph’s chef and paring knives come with a safety shield and a built-in blade sharpener. Ideal for the camping cook kit. Kuhn Rikon’s sheathed knives are a good option too, but no sharpener.


Incognito natural insect mosquito repellent Campfire Magazine

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 camping stove barbecue Campfire Magazine

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.


Exped Comfort 10 self inflating camping mattress Campfire Magazine

Either the fabulous self-inflating Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe or the Exped 10LW. Not cheap camping mats, but well-insulated, good at inflating (especially the S-to-S) and lovely to lie on. More options in our special feature on mats

After a long day’s walking or when you just can’t be bothered, Firepot’s dried meals are quick and delicious. All natural ingredients too. Just add boiling water.

Simplehuman canisters stainless steel storage Campfire Magazine

Simplehuman sleek canisters. A range of sizes and pull-out plastic inserts to make them easy to clean. Keep the ants out!


Small camping stove Campingaz bivouac Campfire Magazine

We love our neat Campingaz Bivouac. Small and effective. Been using it for years and years.

Best camping chair Coleman Deck Chair Campfire Magazine

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.

Waeco CFX35 compressor fridge

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.


Charcoal camping stove Cobb barbecue Campfire Magazine

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

Reisenthel toilet bag

The Reisenthel hanging toilet bag has supplanted our one-time favourite Samsonite. 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.

Wood-burning camping tent stove Anevay Frontier Campfire Magazine

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.


iSmart Keep security wifi camera

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.

Proporta headphone cable magnetic tidy Campfire Magazine

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.

HandiMoova all-terrain trolley

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


Quechua best camping tarp Campfire Magazine

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.

Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy

Taking your cat camping? This brilliant carrier and cat bed by Pet Peppy has two extending sides and lots of comfort. See our feature on camping with cats too.

Nilaqua waterless wash

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.


Happy Going toilet roll holder waterproof Campfire Magazine

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.

Coleman FastPitch tent

A contender for our favourite tent because of its fast-pitch air system and hinged door. Zips are annoying at night! The Coleman FastPitch Valdes features in our quick-erect tent review.

Ball bungee clips tarp ties Campfire Magazine

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.


Klorane dry shampoo

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).

If you like sleeping in the trees or wild camping in general, you’ll love our favourite camping bivvy hammock. The Amok Draumr is tiny, neat, easy to put up and lets you sleep flat rather than bent in the middle. Built-in mosquito net, and you can even pull two side straps to turn it into a hanging chair. Expensive but fab. Read more about hammock and bivi camping.

Petzl Noctilight

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!


bog in a bag camping toilet

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. Also see our advice on the bags to use in out toilet feature.

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

Simple and unbreakable(!) travel mirrors from the Shave Well company. Stick or hang options for shower-rooms or the windows of campervans.


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.

Lifestraw steel

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.

Zuperzozial biodegradable crockery

Avoid plastic when you can! It’s easy when bamboo crockery is as lovely as the Zuperzozial range. Lightweight and very stylish. Lots to choose.


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!

 

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7 Comments

  1. For me it has got to be a tripod and enamel cooking pot called a kotlich. Not too heavy to carry around and great for my favourite mussels in cider on the beach.

  2. Frontier stove
    My must-have is my Frontier stove and boiler attachment. It is packed for every outing; beach, picnics, camping. When we go camping, I use it for cooking every meal, and I’ve had to feed six of us! The boiler attachment is brilliant, it’s 3ltr capacity means hot cuppas on tap, and washing up water is heating up whilst you cook! Not forgetting to mention that’s it’s great for keeping us warm when the weather isn’t so great! I love it, and can’t wait to get a bell tent, so I no longer have to cook under a tarp! I have many admirers come over to see what I’m cooking on, it gets embarrassing sometimes lol. Kids think I should be a sales rep for Anevay ha ha!


  3. As I've recommended elsewhere on this site it has to be my Fox Cookware Heat Transfer Kettle.
    The smaller (0.9l) size boils really fast and is just right for 2 mugs of tea or coffee.
    It also has a good sized removable lid so you can store things inside it while travelling.

    Dave.


  4. Best buy and most used item ive got has to be my Anevay horizon stove
    bought on recommendation from a friend,its super efficient,so produces hardly any ash,cooks for ages on a tiny amount of wood and the external surfaces stay cool so no chance of scorching campsite grass or starting fires
    Cant recommend it enough and despite having a hob in the camper its our go to stove every time !


  5. For me, it has to be either my Kelly kettle or M-Kettle.....
    You can't beat boiling up the water with a wood fire.
    If we're going family camping, the Kelly does the job with a few twigs and if I'm solo or out hiking, the M-kettle is great. Because the fire is contained, as long as you're at a location that allows BBQs you should be fine, in fact I often use my M-kettle with a Trangia burner anyway so that won't be an issue, even at sensitive sites.

  6. Thanks, Jeff. Good point. We do, though, review plenty of affordable things – the tarp on this page is under £25 and is our recommendation rather than an expensive awning or second utility tent; the Campingaz Bivouac stove is under £30, and there are plenty of other well-priced items. If you have a look around the magazine, you’ll find plenty of cheap workarounds too. You can’t get much more affordable than turning your car into a campervan using just four Ikea boxes and a couple of mattresses, for example! And while our favourite camping fridge is VERY expensive, (see our buyers’ guide), we also advise people to take stock of what they actually need before splashing out. We certainly don’t look for the most expensive option but, sadly, there’s a lot of not-so-great cheap camping stuff out there that wouldn’t last more than a season. Our ideal is affordable, well-designed and practical. Sometimes it’s not possible to have all three. And…we always welcome reviews from readers of the kit they use and love, even if it’s under a tenner!

  7. You seem to have a penchant for testing and recommending only the most expensive items you can find. Remember, this is camping. Why don’t you review things like 5 pound bucket BBQs. I have a 2 burner gaz cooker in my campervan, would like a BBQ, but not at 200 pounds.

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