Our Ultimate Tent Camping List

Camping has become one of favourite ways to holiday.  We love the freedom, the fresh air and the opportunity to completely unplug and spend unhasssled, non busy time together as a family.  Living in Ireland, our camping trips are unfortunately limited to short weekend trips over the summer when the weather is reasonably good and our annual trip to France for 2-3 weeks.  This year we will be heading off to France for 3 weeks in the middle of July.  This will entail a two hour drive, followed by an overnight 16 hour ferry trip followed by a further 5 hour road trip to the Vendee area of France with our tent, trailer, roof box and a laden down car. So while it is still a few months away I have been trying to organise our gear and limit what we bring while ensuring that we have everything we need for 3 weeks.  Here’s what we bring for a 3 week tent camping trip, of course we bring a lot of this for our shorter trips too but this list has the extended trip in mind. Our Ultimate Tent Camping Packing List - Our Little House in the Country

I always love reading the tips and tricks from others, so if you have and advice or something that has worked really well for your family while camping please let me know in the comments or leave a link if you have an excellent camping post so that I can have a read and share on our social media accounts! (While I have mentioned a number of suppliers in the post below I have no affiliations with any of them and have only mentioned them or linked to them as I am often asked where we sourced a particular item so you may find them helpful)

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Royal Tokyo 6 Tent

Our Ultimate Tent Camping List

 

Hardware:

  • Tent – we have a Royal Tokyo 6 person tent, we love it there’s tonnes of space it sleeps 6 although there are only 4 of us, plus it had an extension which can be added for extended trips which use for storing equipment, supplies etc. it has two bedrooms and a large living space with high ceiling.  Ours also came with a carpet! It just adds a little luxury and comfort and feels gorgeous underfoot as we have a very strict “no shoes in the tent” rule. We purchased ours from O’Meara’s and you can check out their website here.
  • Ground sheet/tarp
  • Gazebo – essential in my opinion, offers shelter from rain and shade from sun, provides a perfect eating and play area. We use the Urban Escape Outdoor Domed Shelter – it is super sturdy, really great size and has attachable sides which are fantastic if it’s quite breezy. We bought ours from Halfords and you can see it here.
  • Air Mattresses – camping for almost 3 weeks means a comfortable mattress is a must have item! We have a double and 2 single flocked air beds similar to these.
  • Pump – we use a small electric pump – it can be plugged into the mains if being used at home and into the 12v socket of cigarette lighter in the car when camping. It’s perfect for blowing up mattresses, paddling pools and water toys!
  • Trailer – As this is a long trip with a long road and ferry trip to our destination it is imperative that the car is as comfortable as possible so for us a trailer to carry the larger bits of gear is essential for us. We are currently in the process of buying a new trailer so will update you as soon as we get one.
  • Roof box – we have an Exodus 470L and find it really great.
  • Camping toilet – we have a very simple camping toilet doesn’t require chemicals etc. All (or certainly most) campsites in Ireland and France have toilet and shower facilities (some fancier than others) but as anyone with young kids know the last thing you need to be doing in the middle of the night is to be trudging off in search of the toilet block in the middle of the night with a 4 year “bursting” to go!!! We only use this at night, and it is then emptied in the toilet block next morning, cleaned out and ready for use for the following night.  This one is similar to ours.
  • Folding camp chairs – we use light weight folding chairs similar to these.
  • Folding picnic table with seats – a number of years ago we bought this fantastic picnic table set, it folds up completely flat and is very easy to use.
  • Flashlights/Torches, lanterns – we use a combination of battery led torches and a gas lantern. We also have an led battery operated light which we hang from the roof of the tent like this one here from Halfords.
  • Rubber mallet and extra tent pegs.

 

Camp Kitchen Cooking & Eating:

  • Camping fridge – for a long trip such as this some sort of refrigeration is desirable. For long trips we book sites with electricity connections on the individual pitches so that we can plug our little fridge in and charge phones etc when needed.  After a lot of research we settled on a 44litre counter top fridge with a small ice compartment.  We looked into buying gas fridges and specialist camping fridges but they are extremely expensive and upon the advice of an extremely experienced camp equipment supplier we purchased a small electric fridge as we knew that we would have access to power.
  • Cooler/coolbox – I think anyone who camps knows that this is probably one of the most essential and basic pieces of equipment. I love ours, it’s a CampingGaz cooler with a 12v connection which can be plugged into the car while on the move and keeps the ice packs frozen for longer.
  • Stove – we have two lightweight gas stoves that fold up into laptop size cases.
  • BBQ – we love to use a charcoal bbq while camping, however some campsites only permit gas bbqs so this year we are actually hiring a gas bbq from the campsite for €15 for the 3 weeks plus the cost of the gas.
  • Wire shelving units – there are so many shelving and kitchen units available for camping. We have kept it simple by using two wire shelving units similar to these that we bought in a sale for €9.99 each!!!!  They have a shelve specially designed to hold your gas stove.  I use the shelves for storing plates, cups, bowls, pans etc
  • Camp Kitchen Crate – I love to organise our kitchen equipment in a large plastic tub with a lid. I use a sturdy 90 litre tub with a lid with clip handles so that it keeps everything securely inside.  As I usually use two large crates, I will unpack one fully on arrival and use it to store dry food, keeping bugs and rain out!  I then use the other to store bits and pieces.  The next number of items are packed into our kitchen crate.
  • Dish clothes
  • Pot scrubs
  • Dish brush
  • Washing up liquid
  • Tea towels
  • Paper napkins
  • Paper plates and cups
  • Straws
  • Refuse sacks
  • Zip lock bags in a variety of sizes – I love these from Ikea as they come in a variety of sizes and are really durable
  • Aluminium foil
  • Cling film
  • Plastic clips for cereal bags etc.
  • Plates x4
  • Cups x4
  • Bowls x4 – we use light weight enamel wear
  • Glasses x4 – actually plastic but look like glass
  • Cutlery – I bring my own everyday cutlery as I am not a fan of plastic cutlery
  • Mixing bowls
  • Sharp knives for cutting/chopping
  • Can opener
  • Cork screw (we have to sample all that wonderful French wine!)
  • Chopping board
  • Pot holder
  • Oven gloves
  • Thongs
  • Spatula
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Colander
  • Plastic measuring jug
  • Frying pan
  • Sauce pan
  • Kettle
  • Insulated coffee pot
  • Coffee dripper/funnel
  • Coffee filters
  • Skewers
  • Camping toaster
  • Paper towels
  • Table cloth
  • Scissors
  • Bread basket
  • Matches
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dry herbs
  • Ketch up
  • Cleaning spray or wipes
  • Wash basin
  • Citronella candles
  • Bug spray
  • Shoe tidy /kitchen tidy to hold bits and bobs
  • Clothes pegs
  • Detergent for handwashing clothes
  • Clothes line or rope
  • Fabric detergent for use in laundry facilities
  • Water carrier – ours is collapsible with a built in tap – great for use in a hand washing station.
  • Water bottels
  • Travel mugs
  • Vacuum thermos flask
  • Dust pan and brush
  • Small broom and mop (obviously don’t fit into the box!)
  • Tissues
  • Batteries
  • Umbrella
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Ice packs

Tent supplies – storage solutions, etc

  • Door mats – we place door mats at each entrance to the tent
  • Rug – we have an old light weight rug that we place at the main entrance to the tent for putting on and taking off shoes
  • Folding crate or basket – we keep one of these from Ikea at the door of the tent for storing shoes in. I tend to bring a couple of these as they come in very handy for keeping a tidy tent.
  • Folding plastic crates – each member of the family have a small foldable crate in which to store clothes, these can be stacked one on top of the other. We bring only enough clothes for 5 five days (most campsites have laundry facilities) and I vacuum pack our clothes to save on space when travelling.
  • Portable wardrobe – this is obviously not essential but I recently picked this up for little or nothing in a sale – it is a light weight, collapsible wardrobe with shelves and a canvas cover (personally I don’t like the cover as it has a picture of a yellow cab on it but its for camping and was so cheap!) – we have a shelf each and I use the hanging area to store the folding crates etc. (our tent is quiet large with a separate living area)
  • Collapsible laundry basket
  • Toy tub – with a number of games, colouring supplies and books
  • Plastic lined picnic blankets – we have a number of these. They are hardwearing picnic blankets with a tough plastic lining which is placed on the ground.  They usually fold up into for ease of carrying with a Velcro strip and handle.  We use our older ones for placing on the ground under the gazebo or near the tent for the kids to play on and use our other newer one for actual picnics.
  • Canvas hanging shelves
  • Shoe tidy for storing small items

 

Sleeping:

  • Air Mattresses – as mentioned above
  • Air pump
  • Pillows
  • Duvets
  • Sheets
  • Blankets – we usually take along a number of light fleece blankets (again very inexpensive and washable) for use at night or while sitting outdoors in the evening
  • While we have a sleeping bag each we don’t tent to use these for long trips as a duvet is more comfortable. I bought inexpensive summer duvets a couple of years ago specifically for camping. We vacuum pack these to save space when travelling.
  • I try to air out the duvets on the washing line each morning and air the mattresses regularly two by bringing them out of the tent for an hour or two if we are hanging around camp for awhile
  • Hot water bottles
  • Snuggy pyjamas
  • Slipper socks
  • Soft toys and blankies
  • Battery operated night light

 

Shower & Hygiene:

  • Flip flops or crocs for use in the shower block
  • Plastic non slip shower mat
  • Plastic shower bag
  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo, conditioner etc
  • Sun screen
  • Mosquito spray
  • Deodorant
  • Sanitary products
  • Towels
  • Hooded poncho towels for the kids
  • Tooth paste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Antibacterial wipes for hand cleaning before meals in no water available
  • Hand soap
  • After sun lotion / aloe vera
  • Comb and brush
  • Hair ties
  • Bobby pins
  • Toilet paper

 

First Aid / Medicine Kit:

  • Plastic tub with secure lid
  • Plasters
  • Disinfectant cream such as savlon
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Burn spray
  • Bite spray/cream
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Wrap bandage
  • Paracetemol – adult and child
  • Ibruprofen – adult and child
  • Anhistamines
  • Travel sickness tablets
  • Anti nausea meds such as Motilium
  • Anti diarrhoea meds such as Immodium
  • Laxative such as dulcalax
  • Asthma inhalers
  • Antacids
  • Dioralyte
  • tweezers

 

Clothing:

  • Shorts and tshirts for 5 days
  • 1 pair of leggings or tracksuit bottoms/sweat pants for cooler evenings
  • Warm hoody or sweater or sweat shirt
  • Flip flops or crocks
  • Tennis shoes and/ or sandals
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Swim suits
  • Underwear
  • Pyjamas
  • Sun hats

 

Miscellaneous supplies:

  • Reservation/booking form
  • Map and directions
  • Plastic bags
  • Duct tape
  • Note pad and pen
  • Glow sticks
  • Propane gas
  • Walkie talkies – so handy for communicating around the campsite
  • Flash lights
  • Lanterns
  • Citronella candles
  • Lighter and matches
  • Rubber mallet
  • Extra tent pegs
  • Rope
  • Compass
  • Radio / cd player
  • Pocket knife
  • Safety pins
  • Wind breaker
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Sun umbrella/parasol for beach
  • Tarps
  • Cool bags
  • Ice packs
  • Picnic bag/basket/back pack
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • GPS
  • Beach towels
  • Back packs
  • Books or kindle

 

Fun tub:

  • Books
  • Camp daze mad libs
  • Playing cards
  • Uno
  • Chess set
  • Monopoly
  • Travel Connect 4
  • Felt tips, colouring pencils, twistables
  • Drawing pads
  • Colouring books
  • Water toys – snorkel, goggles etc
  • Bubbles
  • Glow sticks
  • Lego
  • Star gazing book
  • Wild life scavenger hunt book
  • Football
  • Bikes or scooters
  • Buckets and spades
  • Geocaching coins and supplies
  • Kite

 

Food:

As this is our list for a number of weeks we take the basics and enough food for the journey and the first day or two and then buy what we need every few days or so. This is a list of our basics

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Cereal
  • Eggs
  • Jam
  • Cooking oil/spray
  • White wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar
  • Ketch up
  • Salt and pepper
  • Marshmallows
  • Hot chocolate powder
  • Fruit
  • Crackers
  • Herbs and spices
  • Chips and nuts
  • Bread
  • Cordial
  • Juice
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Baileys
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Tinned beans
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Cereal bars
  • Cookies
  • Garlic
  • Chocolate spread
  • Pop corn
  • Sugar
  • Bread sticks
  • Rice cakes
  • Meat for first day (frozen, we don’t bring more as we spend at least 24 hours getting to our destination and would be afraid of spoiling)

As we have an overnight on a ferry enroute to France we each carry a small back pack with pyjamas, a change of clothes, tooth brushes etc, on board.  These are kept at the children’s feet at the back of the car to save having to root through the roof box or car to find what we need for the night, I also pack a picnic for the ferry.  We book our main family meal in advance for one of the restaurants on the ship but other food can be quite pricey on board so I usually take snacks, sandwiches, water, cereal and milk and a thermos flask of coffee on with us.

Have we left anything out?  Please let me know in the comment section below!

Happy Camping!

Ciara xox

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