At the beginning of each season we like to pack a camping ready bag. It’s something the SAS do so they’re ready for anything from an Embassy siege to a hostage situation. It contains everything the operative personally needs to function well during that situation. So getting the camping ready bag right helps us set off on our trip quicker, with very little hassle and avoids the risk of forgetting personal camping essentials.
It’s particularly useful if you have a family as everyone can be made responsible for keeping their own ready bag topped up with their essential camping items, leaving you free to think about other gear like camping ready beds. Even the family pet can have a ready bag so you don’t forget their favourite food, First Aid kit or medication.
It’s tempting to think you’ll need a big bag for all your accessories. This is the mistake many make when using this method. The key is to make sure your bag is big enough to hold essential items for a short and long camping trip, but small enough to be stored in the house throughout the season ready to be grabbed moments before a trip.
It doesn’t matter if you end up duplicating, as the opposite can be hugely disappointing. For example, you may keep a toothbrush and paste in your camper van or caravan but you should also keep one in your ready bag. This means if the kids decide to use your toothbrush to clean the toilet you will have a lovely clean one handy in your ready bag.
The items in your ready bag are for you to personally decide, but the key is they should be kept in your bag throughout the camping season ready for the next trip. Alternatively if they have to be taken out they should be replaced with a ready bag checklist to speed up re-packing when the road starts to call again. You can also use it to store your essential camping equipment checklist, which will make packing even speedier for any larger items.
So if you’re not a very experienced camper and have ever asked yourself, “what should I take camping?” you might want to consider the following examples:
- Toothbrush and paste (naturally!)
- Camping Essential Toiletries
- Books – such as The Camper Van Cookbook or The Camper Van Coast
- Head torch
- Favourite morning coffee/tea, dried milk & sugar in a sealed container
- Leatherman Multi Tool
- Phone charger & earphones
- Travel adapter
- Copies of travel documents (driving licence, insurance, MOT, etc)
- Small camping First Aid kit for hiking and travelling around
- Large camping First Aid kit to store on site. This can contain any essential medication the family.
- Wet wipes
- Hand sanitiser
- Gaffer tape & superglue
- Miniature spirit level
- Miniature pack of tools not on your Leatherman Multi Tool
- Gadgets – iPad, Kindle, etc
- Camping gear and equipment checklist
We asked our experts what their camping essentials were and will share their ideas with you soon, so make sure you enter your email in the free updates and bonuses box so you don’t miss out.
What camping essentials do you keep in your ready bag? We’d love to hear from you, add it to our list and share it.
Picture Credit: Inspired Camping