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Top Camping Essentials

Leatherman Wave Fanned Inspired Camping Cool Camping

‘Camping’ may only be one word but it means a whole load of different things to everyone who takes part in it… and that’s particularly highlighted when you ask someone what their top camping essential is. For those who like camping in luxury then it’s probably a bottle opener or comfy seat, while for others who like more basic camping it may simply be a roll mat, blanket, dry matches or warm socks.

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For us we think our top essential on every trip, and the one in our camping ready bag, is our Leatherman Multi Tool. Time and time again we’ve been in situations when the Leatherman has saved the day. Whether it’s to fix the fin on our surfboard with the screwdriver, cut an apple with the knife, sort out the washing line with the scissors, open a can or a beer bottle, tighten something with the pliers or mend whatever bit has just fallen off the camper van (again!)… the leatherman has it all. It might be on the heavy side, but that means it’s robust, lasts forever, never goes rusty (very important when you live by the coast like us) and simply becomes an accessory we can’t do without. They can even be engraved with a personal message to make a perfect gift for any outdoor adventurer.

However, everyone’s different and have their own views about what we should all take camping with us, so we thought we’d ask some of Inspired Camping’s friends what their top camping essential was. They came up with these and just to demonstrate our point… they’re all different!

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls 3 Hungry Boys Inspired Camping Cool Camping

The Three Hungry Boys… Tim, Thom and Trevor

Channel 4 Presenters and authors of The Three Hungry Boys

I think we all have our own vital camping gear and it says a lot about who we are. Thom would probably say his fishing rod as he seems to be physically grafted to it, Tim I imagine would say his guitar which makes any campfire into an instant party and I should probably say some cooking utensils but instead I’m going to say a nice pair of dry clean warm socks. Nothing perks you up quite like a pair of comfy socks, take my word for it.

Martin Dorey Author Camper Van Cookbook at Inspired Camping

Martin Dorey

BBC Presenter of One Man And His Campervan Author of:  
The Camper Van Cookbook: Life on 4 Wheels, Cooking on 2 Rings and  The Camper Van Coast: Cooking, Eating, Living the Life

For me it’s the humble Swiss Army knife… I’ve had it for years and years and I adore it, even if I don’t use it that often. If I misplace it, even for a moment, I feel uncomfortable. Yes, so the blade isn’t as keen as my cooking knives, the pliers aren’t as strong as those in my toolkit and the toothpick is little more than wishful thinking, but at least it’s there if I need it.

Allie Bombach 23 Feet Inspired Camping

Allie Bombach

Film Maker 23 Feet 

Just a pad and sleeping bag so you can sleep under the stars. It’s the best way to watch the world turn in your sleep.

Brian Green and Family Brian's Backpacking Blog

Brian Green

Brian’s Backpacking Blog

I recently wrote a blog post about this and was very surprised by the responses I received from my readers. For me the most important piece of gear that I carry is a pair of disposable foam ear plugs. These little things allow me to have a good night sleep and weigh almost nothing. If I sleep well the next day is a breeze and I wake up feeling so much better. Plus, some of my frequent trail buddies are very loud snorers (my dog included) so the foam ear plugs become quite essential!

Ruben-Martinez Co-Founder Of Glamping Hub Inspired Camping

Ruben Martinez

Co-Founder of The Glamping Hub

My top camping essential is a camera. Taking some photos really helps me to enjoy the surroundings and get in the right frame of mind. After taking a great photo and looking at it on your camera allows you to take a step back and say, “Wow! How lucky am I right now to be out here in such a beautiful place!”

Lee Woodward Mountain Leader Annapurna Inspired Camping

Lee Woodward

Mountain Leader And Lead Tutor – Outdoor Adventure 
University of Highlands and Islands, Scotland

My top camping essential is a tent and a good quality inflatable mattress like a thermorest.

Through5eyes Inspired Camping Cool

Nathan Steinbauer and Stephanie Choate

Film Makers Through Five Eyes

Good food is essential on a long camping trip. If you only eat instant noodles and peanut butter sandwiches you’ll quickly become weary of the whole adventure. Pasta is extremely versatile and easy, and a different sauce transforms it into a different meal. We like carbonara, pesto, roasted vegetables, meat and cheese sauces.

Mark Gordon Feather Down Inspired Camping Cool Camping

Mark Gordon

General Manager, Feather Down

That’s an easy question to answer. It’s a head torch!

Tom Dixon Canopy and Stars Inspired Camping

Tom Dixon

Managing Director, Canopy And Stars

Gramaphone! I don’t know… pack whatever you can to make it special. I am very partial to a good BBQ, in fact cooking and eating outdoors is a big part of camping for me, so I definitely need to be prepared on that front. Not having a bottle opener or corkscrew when you’ve gone to the trouble of lugging along with you some nice refreshments is devastating. And of course, with Canopy & Stars a comfy bed comes as standard, which these days makes a roll mat less appealing.

David and Tina Evans Cool Ice Box Company And Tent Pod Company Inspired Camping Cool Camping

David And Tina Evans

The Cool Ice Box Company and Tent Pods

For us it’s a Swiss Army Knife and a warm jumper as getting cold when camping can put you off it forever!



Thanks once again to our fantastic experts for sharing with us.

Do you agree with them or do you have another essential at the top of your camping list? Let us know and tell us why you rate it so highly.

Inspired Camping

Picture Credits: The individuals featured unless otherwise stated.

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