The Essential Weekend Camping Checklist

You wake up to beautiful weather weekend, so there’s only one thing to do – pack up the car for a weekend camping trip!

You wake up to beautiful weather weekend, so there’s only one thing to do – pack up the car for a weekend camping trip!

If you’re wondering what to take on a camping trip, you’re in the right place. Whether you want to get up and out at short notice, or have had it in your diary for weeks, you don’t want to waste too much time packing. You need a checklist of camping essentials to cover everything from your tent to handy storage. 

At Winfields Outdoors, we’ve put together a list that includes everything you need to ensure you have a fantastic weekend camping experience. 

Read on to find out what you need on your weekend camping checklist…

What should I pack for a weekend trip?

Don’t weigh yourself down when packing for a short break. Keep your weekend camping essentials streamlined with our checklist of the most important items to have ready.

Keep your weekend camping essentials streamlined with our checklist of the most important items to have ready.

Camping essentials:

  • A weekend camping tent.
  • Camping stove.
  • Personal essentials.
  • Personal hygiene essentials.
  • Camping furniture.
  • Sleeping bags.
  • Self-inflating mat.
  • Outdoor clothing.
  • Camping Storage.

A weekend camping tent

It goes without saying that you will need a tent on your weekend camping checklist. Your weekend tent should be simple to pitch and not too heavy for carrying, and small enough to easily fit in the car.

Thanks to the wonderful invention of inflatable tents, you can now find larger tents that can be pitched in minutes – and don’t have a bag of poles to be fitted into the boot, either. If you need a little extra space or are bringing along some friends, a tent extension – an awning – is also a handy addition.

Remember to keep your mallet & pegs and groundsheet safe with your tent so you don’t forget them, too.

A camping stove

Having access to great food on an outdoor adventure is essential, not only for energy – but for enjoyment! after all, you can’t have a weekend camping trip without whipping up a hearty breakfast on a Sunday morning! 

Whether it’s for beans on toast, egg, and bacon, or just a fresh cup of tea, make sure you take some camping cooking equipment on your trip.

The camping stove on your checklist should ideally run off a disposable gas canister. These are usually compact and lightweight but offer all the power you need to keep hunger at bay. If you can throw in a cool box stocked with some drinks too.

It’s also a good idea to take a camping kettle for boiling water, plus a bag of cookware and tableware – pans, plates, cups, knives, and forks are your essentials. You can find some great recipes for the outdoors here.

Personal essentials

Personal essentials can often be overlooked when packing for a weekend camping trip, so we would recommend that you put together a travel bag that contains personal items that you use daily.

Of course, keep in mind that a weekend spent camping will likely fly by, so you won’t need to bring the entire contents of your bathroom cabinet with you. However, you can still make sure that you bring your absolute non negotiables with you to ensure you stay clean and healthy. For example, a toothbrush (and toothpaste!), a hairbrush, toiletries, antibacterial wipes and so on.

Personal hygiene essentials

No matter how long you’re camping, there are some must-haves in that toiletry bag that can’t go a miss. Take note of the list below when packing your toiletries:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrush
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Suncream
  • Medications
  • Sanitary products 
  • Toilet roll
  • A towel
  • Insect repellent
  • Lip balm
  • Sanitiser

Now, the below aren’t classed as ‘essential’, but if you’ve got room, why not pack:

  • A compact mirror
  • Makeup supplies
  • Makeup remover
  • Cotton pads

A portable camping shower

Camping furniture

While you don’t want to overload your car, you also don’t want to spend your whole weekend camping trip sitting on the floor, either! 

Be selective with your camping furniture, but make sure that you have somewhere comfortable to rest and unwind. 

A camping table and a good few camping chairs should be part of your essentials. Just make sure that they fold down compact enough to be able to transport. Some rugs, blankets, and a couple of cushions also go far in keeping cosy.

Whether they are used for meals, drinks, or just relaxing at the end of a busy day filled with activities – camping chairs are ideal when they fold in on themselves into a handy bag for storage.

Sleeping bags and mats

Sleeping bags are an obvious camping essential. For weekend camping trips, you need a versatile sleeping bag that will keep you warm and comfortable without being too bulky.

Similarly, while you don’t want to spoil your night’s sleep by lying on the cold and hard ground, you may not have the car space for a camp bed. Instead, add some sleeping mats to your camping checklist. This will save you space without having to compromise on getting a good night’s rest. 

Self-inflatable mats roll down to a conveniently compact size and self-inflate to a comfy mattress. If you want to be completely on the safe side, don’t forget to throw in a pillow or a hot water bottle – this will feel like a godsend on a particularly chilly evening.

Outdoor clothing

This may seem like an obvious point, however, campers can sometimes pack for their holiday without considering how the weather can drastically change depending on where you are in the UK. So, just because the sun is shining when you set off – doesn’t guarantee that it’ll stay shining all weekend!

It’s also no secret that we can experience bouts of unpredictable weather here in the UK. So, to make sure that this doesn’t stop you from having the best possible camping experience, pack a few extra bits and pieces of outdoor clothing that’ll come in handy if the weather decides to take a turn. Think fleeces, waterproof jackets, thermal socks and so on.

If you’re still a little stuck on exactly what to pack for your camping clothing, use our list below as a starting point:

Camping storage

Camping storage might not sound essential for your checklist, but a tidy tent can make your weekend trip much more enjoyable!

Choose yourself an organiser with separate shelves or cubby holes to keep everyone’s clothes, shoes, and personal items safe and easy to find. You might also want to take a fold-away storage box for keeping food or kids’ toys in.

Don’t forget to take a camping light to be able to find what you need when it gets dark. Camping storage is even more useful if you’ve got an awning or tent porch – it’s best to separate your hiking shoes or bikes from where you’ll be sleeping!

Find your camping essentials with Winfields

Now you’ve got the list – you’re good to go! Make sure you have all your camping essentials with us at Winfields. 

And, be sure to explore more of our Outdoor Adventures Blog. We also have some interesting articles we think you might like… 

The Ultimate Guide To Camping Activities | The Best Camping Tents | Complete Guide To Buying A Air Bed


1 Comment

  1. This is very useful list of items to carry while deciding to camp.

    When I do, I always bring a thermo blanket as well. It's so warm and cozy!

    It's a good idea to bring a camping storage too even thoug I've never done it. That's becasue usually I camp for no more than 2-4 days in the company of 2-3 people.

    Thumbs up for the useful info! :)
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