Prepare at least one meal for when you arrive, something you can easily heat up once you’ve pitched the tent. You can try some of my recipes for Just Pitched Dinners.
Basic cooking ingredients
Olive oil, salt and pepper, butter and some tinned food. Amounts really depend on what you have to store it all in. Tea bags, coffee, sugar, of course.
Carbs and protein
I pack plenty of pasta, rice, couscous and even my campfire bread mix. Then some easy-to-store proteins like beans, chickpeas, halloumi cheese, tinned tuna, houmous, saucisson and anchovies.
My camp kitchen also includes tinned tomatoes and coconut milk, onions, carrots, garlic, chillies and fresh tomatoes. Prepared spices, flavourings and dressings such as salsa romesco, mustard, french dressing, garlic and ginger paste, garam masala and chermoula. I also stuff fresh herbs into one of my lock-and-lock containers.
Something that is calorific and won’t melt in the sun.
Collapsible washing bowl
In which you can wash the dishes and the baby.
Ice is hard to come by at campsites, so you want a tipple that doesn’t require it, such as whisky or red wine. My friend swears by mead. Remember the trip to the toilet is further than the short hop across the landing, so don’t go overboard. The warming effect of alcohol quickly wears off, and leaves you colder afterwards.
The effort involved in making hot chocolate at night ensures it will be the finest experience you and chocolate will ever share. Don’t skimp on the cocoa and melt real chocolate drops in the milk for added pleasure.
Cool bag or box
Boxes take up space, but keep food safe from wildlife and leaks. Many sites let you chill ice blocks in their freezers, sometimes for free, sometimes for a price.
Put milk cartons in the freezer for a few days before you go. Pop them in your cool bag and not only will they chill the rest of the bag’s contents, they will also thaw in time for you to drink.
A collapsible one with a tap. You want water to hand for drinking, cooking and light washing.
Bottled water is over. Refillable flasks are where it’s at, and you’ll need them as being outdoors all the time will make you much thirstier than usual. Make sure the kids have their own flasks.
Cath’s camping gear checklist:
Camping Gear – Tent and the basics