Just because you are sleeping under the stars, there is no need to let some basic standards of cleanliness slip.
Unless space is no problem, stick to the bare minimum. I have, in the past, taken a special wash that is suitable for clothes, dishes, skin and hair. Makes you wonder if this whole washing-up liquid, body gel, shampoo divide is entirely arbitrary. Our friend Tintin travels with nothing more than a toothbrush. You can buy camping towels that take up far less space than the bulky ones in your bathroom. They come in pink or blue. Some anti-bacterial hand gel is particularly useful at festivals. Some of you will want contraceptives, others will be packing nappies (for small children, I pack six nappies a day for each child).
For rubbish and for quarantining wet or dirty clothes in.
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Arguably, the most essential piece of camping gear. Even more than the tent. You can always borrow a tent.
First Aid kit
For bumps and scrapes. You want plasters, bandages and something to disinfect wounds. It’s also worth investing in a burns kit, which we’ve required on a number of occasions, not least the time a hot marshmallow stuck to the side of a child’s face. Also, a few precautionary sachets of paracetamol and ibuprofen in solution for children and adults.
Citronella candles are particularly evil. There is something satisfying about the sizzle of a fat moth in a naked flame. Take something to repel the insects, and a cream or antihistamine to treat the bites or stings. An antihistamine is a miracle cure when the toddler goes face-first into a verge of nettles.
For drying washing, rain-soaked clothes and tea towels. Don’t forget to take some pegs as it is quite hard tying undies to a line.
Solar powered shower
Sounds fancier that it is. Basically this is a black bag you fill with cold water and once the sun has warmed it up, you take it into the woods, strip off, hang it from a tree and let gravity do the rest. It’s not a power shower but is good enough to refresh you mid-festival. Festival showers struggle with water pressure and what may seem like an uninhibited playful exercise in communal cleansing quickly turns into three cold naked people huddled under a dripping tap.
Sun hats and sun cream
Because it is always a scorcher when you are camping.
Washing up kit
So that’s tea towels, washing up liquid, a washing up brush, some kitchen roll and even a surface cleaner, as you attempt to maintain a basic level of hygiene.
Cath’s camping gear checklist:
Camping Gear – Tent and the basics