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The Tent, the Meals and the Equipment you need to go Camping

Updated on December 30, 2015

Why choose camping?

I have camped for a few years now and I want to share the things you need to consider when choosing a tent, the best camping meals and what equipment you really need, not just the hype.

Due to the low cost, ease of use and low environmental impact, tents are finding a resurgence in popularity. There is a huge choice of campsites in very diverse locations, so there is definitely something for everyone.


In Summary - Choosing Which Tent to Buy

  1. Shop around for bargains and buy the best quality that you can afford.
  2. Check the actual size measurements not just the '4 man' tent description.
  3. The unbuilt tent needs to be compact enough to fit in your car.
  4. A built in groundsheet is essential.
  5. Ease of building.
  6. Have enough space to stand up in.
  7. Mesh doors are another essential.
  8. Mesh air vents.
  9. Separate living and sleeping areas.

Is Camping For You?

Are you thinking of camping or are you already an avid camper?

See results

Choose the Right Equipment


What Tent Should You Buy?

There are so many tents on the market nowadays, that it can be quite confusing at times which one to choose for your camping trip. Budget options exist which will make your initial outlay cheaper, but may not last as long. There are also excellent mid range choices such as Vango and the more expensive brands such as Outwell. Whatever your budget, you will find something for your needs. Shop around, as bargains exist and there is a lot of price matching by camping suppliers.

Remember that your unbuilt tent needs to be compact enough to fit in your car with the rest of your camping equipment.

A five man tent may be fine for a family of four, but might be a tight squeeze for five adults. Check the actual dimensions of the tent before buying, as there is a wide difference in each manufacturer's interpretations of size.

If the groundsheet is not built in, you will have an open door to not only insect guests but also to raindrops creeping in, if the weather is bad.

Simplicity of building is an essential thing to consider. Sometimes the weather can be cruel. When you roll up at the campsite, as the rain pours down, you do not want to be building a complicated tent with multiple poles, when you could have had the two pole tent, which builds up in one third of the time.

Standing room is an essential element as far as I am concerned. If you are away for a week or even a weekend, if you have to stoop the whole time it will somewhat detract from your enjoyment. Check the height and make sure all your camping party can stand tall.

Mesh doors keep out the insects and let in the air. In sunny weather tents get very hot inside. Mesh doors allow cool air to circulate in your tent, but they also keep those pesky bugs out.

Mesh flaps which act as air vents are another essential feature for keeping that vital air circulating.

Separate areas for living and sleeping ensure that you can relax and enjoy the space. For families there are multiple bedrooms, and a lot of tents have canopies which you can purchase separately, which give valuable additional space to keep all your kitchen equipment and muddy shoes in.

Choose the Right Camping Equipment

Take what you need and remember you need to get the car boot closed.
Take what you need and remember you need to get the car boot closed. | Source

What Equipment Do I Need to Camp?

There are so many gadgets out there for campers, that you could fill your whole car with them and leave no room for the tent!

They are not all essential and you definitely don't need them all. There are core items you need to be safe and comfortable, but anything apart from that, is a personal choice.

Don't Forget the Kettle


What Equipment Do I Need to Camp?

Optional Extras
Sleeping bags
Camping fridge or coolbox
Camping Stove
Toast maker (a camping one!)
Pot, pan, kettle
Kitchen stand
Plates, cups, cutlery
Toilet (Yes, really!)
Skewers (For toasting marshmallows)
Camping mats or airbeds/pump
Drinking water bottle
Washing up basin
Use your space well with compact choices which are designed for camping and take up less space.

There is a huge choice of tents and locations.

There really is something for everyone.
There really is something for everyone. | Source

Amazing Scottish Camps

As with other countries, Scotland offers a wealth of amazing camping opportunities. You can camp in the middle of an ancient pine forest in Aviemore, nestle amongst the white sand in Gairloch or as you are in Scotland, you can even wild camp, as long as you follow the applicable rules.

Make sure the campsite you are on gives plenty of space between pitches, before you book. We once camped in Yorkshire and found our neighbour was only one metre away. Not good for safety or privacy. Do check before booking, but most good campsites have a clear area marked out for each pitch.

The views are amazing, the wildlife is plentiful and no amount of money can buy the sense of peace and belonging that will descend upon you, as you watch the sun going down.

The Stunning Scottish Night Skies

Watching the sun go down is a big bonus of camping.
Watching the sun go down is a big bonus of camping. | Source

Some Great Locations in Scotland

Pitlochry, Pitlochry, Perth and Kinross PH16, UK

get directions

Aviemore, Aviemore, Highland PH22, UK

get directions

st cyrus:
Saint Cyrus, Montrose, Aberdeenshire DD10, UK

get directions

Glencoe, Ballachulish, Highland PH49, UK

get directions

Isle of Mull, United Kingdom

get directions

isle of harris:
Isle of Harris, United Kingdom

get directions

callender, scotland:
Callander, Callander, Stirling FK17, UK

get directions

Nairn, Highland, UK

get directions

Dingwall, Highland, UK

get directions

Arisaig, Arisaig, Highland PH39, UK

get directions

Firepits are Great for Camping

A lot of sites hire out firepits for your use.
A lot of sites hire out firepits for your use. | Source

In Summary - Camping Meal Ideas

  1. Salads
  2. Burgers
  3. Sausages
  4. One pot meals
  5. Casseroles
  6. Pasta
  7. Rice
  8. Soup
  9. Hot dogs
  10. Eggs
  11. Kebabs
  12. Stirfries

Easy To Make Camping Meals

Small stoves provide amazingly good cooking facilities for their size. I use two to make sure everything gets ready at the same time. Some firepits allow you to cook on a barbeque grill, then to remove the grill, and burn wood for the rest of the evening.

There are a wide choice of dishes that are possible to cook on your camping equipment. Everything from simple sausages to one pot casseroles. Salads, pasta and rice dishes are easy to make and they give you a great choice of meal options. There are even recipes for non oven pizzas out there on the internet. Don't forget the skewers and the marshmallows for toasting at night.

An Easy Summer Salad

Mushroom and Onion Salad.
Mushroom and Onion Salad. | Source

Mushroom and Onion Salad

  1. Cook some mushrooms and onions with olive oil, then soy sauce.
  2. Add rocket, cut plum tomatoes and cucumber chunks to some bowls.
  3. Place the cooked mushrooms and onions on top of the salad.
  4. Add some dried mixed chillies to the top.
  5. Enjoy!

A Quick and Easy Salad

You will need:

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Onions
  3. Soy sauce
  4. Olive oil
  5. Rocket
  6. Baby plum tomatoes
  7. Cucumber
  8. Dried mixed chilies

Relax in the Sunshine

Enjoying the fresh air and being outdoors is a huge part of the fun of camping.
Enjoying the fresh air and being outdoors is a huge part of the fun of camping. | Source

In Summary - Check the Reviews and the Weather

  1. Check the campsite reviews on an impartial site.
  2. Check the weather forecast.

Have you Ever Camped in Scotland?

Have you ever camped in Scotland?

See results

Campsite Reviews and the Weather Forecast

Before you set off with your new tent and equipment, there are just a couple of more things to check.

There are different websites which give fair and unbiased customer reviews of campsites. These reviews are definitely worth reading, they give you the information you won't glean from the campsite's webpage. The cleanliness of the facilities, the noise levels at night and the attitude of the staff.

Check the weather report. If possible avoid heavy rain, thunder and lightning. You cannot stay in your tent if there is lightning, as it is not safe. Some campsites experience flooding in heavy rain and gale force winds may tear your tent down. Luckily, there are plenty of sunny days each year to camp on.

Don't Forget the Kettle!

The comforts of home need not be lost.
The comforts of home need not be lost. | Source

Time For Your Holidays

You now know everything you need to know, to embark upon your first trip. Now you can confidently choose the right tent, and the best equipment for your needs. Then check out the reviews and weather forecast, pack up your kit and head off to your chosen destination.

Pitch up and enjoy a tasty meal cooked in the sunshine, and then watch the sun go down at your firepit. Relax and enjoy your beautiful surroundings and breathe in that fresh, clean air.

Thank you for reading and enjoy your trip.

Stunning Scottish Scenery

There are sites conveniently close to both popular tourist attractions and also to the major towns.
There are sites conveniently close to both popular tourist attractions and also to the major towns. | Source

© 2014 Anna Haven


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    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Bobbi Purvis

      It sounds like you had a lot of happy times enjoying outdoors. I love being in the fresh air and watching the sun come down. Thank you very much for reading and also for sharing.

      Anna :)

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      Barbara Purvis Hunter 

      5 years ago from Florida

      Hi Anna Haven,

      I grew up camping with my family and the first time I ever slept in a tent is when I went to our Family Hunting Camp. I always had a trailer to camp in---my first trailer was a Little Scotty---I love it. We took it to all the Southern states in the USA.

      This is a great informative hub and it will help many people.

      Now the closest to camping I will get is staying in a hotel with room service.

      I will share this on my FB.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you for reading and pinning RQ.

      I hope you are well.

      Anna :)

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 

      5 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Will come back to pin later. Great Hub article Anna for the novice holiday maker, and an enticing advert for the bracing outdoors of bonny Scotland.

      Best Wishes,


    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      Aviannovice that is so true. I can't believe the huge selection of items which are on the market for is just as well tents keep getting bigger! Thank you for reading. :)

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you for reading and commenting rebeccamealey.

      I hope you manage to get on a new camping trip soon.

      Anna :)

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Audrey.

      Thank you for reading and I am glad you found it useful.

      Enjoy your camping trip. :)


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This is excellent advice. Caping is no longer that simple with all the choices out there. Thanks for giving us a number of things to watch out for.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I haven't been camping in a long time, your photos really make me want to go. This is quite a comprehensive piece. You covered everything!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      5 years ago from California

      This is so helpful! We are just thinking about doing some camping for the first time in a long time!

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Genna

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      You are right, there are more different gadgets than would fit in a large house, never mind a tent! Rocket is my favourite.

      Thanks again. :)

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Anna…

      This is a treasure trove of camping ideas and info…and wonderful photos. The gadgets are numerous, and we can become quickly overzealous with what we want, versus what we really need. (Essential versus extra.) Interesting reading. I learned what "rocket" sounds quite good! And I like the salad recipe. :-)

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      DJ rocket is a salad leaf with a peppery taste. :)

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Bravewarrior

      Your camping trips sound brilliant. Guitars, bikes and campfires. We usually spend some time around a fire pit every week, I love it.

      Your comment gave a great visual of your camping trips and was really interesting to read. Thank you for sharing your memories, I would have liked it there.

      Anna :)

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      ...DJ I am on my phone and it froze and lost half your comment!

      You are so right, camping definitely helps children to develop a healthy and respectful relationship with nature.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      Anna :)

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Hi DJ

      The sky looked amazing that night.

      No, they totally refuse to even taste onions! They think onions are 'horrible!'

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks Frank. :) Fresh air is good for the mind.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Anna, you're a much more sophisticated camper than I was back in the day. When I used to go camping, it was via motorcycle so we couldn't bring a lot of stuff. Each couple would bring a tent (the pop-up ones are real time savers) and that's about it. On really long road trips we'd bring a couple of cast iron skillets and hit a grocery store before setting up camp. The first time (and last) I ever ate Hamburger Helper was on a road trip with 3 couples on 3 bikes. Yuck!

      Needless to say, my camping experiences were quite primitive. The best part of camping was having all the campers - those we knew and those we didn't - join around the campfire at night. Invariably, someone would have brought a guitar. We'd sing into the night until the sun came up. Oh, those were the days!

      Great hub, Anna. Scotland looks beautiful. Happy camping!

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 

      6 years ago

      Anna, camping is not for me. But, I enjoyed your enthusiastic write.

      Your photos brought it all to life. What an incredible sunset with hue of

      magical color! The recipes sound wonderful. Do your children really eat onions? I raised three who would not touch onion. What is Rocket?

      I enjoyed your hub very much. I think camping is very nice for a young family. It can help the children get in touch with nature and learn to hold a profound respect for the animals and the world around them.

      Very nice hub, Anna.


    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 years ago from Shelton

      Anna very sound and useful things to know.. a great share my camping buddy :)

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you Faith Reaper for voting, pinning and especially for taking the time to read and comment. Your new profile picture is very pretty, you look really young. Anna. :)

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you for reading and commenting Bill. I love the outdoors as well. :)

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      I love camping and all other holidays too! Thank you reading and also for your kind comment. I am thinking I had too many photographs on it for you? Least you are honest. :) Thank you for your feedback. Anna :D

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Wonderful hub and so helpful as to all that is necessary for a great camping trip. It would be awesome to camp in Scotland. My family has camped some, but not a ton. We enjoyed it thoroughly when we did.

      Voted up +++ tweeting and pinning

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have no idea how many times I have gone camping, but suffice it to say the answer is over 100....loved every camping trip but one, but space will not allow me to write about it here without kidnapping your comment section. All good suggestions here, and I love the countryside.


    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      I grew up camping and acquired an intense distaste of it from my mother, although my father LOVES it. (In fact, he is taking 7 of the grandchildren camping for several days in the mountains this week.) Your hub was superb and makes camping seem fun and a good idea, even for people like me who tend to whine a lot when they don't have electricity and ice. Nicely done! And oh, your photos, once again are over the top. Voted up and more.


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