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7 quirky camping essentials you wouldn’t think to pack

The 8th of August is Global Sleep Under the Stars Day, and while we know that a camping trip might not be everybody’s cup of tea, there are ways to make impromptu outdoor sleepovers feel as luxurious and cosy as you could possibly want.
But what are the essentials for camping? Perhaps they aren’t an old-stove and plastic tableware after all. 
Whether you’re camping with kids as a family or embarking on a romantic getaway, packing a few quirky camping essentials into the car can make all the difference.
Read on for our favourite  ideas on how you can use everyday products to add a luxe twist to your camping; it’s our 7 quirky camping essentials you wouldn’t think to pack- but won’t be able to live without from now on!

1. Solar Powered String Lights

Everybody knows that adding some simple string lights can turn any camping set-up into something magical. Decking out your area with soft lighting rather than brighter, more traditional ‘camping lights’ lends a more luxurious feel, elevating your tent from drab to fab in no time. 
Whether you’re camping with kids or camping as a couple, you’ll love the special touch these pretty lights will add. Plus, choosing solar-powered fairy lights means you can set them up wherever, whenever, without the need for extension cables. Perfect for camping.

Black Geo Cage Battery String Lights

2. Cosy Quilts

There’s nothing worse than being chilly when you’re out camping. Staying warm and cosy is a must - but if you’re driving to your camping spot there’s no need to settle for the lightweight, portable sleeping bags that are designed for a traditional hiking camping trip.
Why not indulge instead by making your bed for the night with a soft, cosy and luxurious patterned quilt? You’ll be toasty warm without the restrictions of an enclosed sleeping bag - making it an ideal choice for couples. 
 Plus,  choosing a beautiful duvet means your trip snaps will look great on the ‘gram.

3. Tableware

Wakey, wakey! It’s time to start your morning off right with breakfast in nature. To do that, you’ll need the right kit.
Camping doesn’t have to mean you settle for plastic tableware - when you make your list of camping essentials, make sure you add some charming enamel or metal mugs and plates. They travel well, and will look great whether you’re settling in next to an open fire or relaxing by your camping stove. 
Enamelware products are camping essentials with kids as they protect you from the heat so you won't burn yourself if you touch the surface, perfect for eager fingers! Plus, With all kinds of patterns and designs available, you can choose the ones that most suit your set-up.

Enamel Camping Mug

4. Hammocks & Seating

Sitting around an open fire or stove on a camping trip is something everyone likes to do - but making sure you have the right seating options can make a huge difference to your enjoyment. From deck chairs to foldable loungers, you don’t have to settle for camping stools. 
You can set up your ideal communal congregation area outside your tents, perfect for enjoying the evening with friends or loved ones. Hammocks can also be a great option, particularly for romantic getaways. Set yours up between two trees or invest in some fixing poles so you can swing gently while stargazing. 
Add plush cushions and a fuzzy blanket for the ultimate cosy cuddling experience. 

Brengac Hammock

5. Fire Pit

One of the main things everybody loves about camping is the possibility of settling in for stories and marshmallows over an open fire. But the truth is, having a fire isn’t allowed everywhere, particularly in the UK.
A great alternative to an open fire - or a traditional camping stove - is to take a portable fire pit with you. Heavier fire pits work well if you can park right alongside your camping spot - you can set up wood and coals in them for cooking and warmth. 
These give you the feel of a traditional campfire without the risk of wildfires or leaving burning remnants on the floor near your tent where people could burn themselves. Or, for a softer, more gentle nod to the beauty of an open flame, a lightweight portable gas-powered burner will give light and warmth for hours.

Cosiscoop Portable Burner

6. Shades

Shelter is one of the essential things you must consider when planning a camping trip - and it encompasses so much more than just your tent. For a truly enjoyable camping experience, your campsite set-up needs to go beyond just where you’ll be laying your head at night.
Investing in a shade sail can make a huge difference to your experience, whether in rain or shine. Tie your sail to trees or use the specially-designed poles to create shade, perfect in hot weather, so you can relax in comfort. 
You can also buy waterproof versions which offer you shelter from the elements without you needing to resort to hiding inside your tent for the day. Sails and shades are especially helpful for families with young children, as they give your little ones a sheltered place in which to play while still enjoying the great outdoors.

Pompa Rectangular Sail Shade

7. Rugs

Come rain or shine, rugs can be a very helpful design feature for creating the perfect campsite set-up. Make sure you choose rugs or carpets that are suitable for outdoor use - typically flat weaves made out of weather-resistant materials. 

These will not absorb water, therefore dry out more easily and can be scrubbed down after your trip to remove any residual mud.
In wetter weather, these rugs can be used to create mud-free areas outside or just inside tents to help prevent mud being tracked into your sleeping areas.
On hot summer days, portable rugs can be set down on concrete or tarmac areas which would otherwise be too hot to sit on. These versatile essentials can also be used to create stylish floor seating areas set back from campfires or around low tables for casual dining. 

So, next time you plan a camping trip, why not pack a few special items in the car to take your tent set-up  from average to awesome? Now you know what to bring to your next trip, take a look at our inspirational blog on how to make the most of your staycation with the hottest UK spots here.
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