The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (2024)

best buys

First published on Friday 26 May 2017 15:08 BSTLast modified on Friday 22 April 2022

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (1)

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (2)

Sarah Lafarge


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With the weather's getting warmer and Covid-19 restrictions starting to lift, it means that camping season is upon us again!

Are you planning a family camping trip with your kids this summer?

Whether you're a seasoned camper or just fancy trying something a bit different from your all-inclusive holiday in Spain, here's the essential gear you need for a family camping trip.

And don't forget your waterproofs, too – a must if you're planning a trip in the UK!

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (3)

1. Coleman 4-man Tent

* Blackout function and climate control promise a good night sleep

* Fibreglass poles offer stability and steadiness (has been wind and rain tested)

* It's UV protected and also fire retardant

Having been voted tent of the year, this will give your camping experience a little bit of comfort! If you struggle sleeping when dawn breaks at 5am, it has clever blackout fabric so it'll remain dark inside – even in the blazing sunshine!

When it comes to storing your belongings, it has loads of smart pockets, making everything within easy reach. It might be a little on the pricey side, but definitely worth it if you ask us!

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (4)

2. Maxi Comfort Bed

* Spacious enough for two people

* Compact for storage and travel as it folds up easily

* Easy to inflate and deflate by hand or electric pumps

An inflatable king-sized mattress? Yes please! If you love camping, but struggle with getting comfortable when it's time to go to sleep, this could be for you!

It fits perfectly in most tents (two-man ones or bigger), and has a thick, comfortable surface. Keep in mind that you could also use it as a spare guest bed at home, so it is definitely a win-win!

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (5)

3. BBQ Toolbox

See more at Amazon

* Heat-resistant paint and galvanised steel

* When unfolded, a grill, a heating rack to warm burger buns and a tray to store your condiments and utensils are revealed

* Small and convenient to use measuring 20 x 24 x 44.5 cm

Short of space for all your camping gear? This fold-up cooker can be easily transported from place to place and is compact enough to stow away in the tiniest of car boots. Its aesthetically-pleasing design also weighs in practicality as well, as the carry handles of the 'toolbox' act as a sturdy base. It can cook multiple burgers, sausages, kebabs and vegetables at once, making it perfect for a camping feast!

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (6)

4. Citronella Candles

See more at Amazon

* Non-toxic, chemical free insect repellent

* Comes in a pack of four

* Burn time of the product is approximately 10 hours

Burning citronella candles is a natural way to repel mosquitoes during long, warm summer evenings. It also destroys parasites and is antibacterial, too.

As well as preventing biting insects from coming near you, the scent of citronella also has an uplifting and stress-relieving effect.

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (7)

5. Kids Sleeping Bag, £17.98

See more at Amazon

* Fun elephant design that kids will love

* The material is lightweight and warm

* Measures 150 x 60 cm

How do you make camping in the great outdoors even more exciting? With one of these featherweight sleeping bags, displaying a friendly elephant.

Perfect for getting your little one 100% camping-ready!

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (8)

6. Enamel camping mugs

See more at Amazon

* Set of four, great for all the family

* Made from high quality iron with ceramic coating, suitable for everyday use

* Easy clean with soft detergent, hand-wash recommended

These mugs are perfect for outdoor life. Their durable material make them safe for children to use and they won't break easily, either.

You can get a lot of use out of an enamel mug as it's great for holding both hot and cold drinks or even little snacks like popcorn or nuts.

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (9)

7. Inflatable camping sofa

See more at Amazon

* Could be enjoyed as a chair or even a bed

* 220kg maximum weight capacity

* Easy to inflate and deflate

Not really an essential, but a good place for the family to flop down and relax at the end of a long day in the great outdoors! Its olive colour will blend with nature perfectly. Keep in mind that it could also be a comfy sleeping or lounging spot for potential guests. The more the merrier!

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (10)

8. 2-man Pop Up Tent, £64.99

See more at Amazon

* Engineered with breathable fabric to ensure a comfortable night sleep

* Water-resistant and highly durable outer fabric

* Has a ventilation window with zipper system to keep moisture out

This compact and spacious tent would be ideal for teenagers or for popping up quickly in your garden for the kids to play in. It can be erected in seconds, allowing you to just 'pitch and go' and is super-sturdy too. It's also very lightweight and comes in a small pouch, making it very travel-friendly.

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (11)

9. Cool bag rucksack, £16.99

See more at Amazon

* A picnic essential

* The maximum capacity this holds is 24L (up to 30 cans or a combination of beverages and foods)

* Its measurements are 37 x 31 x 21 cm, and it weighs just 1.2lb

A must for camping and days out, this cooler-style rucksack has a pocket where you can add ice packs to keep your food extra fresh. As it has a completely waterproof interior, any liquid spills will not leak or absorb into the bag, making clean-ups a whole lot easier and much more stress-free.

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (12)

10. Bunting

See more at Amazon

* 42 multi-colour flags, 46 feet long

* Waterproof polyester rather than paper, makes the product more suitable for using outside

* Vividly colourful and fade-resistant, too

A string of bunting brightens up any campsite – who says all camping equipment has to be super practical?

Ask your little ones to help string it up, we bet they will love getting involved with decorating your camping space!

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (13)

11. Biodegradable large wet wipes

See more at Amazon

* Unscented, alcohol-free, pH balanced, hypoallergic

*Multi-use for freshening up or for cleaning surfaces

* 100% biodegradable and will start to decompose after only 28 days

These multi-purpose large wet wipes will make your camping life so much easier! These handy towelettes basically work as a no-rinse shower. Suitable to be used on toddlers' and children's sticky and dusty hands and faces and during bathroom visits.

Try and buy biodegradable ones like these for eco brownie points.

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (14)

12. Biodegradable Travel Soap, £3.99

See more at Amazon

* Suitable for body, hair, food and clothing use

* Fully biodegradable and pH balanced

* Handy 60 ml size

This small miracle worker is the perfect camping companion. It's safe to use with sea water for cleansing without harming the environment one bit.

Make sure that you use a pea-size portion for each use as it has a very concentrated formula, plus it will last you longer. A definite must-pack!

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (15)

13. 30 Piece Plastic Picnic Tableware Set, £7.99

See more at Amazon

* Set contains: storage container, six plates, six cups, six forks, six knives, six spoons

* Incredibly lightweight, compact and packs away neatly

* Comes in assorted colours (pink, green and blue), randomly chosen with each order

This set has everything you need for mealtimes including plates, bowls, cutlery and mugs. It's ideal for outdoor use and perfectly safe to be used by children of all ages. Lightweight, compact and travel-friendly and makes the perfect addition to your camping gear.

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (16)

14. LED Camping Lantern and Power Bank Charger, £22.98

See more at Amazon

* Two in one LED lantern and power bank charger

* Portable, lightweight, travel-friendly and 100% waterproof

* Has a retractable hook which is perfect for hanging it anywhere you need

Perfect for after dark, this mini-sized, LED lantern is designed to make your life easier when outdoors. We know that you'll not be planning to scroll on your phone all day, but having a back-up when it comes to charging it is so beneficial!

Running on a high capacity rechargeable battery, once fully charged it can last 220 hours at low brightness and 20 hours at high brightness, which is pretty impressive! It can also easily convert to SOS mode (an emergency strobe light) if you're stuck out in the wilderness.

Read on:

The best swimwear for kids

The best sun creams for babies and toddlers

The best safety buys to help keep your child safe out and about

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (17)

The best family camping essentials – from under £5 (2024)
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