The Scouts motto when I was growing up was Bí Ullaimh – Be Prepared. Family camping is something very different and not really about pushing the barriers to the extreme. More than anything it’s about the adventure outdoors together. And if you go to the places I’ve been camping, you realise just how beautiful this country is and the stunning landscape that sits right on our doorstep. Lough Ennell was and is a prime example of that.
The following for me, are five camping essentials that pretty much make life in the great outdoors just that little bit easier. They also didn’t really warrant an entire blog post to themselves.
I hope this list helps. You can also leave a comment below if you think I’ve missed out on anything.
1. The Sealey Booster Pack
You may be a little surprised to see a booster pack, capable of jump starting my jeep as my no.1 but their is serious logic in this.
Away for a bank holiday weekend lets say, the car sits stationary whilst acting as a power source for kids torches, or very simply the car is nowhere near your tent….
The Sealey booster pack comes with a cigarette lighter socket, which means it can recharge torches, lamps and as you can see here telephones. It weighs a bit, so it may not be one for the festival camper. I think I paid over 100 euro’s for this one. They can be got cheaper in some supermarkets, but do so at your own peril. I’ve already recycled one of lesser quality.
Buy in any good motor factors.
2. Thermos Lunch Bag
The Thermos lunch bag is the absolute bees knees.
Whenever I go camping the food for the day is made in advance and usually a mixture of cold salads and what not from the garden. The trouble with Irish weather is that it may well be great sunshine starting out, as the food cooks slowly in the back of the car – but when you get there and it’s raining and the kids are staaaaaarving…. The front pocket fits the knife, fork and spoon set and the lining is leak proof.
3. Double Action Hand Pump
Once again the no battery rule applies here and sure no-one likes them old foot pumps. But this baby is a real piece of basic principled essential camping kit.
For me it will do an air bed [which I personally dislike] in around 3/4 minutes. But the other side is it doubles up as a bellows, that assuming your place of camping allows barbeque’s or/ and fires. Outside of that, it comes with every connection possible so great for arm bands, or anything inflatable for that matter. It also does the reverse and deflates. Others seem to like the fact that I also use it to gently blows spiders out of the tent without hurting them.
4. First Aid Kit
Not the most exciting bit of camping gear I’ll admit….but definitely of the most important.
I think I paid around €30 for this first aid kit. The big tip on this is to overstock on the large plasters. More than not it has been used by others that camped near me too many times. And please for your own sake, make sure it is the last thing you put in the car, next to the food. Which means it is also first out.
5. Stanley Flask
I bought this pretty much unbreakable Stanley flask around 3 years ago. It cost a few bob [about €30] but a bit like my booster pack above – I prefer to but once and buy well.
It is the coffee on arrival after the tent has gone up, but far more important, flasks keep things warm as well as cold and as happened June bank holiday weekend just gone when temperatures hit 25 Celsius plus, it meant there was milk – that hadn’t been cooked – for breakfast the next morning. This extremely durable beauty comes with a 15 year warranty for good reason.
NB: I have always tried to buy as local as possible. In this, I found it difficult to make this list from Irish made. If you do know of any do let me know or/ and leave a comment below.
That aside, I like the slogan over this camping store.