When it comes to camping we either find we pack far too much, thinking we’ll stuff it in any spare space, just in case, or we forget or don’t think we’ll need something then be wishing the entire trip we had it. Often space is the issue behind what we do and don’t take camping, it could be that your car is small and limited on size, or you’re going by foot or bike. Space saving with camping is really important, so finding items that can double up in their tasks are what you need to be taking.

After my trip to Chamonix of a tasty 17 days of camping looking out at Mont Blanc (don’t hate me), what I did and didn’t need became clear. We packed too much so I’ve created a smart list of items that you do really need to take with you on your next camping trip.

AlpKit BruKit

I tested something similar to the AlpKit BruKit in France, but decided to pick one up myself from AlpKit. There are variations of this product on the market, and whichever you choose I’d highly recommend. None of this waiting ages for the water to boil. It’s for both heating and eating! Perfect for camping, out on the trails, light and easy to pack! Best part it boils ridiculously quick!

You might laugh but a you can’t deny it, a spork is an excellent space saver. This one in particular from Mountain Warehouse has a handy part for a karabiner allowing you to attach it to your bag to take on any hikes you might decide to do.

Mountain Warehouse Plastic Spork and Karabiner – £1.99


We got gifted one of these and decided to take it camping with us, instead of carting all the tools under the sun. Great for having everything you might need at your fingertips, and an excellent addition to your hiking/wild camping kit. Only thing missing was a cork screw – we found the French aren’t all about the screw tops! Other than that it’s a must-have

Leatherman FREE T4 Multipurpose tool – £84.95

Klean Kanteen

You might have spotted me with a Klean Kanteen flask up a mountain and post swimming. Honestly, this has kept my coffee warm 28 hours, but also keeps drinks cold too! Drinkable too. Ideal after a cold water swim, or that stop on a hike. Best investment as it stays hot hot all day.

Klean Kanteen Insulated TKPro – £39.95

Helinox Chair One

Oh my – how did I cope without a Helinox chair I don’t know! This chair packs down into a tiny bag (35cm), so small you wouldn’t even realise a chair was effortlessly packed into it! It only weighs 960g packed up, so ideal for even a wild camp or bike packing. We have used these camping and for festivals – honestly best investment you’ll ever make with camping.

Helinox Chair One – £99.95

Quick tips on how to pack small for camping

The main takeaway from all this is ensuring you are packing things that can be multipurpose or are compact. Do you have items that can double up for something else? Do you really need to take it with you. I also have a Chilly’s bottle which is lighter weight than a flask, this also keeps drinks hot and chilled. Work out what activities you’re going to be doing. Are you staying in one place a significant amount of time, or is it a quick night away and a hike? If so, realistically look and what you’re taking. There are so many fantastic space saving options out there, but the above I deem as must-haves.