The travel kit list: must-have camping gear for summer 2021

The right equipment can keep you comfortable under canvas, whether you’re pitching up at a well-appointed campsite or going for something wilder.

By Nicola Trup
Published 16 May 2021, 08:00 BST, Updated 1 Nov 2021, 09:44 GMT
Left to right: Keen Tempo Flex Boots, Red Original Waterproof Active Jacket, Petzl Tikkina Headlamp.

Left to right: Keen Tempo Flex Boots, Red Original Waterproof Active Jacket, Petzl Tikkina Headlamp.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

1. Keen Tempo Flex Boots

Keen’s latest leather hiking boots are ideal for days spent in the great outdoors. They contain accordion-like technology to make them more flexible, while a water-repellent membrane keeps feet dry. Choose from three different colour combinations. RRP: £134.99.

2. Red Original Waterproof Active Jacket

The stretch fabric of this jacket is designed to allow for a range of movement, whether you’re hiking, biking or paddleboarding (Red is an SUP specialist). There are under-arm vents for air flow, plus reflective trim for low-light settings, and the entire jacket packs down into one of its pockets. RRP: £129.95.

3. Petzl Tikkina Headlamp

A headlamp is a camping essential, whether you need to find your way back from the Portaloo or the pub. The Petzl Tikkina is light (81g), weather-resistant and fitted to a washable elastic headband. The band is also removable, so you can attach the light to a bike, too. With three lighting levels, it’s powered by three AAA batteries or a rechargeable power pack, which can be bought separately. RRP: £20.

Left to right: Millican The Core Roll Pack 15L, Vango Joro Air 450, Decathlon MH500 Cookware Set.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

4. Millican The Core Roll Pack 15L

Made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic waste, Millican’s Roll Pack is waterproof, with an external water bottle pouch, internal pockets and a key loop, keeping all your essentials safe. Plus, there’s an internal laptop sleeve, should you take all your tech out with you. RRP: £70.

5. Vango Joro Air 450

For this four-person tent, you don’t need poles — instead, a pump is used to inflate special channels in the fabric, which then act as supports. It takes 10 minutes to pitch and can be deflated with the pump afterwards. Made using recycled single-use plastic, the tent is designed to withstand wet and windy conditions, while the toggled inner divider offers a choice between one large bedroom or two smaller ones. RRP: £650.

6. Decathlon MH500 Cookware Set

If you’re taking a stove, you’ll need cookware, and this set contains all the essentials. A small non-stick frying pan and saucepan (both with folding handles) come together to enclose the rest of the two-person set, comprising reusable plastic cups, bowls and cutlery, plus a lid/strainer. It’s all held together with a silicon strap that can also be used to rest your pans on, and packs away into a mesh bag. RRP: £29.99.

Left to right: Kelty Cosmic Synthetic 20 Sleeping Bag, Patagonia wood burning stove, Jack Wolfskin Trail Mat Air.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

7. Kelty Cosmic Synthetic 20 Sleeping Bag

Suitable for three-season camping in temperatures as low as -6C, Kelty’s new mummy-shaped sleeping bag weighs just 1.3kg, thanks to its light, synthetic insulation. There’s a draft collar and hood to keep in the warmth, plus extra space for your feet, and a pocket for storing valuables. The water-repellent coating, meanwhile, is PFC-free. RRP: £85.

8. Patagonia wood burning stove

Forget gas, this stove runs on wood, making it perfect for camping in remote spots. Gather up deadfall around your camp or out on a walk and build a fire inside the conical stainless-steel stove or opt for compressed wood pellets instead. Once you’ve got the hang of it, it should boil a pan of water in around 16 minutes on average. Plus, it breaks down into three pieces for easy storage. RRP: £90.

9. Jack Wolfskin Trail Mat Air

For campers with a lot of kit to carry, this is the ideal sleeping mat, packing down to just 22cm x 10cm (but rolling out to 182cm long). It has two wide-aperture valves for quick inflation and deflation, and the mat is designed to allow air flow within it, so it flexes and adapts to your body, cutting down on creaks or rustles when you turn over. RRP: £110.

Published in the June 2021 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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