Here’s a list of 10 of the worst things to leave behind when you go camping. In most cases you’ll be able to get to a store and replace them if you need to, but being without some of these items can make for an uncomfortable time.

Tent pegs

This has got to be the most frustrating scene. You get to the camp site, you find a pitch, you get out your tent, lay out the tent where it should be, go to peg out he tent, no pegs.

You may think you pegs are inside your tent bag but it’s always worth checking before you leave.

Toilet paper

It depends on the type of campsite you’re going to as to whether you need toilet paper or not. In many camp sites paper is provided, but even if you have visited the site before and know it to be well stocked, it’s always worth packing toilet paper.

Anything can happen, and even in the most well stocked and trustworthy of sites you can get to the toilet block and find there’s no toilet paper.

Of course, if you’re camping in a remote location or in the wild it’s doubly important make sure you’re well stocked.

Can opener

Canned food is great for camping. It’s compact, it’s robust and it stays fresh. The only problem is if you forget to bring something to get it out of the can.

Sure, it’s not impossible to improvise and extract your food using a knife, a hammer or an axe, but really it’s easier to double check you have a can opener.

Fuel for your stove

There are many types of stove and many ways you can provide fuel, but in general it’s easier to ensure you have adequate fuel for your camping trip prior to your journey rather than trying to source it after you arrive.

Water carrier

In many campsites the water taps can be a good walk from some pitches. You need to be able to make one trip to fill up a large carrier with water rather than having to go several times to fill each pan / bottle / cup / kettle.

Don’t forget your water carrier.


I always take at least 4 torches on a camping trip, so even if I somehow forget one, there are plenty of backups. But if you’re less obsessive than me and only take one then forgetting it can spoil your trip.

Light is your friend when camping and without it days can be short and

Ground sheet

It’s not really a disaster to forget your ground sheet, but if you don’t have one integrated in your tent, forgetting it can be a real pain. You rely on the ground sheet to keep your camping gear away from the mud and the wet.

Even when it’s dry, any kit left on grass can be annoyingly damp in the morning because of dew.  And if the weather’s wet it can be a disaster.

Insect repellent

This depends on the time of year and the location. Plenty of camping trips are fine without insect repellent because you don’t need it, but when you do need it, often you really need it.


It’s not a disaster if you do forget your toothbrush, but it is something that’s very easy to forget and you’re camping trip will be that bit more unpleasant without it.

Drinks / snacks for first night.

It’s easy to decide not to take too much food. You plan to eat out, or get stores in at the local supermarket.  But if you’re delayed and end up arriving later than planned you might miss the chance to do either of those things. I’d always recommend planning to have at least your first evening meal and breakfast at your camp site, and pack accordingly. That way, if you’re delayed you’ll at least be able to eat.


In summary, make a thorough camping checklist of everything you need and check things off as you pack them. Leave any of the 10 worst things behind and you could be in for several moments of panic, an uncomfortable first night, unnecessary extra cost and a long drive to find replacements