Roof tent camping equipment essentials: Top 10

We have teamed up with our friends at In2 The Wilderness to bring you a Top 10 guide to the essential camping equipment. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned outdoor pro, selecting the best camping equipment can be the difference between a good or bad trip.

There are millions of camping gadgets and camping accessories, but which ones are going to enhance your next trip? This article will give a good insight into what you will need while you’re away with your roof tent. 

Top 10: Roof Tent Camping Essentials

1 - Sleeping bag

Yes, simply the most important is a sleeping bag. But with the weather being so changeable across the seasons, you need something that can adapt.

An all-season sleeping bag is perfect if you’re planning to go camping all year round and don’t want to invest in season-specific camping equipment. Modern sleeping bags use clever materials that can control the temperature. So if it’s really hot, they’ll block out the heat. If it’s really cold, they’ll keep the heat in.

One option to consider is an Ex-Army sleeping bag. These Ex-British Army sleeping bags are great value (£39.99 from In2thewilderness.co.uk) and have a modular system for different sleeping temperatures. Meaning, you can use them in the summer or the winter and they are made to last!

If you are looking at spending a bit more on your sleeping bag and want a lightweight and efficient design. Try looking at the Snugpak sleeping bags. They have a great range of excellent sleeping bags that keep you warm but stuff away into tiny bags. 

Sleeping woman in sleeping bag camping in the UK.
Man and woman sitting, chatting in camping chairs with a unlit fire in front of them in the UK.

2 - Chair

You’ve arrived at your destination. You’ve put your roof tent up and unrolled your sleeping bag. It’s time to sit down and relax with a hot drink or a cold beverage. You need a comfortable and reliable chair to rest your bones and take in the view.

Buying a camping chair can go in two directions: 1. Lightweight and small to take up the least amount of room. Or 2. Comfortable and secure getting the best seat possible, like an outside sofa.

We found that the Robens Settler chair was a combination of both lightweight and comfortable. Available for about £70 if you shop around, this neat chair packs away flat with a carry handle. It’s a really comfy and secure chair!

3 - Fire Starter

Whether you are starting your campfire or lighting your gas stove, a source of fire is very important. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money just a lighter from the local store is good but there are a few others options you might want to consider. It’s also a good idea to have a couple of backup options just in case.

Waterproof matches are really handy in bad weather and you don’t have to worry about keeping them dry (hence the name!). 

Zippo lighters have been around for years, meaning they are tried and tested. They have the advantage of being refillable with lighter fluid and you can replace the flints. Even more, you can learn how to do magic tricks with your Zippo lighter!

For a more bushcraft option, look at the Ferro rode. Available for £10, this flint and magnesium stick provides an authentic way to start your fires or camp stove.

A closeup of a campfire with a man placing a a piece of wood into the fire in the UK.

4 - Light/Torch

As the sun sets, we need a little bit of light to help us see in the dark. A campfire can be bright but only for a couple of meters in any direction. If you need to find something or go to the loo during the night, a portable light is essential.

We are going to recommend you buy two different types, the first being a headtorch and the second being a lantern.

With a headtorch on your head, you have both hands free for cooking, reading, and even setting up camp after nightfall. There are thousands of head torches available to buy and it would be hard to recommend just one. So we suggest deciding your budget and then looking at the options available to you.

A lantern is for a more constant source of light, placed in a single location and lighting up your tent’s internal or external areas. There are many to choose from and depending on your requirements you can find many options. We thought this Coleman lantern was worth a recommendation. It has really good reviews and not only is it a lantern, but its sides also remove to be a torch and it charges your phone as well!

5 - Water Bottle

A must-have camping equipment, water is essential for survival in the great outdoors, and the further off the beaten path you go, the more quickly it seems to run out.

We really like the Contigo water bottles (in fact, I’m drinking from one as I write this). They are good value (often discounted in Tesco) and have a wide range to choose from. A press-to-drink button helps keep germs out and the safety lock stops them from leaking. It has a carry handle and a clip for portability. 

A woman cooking her camping breakfast on a small burner with water bottle and oats in the background.

6 - Stove/Cooker

Ok, some of you may prefer to visit the local pub or restaurant rather than cooking your own meal. However, if you want a hot drink or there’s nowhere local to your camping spot, you will need a camping stove.

We recommend getting two and you don’t have to spend a fortune. Start with one small compact stove and then upgrade. With a lightweight and compact stove, you will able to heat, toast, or boil your food, ensuring that you are totally self-sufficient out in the wild. The OEX Etna Mini Stove at £16, is a great compact stove that is really quick to set up. Simply, unfold and screw into the fuel canister and you are cooking/boiling in no time. Handy when you just want to put the kettle on for a hot drink in the morning.

Fancy something that is a little more traditional and you don’t have to carry fuel? Take a look at the Kelly Kettle at £53, you can use sticks, pine cones, dry grass, bark, etc. whatever is to hand and it works in all weather conditions. There are a whole range of accessories available for the Kelly Kettle making it an ideal cooking solution.

In our setup, our second stove is a cast iron double burner, available for around £60. This no-nonsense double stove does everything we need of it and they are tough with very little to go wrong. In fact, ours is almost 15 years old and still like new!

7 - Camping Cookware

Just because you are camping, doesn’t mean you have to slum it. You can make delicious hearty food in the great outdoors, provided that you have the right equipment to hand.

We started with old cookware from home and this works great but can take up precious space. Our cooking kit contained, a couple of cooking pots and lids, a frying pan, cooking utensils, a large spoon, a spatula, a sharp knife, tongs, a bottle opener, a can opener, a corkscrew, and a cutting board.

If space is premium then look at the Stanley cookware set, available for about £100. This cookware set has everything you need and it all packs away neatly into one pot. 

8 - Camping Tablewear

One of the most satisfying aspects of camping is having a nice meal by the campfire. Again, you can use old cutlery and plates from your house. However, we found that these can break and hard to keep organised when camping.

The ultimate organised cutlery set is from Frontrunner, available for about £60. Everything you need for cooking and eating can be hung up and it rolls up securely for safe, rattle-free transport.

For a complete set of tableware, look at the Coleman 24 Piece Enamel Set, available for about £65. 4 plates, 4 bowls, 4 cups and cutlery for 4, perfect for a family or being lazy with washing up! 

9 - First Aid Kit

An easily forgotten piece of camping equipment, the First aid kit. Accidents can happen when you least expect it and if you are miles from anywhere, even the smallest cut should be taken care of as quickly as possible. A first aid kit can be as comprehensive as you want it to be, however as a basic first aid kit should contain the following:

  • Antihistamines
  • Antiseptic wipes or creams
  • Bandages
  • Eye dressing or pads
  • Disposable gloves
  • Distilled water
  • Gauze and tape
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Pain relief
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers

NOTE: Make sure to check your first aid items are in date! 

first aid kit in the back of a car in the leather bag in the UK.

10 - Cutting tool

The pocket knife is the ultimate multipurpose tool of your camping equipment. A knife can be used to trim a rope, cut a fishing line, dice an onion, slice cheese or sausage, open a tightly sealed package, sharpen a stick or tighten a screw. Without a knife, such tasks become nearly outright impossible. 

Recommended by Lee at In2 the Wilderness, check out Mora knives. They have a great range of wonderful-looking knives that are functional but well-designed. 

We hope that this article has given you some help with what you need for your next camping trip in your roof tent. A big thanks to Lee and Paula at In2 The Wilderness for the help in putting this article together. Go check out their website at in2thewilderness.co.uk, for a great range of camping equipment and bushcraft tools.

And if you have any other suggestions or pieces of equipment that you think deserve a mention, then drop me a comment below and I will take a look.

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