How to prepare for a camping trip (material and requirements)

23 September 2018

A camping trip is a unique and original holiday where adventure is the key. These days is ‘back to basics’ a concept that people love because they can escape from their hectic life and just enjoy all simple things in life. Our first camping trip was a canoe trip in Sweden, where we needed to survive in the true nature of  Swedisch Värmland!


Sweden, the country of red stugas and the moose

The beautiful Scandinavia has not only an impressive fauna and flora, but is also known as an expensive destination. This was a prejudice that we also had. Not everyone knows that Sweden is the cheapest Scandinavian country, look at that! One more reason to explore Sweden.

Sweden has the “Freedom of Roam” which means that you have the right to walk, cycle, ride, ski and camp almost everywhere with the exception of private gardens, near a dwelling house or land under cultivation. But keep in mind that you have to treat nature with respect. This means leave no trace!

camping trip

The beautiful nature of Värmland

Preperation is the key to success

Of course, a camping trip requires a little more preparation compared to a holiday in a hotel. A good preparation is essential and will help you during your camping trip.

A golden tip is to invest in good equipment. Check the weather forecasts in advance so you know what temperature it will cool down to at night, if there is a lot of rain expected,… That way you can perfectly prepare for a week of camping in the wilderness!

@unsplash camping trip

Cosy moments at the campfire

A list of materials and supplies for your camping trip

It can be difficult to prepare yourself for a camping trip when you are a dummy. Since we have experienced these difficulties by ourselves, we have made a list to help you choose your camping equipment and supplies.

Personally, I think it is very useful if everything can be found in 1 shop. On the other hand, the price tag, for those who have to buy everything new, can be quite high. So it is important to look at the price/quality ratio. Are you going on a recreational camping trip, wild camping, a camping trip combined with water activities or maybe even next level camping?

Our overview is based on our camping trip, which was a canoe trip in Sweden. We bought all our camping gear in Decathlon, the largest sporting goods retailer in the world. You could almost call our canoe trip ‘camping with Decathlon’ .

The Canoe Trip

The 3 most important things

The 3 most important things are also the most expensive things: a practical tent, a warm sleeping bag and a comfortable sleeping mat.

A practical tent

We always travel with 2 people, but chose a tent for 3 people. Before we had a tent for 2 people without an awning, so our stuff had to stay outside. For this reason you should definitely opt for a tent with an awning or one that is slightly larger. Of course, it is a personal choice because if you prefer a smaller tent with (usually) a lighter weight or more comfort. Usually a guideline of 3kg for a 2 person tent is taken into account. Be aware that a wet tent can gain a lot of weight! Another important aspect is that you are able to sit straight in your tent. This will make things much easier!

We have extensively tested the Quechua QUICK HIKER 3 PERSONS in Swedish nature for a week.

For more information about tents, go to this site.

A warm sleeping bag

A warm sleeping bag is really something that is necessary. Which type of sleeping bag you should chose depends on your type of camping trip, the destination and the weather. Consequently it is important to be well informed about the weather conditions so you know what type of sleeping bag to choose.

Night temperatures should be taken into account when choosing your sleeping bag. Trips during the summer months in the mountains but not at extreme altitude, a sleeping bag between 0° – 5°C is sufficient. In the period between November and March at -10°C and for winter camping trips it is better to choose for a comfort temperature of -15°C.

We used the Forclaz 500 0° & Forclaz 900 0° for our camping trip in Sweden. As you can see, there is a fairly large price difference between these 2 sleeping bags. The difference is because of the weight, the compactness and the type of down. The Forclaz 900 0° is filled with duck down and feathers, where the Forclaz 500° is filled with synthetic material and is 80% heavier.

A comfortable sleeping mat

A good night’s sleep is very important when you go camping, because usually your days are filled with activities or adventurous things. Choosing a sleeping mat is also a personal choice where comfort, durability, price and weight must be weighed up. A second aspect is the temperature, the type of terrain of your trip and your body conditions.

The substrate in the Swedish Värmland was mostly pine soil with roots and was therefore quite soft. We chose the sleeping mat of Forclaz Trek 700 air & de Forclaz Trek 500 self-inflating.

Don’t forget to bring an inflatable pillow! This one is quite compact and pleasant to sleep on. Of course if you have to pack very light, you can always roll up a sweater and use it as a pillow.


General requirements

  • a rope to use as a washing wire
  • a nice hammock to chill
  • decent and waterproof walking shoes, no light sports shoes
  • quick drying clothes
  • soap + shampoo + detergent combo
  • microfibre towel
  • thermal underwear (warm materials such as mohair)
  • an extra sail to put under your tent, to sit on, to stretch between 2 trees above.
  • pocket knife + multifunctional knife + saw + shovel
  • cooking utensils + gas fire + lighter + cutlery + plates (pepper and salt)
  • a poncho
  • enough socks
  • a good petsel
  • small medical EHBO-kit
  • ask if the water in rivers and lakes is drinkable, otherwise you should provide chlorine tablets


If you go on a canoe trip…

  • a waterproof case that you can hang around your neck, to store your mobile phone or card.
  • sufficient garbage bags for both waste and in your backpack to put (an extra security can never hurt)
  • a waterproof duffle bag to keep everything dry

Wild camping with power

One week of camping without electricity is quite a task for us. Cameras and mobile phones need to be charged, but of course you can’t take dozens of power banks with you. Finding a sustainable and ecological solution is the message! That’s how we came to WakaWaka who provides all energy through solar energy. They have an extensive range of basic solar lamps up to 4 solar panels with 2 USB ports.

We chose the Waka Waka power +, which is a 3000 mAh power bank (1.5 x charging a smartphone) with a lamp that gives 200 hours of bright light. You can hang it where you want as long as it has a lot of sun. Keep in mind that it takes 12-18 hours to charge the Waka Waka Power + in full sunlight.

camping trip

Our WakaWaka’s charging in daylight

Curious about the details of our camping trip, read all about our Swedish adventures here!


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