We are still waiting to exchange contracts on the new property, our house is in boxes. Some are here and some stored at my parents.  Summer is literally around the corner and I just want to go camping now. I thought I would share my kit list for when I go “glamping”* in my beautiful bell tent. Although as I write this, I’m sulking about not being able to go camping, and very tempted to unpacked the boxes and get all the camping gear back out!

Glamping – a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.

The must haves:

Bell tent – we have a 5 meter “ZIG” (zipped in groundsheet) which I find better for storing the canvas separately to the groundsheet. If you are considering buying a bell tent and the idea of a zip breaking worries you, don’t! They are really very sturdy commercial style zips, and I originally had those concerns and needn’t.

Rock Pegs (& Mallet)- These are a lot stronger than the pegs you get with the tent, and if you should end up camping some where with stoney ground you will be glad to have these. They don’t bend at all, easy to pull up, and really hold the lines secure in windy conditions.

Wood Burning Stove – Apart from the appearance of a cosy log fire in the tent, I would really recommend one as an investment. You won’t need to worry about electric hook up. They kick out an incredible amount of heat and will keep you toasty warm even in the colder months. You can attach a water tank to the flue and have boiling water on tap, plus you can cook on them.

My sleeping list:

Outwell double posadas – I’ve tried camp mats, air beds, low level camp beds, self inflating mats… but the best night sleep has to be on a posadas. They give you the height and width of a normal double bed. Provide areas of storage underneath for your clothes. Plus if you put a self inflating mat on top, and a fleece mattress cover you will soon forget you are even “camping”.

I don’t bother with sleeping bags, we just use a normal duvet plus have a few blankets folded up on the end incase we need more warmth. Then I have a plump pillow and several cushions for that touch of glamping luxury.

Outside Cooking List:

Ezystove Rocket Stove – When we first started camping, I bought one of those portable gas stoves, small and convenient. But I have forgotten the amount of times I have run out of gas, so not only do you need to pack the stove, you need to remember a couple of spare gas canisters. I just didn’t find it convenient or in any way luxury. I did some research online and came across the rocket stove. Which is fuelled by burning kindling, twigs etc which you can easily find around the campsite, and adds more fun to the camping experience. It can boil a kettle a lot quicker than the gas stove. Combined with my cast iron pot, I cook delicious meals such as stews or curries.

Other Important Items:

Fire Pit – Basically if we can’t have a campfire, we wont pitch at the campsite. The fundamental rule of camping, is to have a campfire! We used to hire fire pits at the campsite, but at approx £5 a night, it soon adds up. So last year I purchased a Grilliput Fire Bowl, they are small, but actually just the job for a couple of small logs. Enough to melt some marshmallows and give us some thing to sit around. I found the fire bowl easy to clean in the morning, and folded back up small so its easy to transport. You will need to put it on some thing, I have a metal table which it sits on in the evening.

Lamp & Torches – We have a parasol light that we attach to the centre pole for general lighting in the tent. Then a hurricane lamp either side of the bed, and a couple of head torches for walking to the bathroom facilities, reading etc. It also add a bit of magic if you wrap some fairy lights around the pole, or even around the edge of the tent. Solar powered ones work really well, just let the lead go out the hole designed for the electric hook up cable.

Toilet – As we have small kids, I can bet one of them will need a pee in the middle of the night. So we have a small bucket toilet, hidden under a table. I use silica crystal cat litter placed in a bin bag to line the bucket. In the morning, I just have to throw it in the bin.

Now for the pretty bits… the bits that make bell tent camping magical… part two coming soon!