Going camping for the first time? Are you sure you’ve thought of everything? Discover the equipment and accessories you need to make sure you don’t end up like Koh-Lanta.
The camping tent
- The tent is the central element of your camping holiday. With so many different models to choose from, it can be difficult to select THE ideal camping tent. Our advice: focus on comfort and space, which immediately disqualifies bivouac and trekking tents.
- Dome tents (igloo tents): the most common type of tent, recognizable by its rounded shape. Two or three interlocking hoops at the highest point provide a relatively high ceiling height and good air circulation. Most are self-supporting, so there’s no need to plant sardines.
- Tunnel tents: these are longer than dome tents, offering more space. Removable partitions can be used to delimit several sleeping cabins (from 2 to 6 people, depending on the model chosen), and to enlarge the living space. An excellent choice for a family camping tent.
- Pop-up tents: very easy to set up, as they unfold in a matter of seconds. They’re lightweight and compact, ideal for spending a few days camping without constraints.
Mattress or floor mat
- The choice of mattress is essential for a good night’s sleep when camping. Thickness is an important criterion to consider. The R-Value index measures the insulating capacity of a mattress. The higher the index, the better the mattress protects against the cold and dampness emanating from the ground.
Foam mattresses: this is the most common model, not very expensive and very light. Don’t make the mistake of starting out with a simple floor mat – opt for a double-layer model. The thicker the mattress, the more comfortable it is. The inflatable mattress: easily inflated with a pump or inflator. Its thickness (from 4 to 10 cm) ensures excellent comfort, but it is also heavier to transport.
- The self-inflating mattress: a good compromise, with a layer of foam that inflates automatically when a valve is opened, followed by manual inflation to adjust the pressure to your comfort.
The stove is an essential piece of camping equipment, enabling you to prepare hot meals, pasta dishes, morning coffee or afternoon tea. Consider the size, weight, autonomy and ease of use of the device.
Gas stoves are the most common camping stoves. They are lightweight and compact, allowing you to cook with large pots and pans. There are also wood-burning and alcohol-burning stoves, more suited to heating food than cooking it.
The electric stove is the most suitable and safest for camping use. Generally speaking, a campsite has 6 or 10 amps of electricity per pitch.
There are several types of cooler, from the simplest to the most sophisticated, depending on how long you want to keep your food and how much ice you need. The electric cooler offers greater autonomy and enables you to store your food over a long period, for 2 to 3 days depending on the model chosen.
Classic rigid coolers with ice bars are the least expensive on the market. They keep your drinks and foodstuffs cool for around 15 hours. Avoid placing the cooler in direct sunlight, and lift the lid as little as possible. This means you’ll keep the cold inside longer. Use twice as much ice as the volume of your food.
The folding camping table
The folding camping table is an indispensable accessory. Quick to assemble, space-saving and height-adjustable, the camping table can be used to create a comfortable and convivial living space for meals with family or friends, to enjoy an aperitif, play a board game, read the newspaper, do a crossword puzzle… Don’t forget the matching folding stools! Some models feature a table and 4 chairs directly integrated, which fold together for easy transport and storage.