Skip to content

Camp Kit List

On camp we live out in the elements. Staying warm and dry a wet day, or not suffering from sunburn after a hot one, makes a big difference to a camper’s enjoyment of camp. Learning to live comfortably in the outdoors in all weathers is an important part of camp life.

The kit list below is for our standing camps. Activity camps such as mobiles will have their own special requirements- you may get a kit list in the pre-camp circular.
The kit list for caving camps is available online: Caving Kit List


Reasonably priced equipment is available from several high street camping shops – it is not necessary to invest in the best or most expensive equipment for camp, but it must be fit for purpose. Very cheap discount equipment often does not stand up to the rigours of camp life and may leave campers cold, wet and unhappy. A tent meant as a ‘toy’ will not be suitable. Ideally, campers will bring a ‘two-person’ tent with a double skin. All children should practice erecting their tent before they travel to camp.

If you don’t have this equipment, and would like assistance in getting it, please see here for more information


Children should be involved with packing their own bags so they recognise what they are bringing. They should bring no more than three bags and each of these should be labelled with name, home address and camp name/number. It is useful to line all bags with bin liners to ensure clothing and equipment is kept dry. Anything brought to camp may get wet, dirty or lost. Leave precious things at home. If travelling on Escort, each child will also need a bag for their lunch supplies.

Kit List

The kit list is also available here as a PDF.

For a one-week camp.  For a fortnight camp, pack double quantities of trousers and thick socks.  This is especially necessary for under-11s.

Items marked with an asterisk * are optional.


  • rainwear see note 1 
  • 3 warm tops (sweatshirts etc)   
  • 2 warm woollen jerseys or fleeces
  • pyjamas/track suit
  • sunhat
  • handkerchiefs/tissues
  • footwear see note 2
  • 4 pairs of trousers/jeans see note 3 (8 for a fortnight for under-11s)
  • thick socks, 2 pairs (4 for a fortnight for under-11s)
  • swimming costume
  • woollen hat and gloves
  • shorts/dress/skirt (optional)

And depending on the length of camp, an appropriate number of…

  • light tops (T-shirts etc) see note 3
  • underclothing
  • socks (minimum 6 for a week, 10 for a fortnight – they get wet!)


  • Cloth bag containing: plastic mug, deep plate, knife, fork and spoon
  • Sponge bag containing: flannel, soap and nailbrush, toothbrush and paste, comb/hairbrush
  • Towels, two medium size
  • Penknife see note 9
  • Torch and spare batteries see note 8
  • plastic bags / bin liners (for keeping things clean  and dry)
  • notebook and pencil
  • Paper and stamps (for writing home)
  • sunblock
  • insect repellent*
  • musical instrument *
  • materials for making things (e.g. embroidery thread) *
  • ‘dressing up’ clothes*


Note 1: Rainwear

Rainwear Every camper should have a complete set of rainwear.  Several types of garment are suitable for camp, but the essential features of them all are that they are completely waterproof, and that headwear (a hood or hat) and waterproof trousers are included. If possible test your camper’s waterproofs under the shower or with a garden hose (but remember if you selected badly you may not be able to return them to the shop after this!).

Suitable types of rainwear include those made from:

  1. PVC – This is tough, suitable for young children, and completely waterproof if somewhat heavy and a bit bulkier.
  2. Proofed nylon – Check that the proofing is waterproof e.g. neoprene lining, and that the seams are taped to ensure they are waterproof.
  3. Breathable “Gore-Tex” or similar garments are also suitable if fully waterproof, but bear in mind they are more expensive and should be 3 layer (rather than 2) so that they stand up to the harsh treatment they may receive at camp.
  4. Rubberised fabric or oilskins are tough and waterproof, but heavier.

AVOID: Lightweight nylon cagoules with chemically treated seams – they will leak after anything more than a shower; “Barbour” or other similar waxed jackets – they are not waterproof in sustained wet conditions and are expensive.

Note 2: Footwear

Even at standing camps we do a lot of rough walking, so footwear must be comfortable.  Leather walking boots are ideal as they provide ankle support, good foot protection, and have good grip in most conditions.  For younger children, sturdy trainers with a good grip may be adequate.  As it is often wet underfoot, Wellingtons are recommended for all campers and are ESSENTIAL for the under 11s – make   sure they are big enough to accommodate thick socks, and that they tuck inside your waterproof trousers.

In addition, campers may wish to have some lighter footwear for wearing around camp e.g. light trainers, sandals or similar.

All footwear must be well walked-in before camp.

Note 3: Trousers and Shirt/Top

Jeans are tough but terrible to wear when wet, so bring a variety of types of trousers. Tracksuit bottoms are ideal. Fleece trousers are great on cold days. Bear in mind that synthetic fibres dry quickly – cotton stays wet and cold for ages. 

At least one light top should be long sleeved with a collar to protect against the sun by day, and insects by night.  Clothing that can be worn in many layers is much more flexible, and allows adjustment to the weather and conditions better.

Note 4: Tent

FSC holds a limited supply of small tents which we can lend to campers at standing camps. Those who continue to camp will want to get a tent of their own. 

Tents should be fully waterproof, and should have 2 layers – an inner and a flysheet.  Single layer nylon tents will not withstand heavy rain and are unsuitable.  Tents should be suitable for at least 2 people but also remember that they may need to be carried on hike or mobile camps. Both A-frame (less common now, and more costly), and dome tents are suitable subject to the previous conditions.  When choosing a tent, make sure it is both stable and waterproof in windy conditions (if the flysheet and inner tent can touch in the wind, it will leak).  If flexible poles are used, alloy are stronger than fibreglass, but will increase the cost.  An entrance porch is useful for removal and storage of wet clothing and boots under shelter. Porches also help keep the inner tent dry when getting in on a rainy day. 

Please make sure your camper is able to pitch their own tent before sending them to camp with it.

Note 5: Groundsheet

A separate groundsheet is useful for sleeping out and sitting on.

Note 6: Sleeping Bag

Synthetic (eg ‘Hollowfill’) sleeping bags  are recommended for most campers as they retain much of their effectiveness  when  damp, are easier to clean, and  less costly.  However, some older more experienced campers may prefer down bags which are warmer for the weight, and pack smaller, although they require more care. Sleeping bags are rated by warmth as 1-5 seasons, and we recommend 3 seasons or above for general camp use. 

We recommend that all sleeping bags should be used with sheet linings – either cotton or fleece (avoid thin synthetic linings as they are less comfortable and offer little extra insulation).  The use of an insulating mat between the sleeping bag and the groundsheet will add significantly to warmth of the sleeper.  Camp beds and lilos are bulky and unsuitable for camp. We recommend that two sleeping bags be used at Easter and Autumn camps.  All bedding should be packed into a thick polythene bag or sack.

Note 7: Rucsac

Most importantly, a rucksack should fit the owner comfortably, and be able carry the essentials  depending on age, namely sleeping bag, spare clothes, waterproofs, eating things, and  some  food and  water on hike.  Rucksacks are graded by capacity, and as a rough guide, consider 35-40 litres for smaller children and 50-65 litres for larger ones. It is worth testing a rucksack fully loaded before camp, preferably when trying it on in the shop, and always line it with a waterproof liner – rubble sacks are a cheap and effective solution. 

Many campers will not be able to pack all their equipment in a single rucksack. See the general notes above concerning additional luggage.

Note 8: Torch

Good lightweight torches are widely available. Torches will need to be carried on hike so don’t bring a massive searchlight, and remember the spare batteries.

Note 9: Penknife

A simple penknife or single-bladed folding knife is useful. Extra gadgets on a penknife will increase the price more than the usefulness. A lanyard, chain, or length of string is strongly recommended for attaching the knife to a belt as a safeguard against loss. Pack your knife in your rucksack for the escort journey – it will not be needed and is liable to be lost.

Under Tens

Our experience at camp convinces us that the under tens need extra underwear, socks and two pairs of pyjamas (three for a fortnight). Waterproofs should be large enough for the tops to fit comfortably over several layers, and the bottoms to fit over welling- tons.

Mobile Camps

Lightweight tents, cooking stoves, fuel containers and billies are needed.  A tent should have a flysheet, a sewn-in groundsheet and should ideally weigh less than 1.5 kg per person sharing it.  You will normally be expected to supply at least one of the above items.  Your Camp Chief will supply a complete specialised kit list and can advise you what to buy (or borrow).

When packing for walking mobiles, all your kit (with some space left for food) must fit inside your rucksack. Strong, waterproof walking boots with Vibram soles, or similar, are essential; they must be comfortable and be well walked-in. 
For canoeing mobiles, your kit has to be packed into several small   waterproof bundles. Kitbags (maximum size 80cm by 30cm diameter) and a small frameless rucksack are best; anything larger will not fit into a canoe.  On cycling mobiles, all your kit must fit inside your panniers and saddle bags (leaving some space for food!).