Go Camp Packing Guide

Whether a first-time or a seasoned camper, your camping trip packing requirements depend on various factors. From your destination’s location, climate & activities, your campsite’s facilities and amenities, to who you’ll be travelling with and how long you’ll be camping for, planning ahead and preparing for the unexpected is always a good idea.
Here are some tips and advice from the Go Camp team’s collective years of packing experience to help you get started with your pre-trip planning:

**Please note that the tips and packing checklist below should be used only as a guide and adapted to your preferred camping requirements.


Researching your camping accommodation and the facilities provided is a good starting point for determining how much water you should carry with you.

If your campsite has running water, make sure you find out if it is safe to drink.

While having enough water to drink, cook and clean for the duration of your trip is essential, especially in remote areas where you need to be fully self-sufficient, make sure you’ve got a good water storage option that doesn’t compromise on space and comfort during your travels.


Water purification tablets and portable water filters are lightweight and an excellent way to limit most harmful bacteria provided that you follow the instructions correctly. You can find these at most outdoor stores.

There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination, fully kitted with all the right gear, only to spend the rest of the day trying to figure out how to use it all.

If you’re going to be using equipment for the first time, spend some time getting to know how it works ahead of your trip. If you’re renting gear from Go Camp our team will gladly give you a demonstration on how to set up or use the equipment you’ve booked when you come in for collection.

Clothing & washing:

When it comes to overlanding trips in South Africa, you never need as many clothes as you anticipate. Using a lightweight duffel bag and packing only what is necessary is the way to go if you’re not opposed to doing the odd bit of washing every now and then.

If you’re camping in the cold try to avoid packing too many layers of large and bulky items. Stick to thin, thermal layers of clothing, a warm fleece jacket and a wind breaker instead.

Don’t pack all your shoes. A comfortable pair of walking shoes, hiking boots that have been broken in, and a pair of flip-flops (if your destination and climate allow it) are all you need.

Invest in travel-sized containers for your toiletries and if possible, share items like toothpaste and soap with your camping companions.

Kitchen space:

While campsite facilities will depend on where you Go Camp, most campsites provide kitchens and washing-up areas, in which case you won’t need to worry about taking your own camping kitchen sink and drying rack.

An all-in-one utility tool can save you from having to pack separate bottle openers and tin openers.

Your tent:

When it comes to saving space in your vehicle, a rooftop tent or trailer tent is a good way to go. Most rooftop tents are fitted with camping mattresses which can be a great space-saving bonus.

Before you go out and buy expensive gear, (or cheap gear that might break after the first trip), consider renting your equipment first. Whether you need to fully kit your vehicle with a roof-top tent, kitchen equipment, power and batteries and more, or you just need a few simple items, renting is a good way to save on ownership costs. Another bonus of renting is that you won’t need to worry about insurance on valuable camping items – if you rent from Go Camp, it’s all taken care of!

Find out as much about the campsite and your destination as possible before you start packing and loading your vehicle. There’s usually plenty of information, reviews and photos from previous campers that you can find online and on social media if you haven’t been given the information from the establishment directly.

If possible, email or phone the campsite with your questions ahead of time.

What you need to know:

If you’re planning to travel with a caravan or off-road trailer, make sure you find out if the campsite allows this type of set-up.

If you’re planning to camp with a ground tent, be sure to find out what the campsite’s rules are – many require ground tents to be set up on ground sheets.

If there are different site locations at the campsite, try to find out which one you’ve been allocated to and plan your packing accordingly. Don’t forget mosquito repellent and/or a mosquito net f you’re going to be camping near a river or dam!

Researching the facilities at your camping destination can help save plenty of space in your vehicle or trailer, especially if the campsite already provides much of what you need. Find out if your specific campsite stand is powered or non-powered and if it provides you with your own braai stand, lighting, and running water. If there are ablution facilities find out if these include hot water for showers.


From weekend camping trips in the Cederberg and countless school campouts, to overlanding and camping in some of southern Africa’s most remote locations, our Go Camp family is pretty experienced when it comes to packing for a camping trip.

We’ve taken their combined packing lists to provide you with the ultimate Go Camp Packing Checklist for your next camping trip:

Download your FREE printable copy here

**Please note: This checklist should be used as a guide only and adapted to your preferred camping requirements.