1) Watch – mobile phones lose charge, aren’t very waterproof and damage easily so keep a cheap digital watch to hand. Check it’s set to the correct time before your camping trip.
2) Salt – you only need a small amount. Useful for adding to food and replacing that lost through sweat. You can go a couple of days without but on longer camps you will start to miss it.
3) Duct tape – you don’t need a full roll, you can just wrap a few meters around a pen or similar object. Has many uses for fabric/pole repairs.
4) Spare torch & batteries. It’s easy to misplace your main torch or run the batteries flat which is no fun in the middle of the night. A mini backup torch kept within easy reach of your sleeping bag is useful to quickly get your bearings should something awake you in the night.
5) Expanding cloth tabs/coins – taking up only a tiny space, just add water for a useful all-purpose cloth/wet wipe/towel/hand cleaner/spill wiper….
6) Water purification tablets – if in doubt pop one of these in your drinking water, it may just prevent an upset stomach and many trips to the toilet!
7) First aid kit – no camp should be without one. Check it contains the things that you think you may need – common items like plasters, anti-septic wipes and paracetamol may need topping up.
8) Scouring sponge. Just what you need for those stubborn campfire/BBQ cooking marks on pans and grills. Also useful for sponging up spills and tent leaks/condensation.
9) Notebook & pen. In a different environment you never know what strange thoughts will emerge – just had a great business idea? – write it down. Finally worked out how to fold away that pop-up tent – write it down. Need help lighting the campfire – tear out a couple of blank pages…
10) Whistle – you may never need to use it for yourself but it’s also great way to attract attention for others too. eg if you find a mountain biker who has broke his ankle in a woodland and can’t walk out.