By: Blonde Two

Packing to camp in this country is one thing but the somehow the ‘get it right’ stakes seem higher when you are travelling overseas. Blonde One and her youngsters are off to Morocco soon with World Challenge and she is focusing on lightweight camping gear and clothing that will give her sun protection whereas when Mr B2 and I travelled to New Zealand recently and had to take a bit of a guess at what we might need in the way of camping gear. When asking yourself the questions, ‘What camping gear do I need for my overseas trip?’ make sure you do a bit of research. Check out the climate, the daylight hours (can make a massive difference to camp life), the type of campsite available and what other people have used in your destination (travel blogs can be great for this). Travelling during New Zealand’s rather unpredictable autumn, Mr B2 and I wanted to cover all bases. Here is a quick run down of the main camping equipment we took on our overseas trip:

Sleeping Mats

My Therm-a-Rest is a bit bulky and currently going through a slow-deflation phase so we left it at home but Mr B2 took his lightweight bivvying sleeping mat and used it in the tent and his hammock. (I borrowed a foam mattress from family and had a most luxurious tent time!)

Sleeping Bags

I was more than pleased with the performance of my new Berghaus Elevation 200 down sleeping bag. I have to confess to worrying before the trip about being chilly (we had frost on a couple of mornings) but my Rab women’s Xenon X jacket sorted out any early morning chills and having a bag that was so light and small to pack was a definite advantage.


A tricky choice but we didn’t take a tent with us on our New Zealand camping trip. We decided that, with a truck (borrowed from the farm), a tarp, two bivvy bags and two hammocks, we would be fine. We soon changed our minds, tents are much better at keeping out biting insects than most of the above and don’t require trees. Our tent was bought in New Zealand and has been left as a play tent for small farm visitors (or for us upon our return), it cost £16 from K-Mart and, although it would definitely not be up to the rigours of UK winter camping, was perfect and had just the right amount of ventilation, for the end of a Kiwi summer.

Bivvy Bags

Both Mr B2 and I took our Alpkit Hunka bivvy bags. For insect reasons given above, we didn’t use them in the conventional manner, but we were very glad of them when, following a tarp disaster, we ended up sleeping in the front of a very muddy ute!


We packed a hammock each and, although we only did a garden sleep in them, we really enjoyed having them with us for afternoon beach relaxation. Mine was the Hennessy Jungle Explorer Zip Hammock whilst Mr B2 opted for the ultra lightweight DD SuperLight Hammock. I would definitely take them again and they are going to be a permanent part of our camper van packing from now on.


We packed Mr B2’s SuperLight Tarp from DD hammocks and used it for our hammock night and our misadventure camping night. I would definitely take it again as it would have made a great second flysheet for the tent had the weather really come in.


We didn’t take even a lightweight stove with us because we knew that we could borrow one from the farm. We did note, however, that supplies of all sizes of camping gas are available in more populated areas (in New Zealand it pays to stock up on such things while you can). This picture was taken on the wet night we sat and cooked in the back of the ute.

Other equipment for an overseas camping trip

There were lots of things (plates, cutlery, cups etc) that we didn’t take with us to New Zealand because we knew we could borrow them (thanks Norm!) However, we do have a basic kit that we take everywhere, which includes,

  • Knife (Opinel No 8)
  • USB power charger (caused a bit of excitement at Shanghai Airport)
  • USB cigarette lighter charger (two USB points)
  • Dry bags (for pillows)
  • First aid kit
  • Head torches (Ledlenser MH10)
  • Peg free stretchy washing line (I do love to hang my knickers in scenic places)

If you are planning your own overseas camping trip (and you really should consider it), you will obviously have your own list of equipment priorities. We hope that our list of overseas camping equipment helps. We are always learning and would love to hear about your ‘must take’ essentials that make you a happy camper.


From time to time we Blondes are sent free outdoor products to field test and promote on social media. We will always be honest about our findings and any products we don’t keep for ourselves find their way into our expedition stores. Great for us, great for you and great for our youngsters!