Gas cooker: These aren’t necessary, but they’re bloody useful and once you start using one, you probably won’t be willing to give it up. They’re far more efficient for boiling water, they make camping fry-ups possible and they double up as a source of light. (Did we mention that a simple extension means that you can use your gas bottle to start your fires rather than forever having to remember fire lighters?!)
Shade cloth: This works as a great ground cover for sandy places so minimal sand enters the tent and hence, the bed. If this isn’t an issue, I’d have one anyway (coupled with some poles and a handy camping partner) to create a wind-break in relevant areas or to use as a neighbour-break during Easter weekends where campsite are packed.
Kettle: Stainless steel and old school because we all know that nothing sucks quite like a chilly morning outdoors and being denied a hot cup of tea/coffee.
Who wants to slice tomatoes on an old, regular beach-going Coleman’s lid? Besides, this should remain on the box and be reserved as a side table to put your drink and snacks on (especially if you’re as clumsy as me when it comes to a drink in the designated pouch of your chair).
These are cheap and pack well, but they blow away and are pretty flimsy. We use and I recommend something more like this: