Camping is the perfect trip to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. Better yet, you’ll be surrounded by local wildlife – what’s better than waking up to the sound of chirping birds? For those more serious about spotting wildlife, there are a few important things that you can pack to enhance your camping experience and get one step closer to nature.

Here are some items you don’t want to miss off your camping checklist.

Practical clothing (including hiking boots)

Before you hit the road and travel to your campsite, it’s worth doing a little research on the local habitats. Once you know the type of terrain and environment you’ll be facing, you can pack accordingly. You might be squelching through muddy puddles. Alternatively, you may be walking through bone-dry forests, hiking up mountains, or navigating rocky areas.

If the situation warrants it, investing in hiking boots will keep your ankles supported and prevent injury. Remember that spotting wildlife can take quite a while: if you’re going to be on your feet for hours, you need to be dressed practically!

Binoculars for spotting birds and other wildlife

If you’re very lucky, you might be able to spot a rare bird! Unfortunately, no amount of luck will help you if you don’t pack a good pair of binoculars.

RSPB sell a variety of binoculars that are not only weather-resistant but also provide excellent sharpness so you can pick out minor details from a distance.

Footpath at Knotlow Farm

When you have the right equipment in place, birdwatching is a great activity for campers of all ages. And while you can spot birds in many urban regions, spending time in rural areas provides more opportunities for spotting birds of prey, adding excitement to your trip!

A camera for documenting your trip

Whether you’re a budding photography expert or you simply want to capture photos for memories, don’t forget to bring a camera along with you. Yes, a proper dedicated camera! Bringing a high-quality camera with a strong optical zoom will allow you to take great snaps without disturbing the wildlife you’re trying to observe.

If you’re reluctant to buy a camera like this, it’s absolutely fine to start with your phone camera. Modern smartphones can do remarkable things, with iPhones being particularly capable. But down the line, once you’ve made spotting wildlife a regular habit, you should strongly consider investing in a standalone camera. It’s absolutely worthwhile!

If you’re planning a camping trip this year, be sure to add these three essentials to your checklist. When you’re properly equipped, spotting wildlife is all the more exciting!