Camping, it’ll either spark fear or you’ll relish the chance to be in the great outdoors. For those who are super keen, camping also brings about the chance to unleash their inner Bear Grylls and get back to basics.
Wherever you fall on the camping spectrum, if you’re set for a few nights under canvas this summer – whether at a camping and caravan club, a UK campsite or you’re indulging in New Forest Camping – you will need to make sure you’ve read these 12 camping tips, to ensure you have a cool camping experience.
• Ditch the pop-up tent and instead practice pitching a proper tent before you go. Not only will this give you a chance to see how your tent should look, but it should also help reduce the risk of any arguments occurring as you and your loved ones pitch up.
• When it comes to pitching tents, don’t pitch in a dip. If it rains, water will collect here and leak into your tent. Ideally you should pitch your tent on flat ground and if possible higher up. It’s also suggested you do not pitch near to the campsite’s toilets or water sources, as these will be busy and therefore noisy – not ideal when you’re trying to sleep.
• When inserting tent pegs, make sure they’re inserted at roughly 45°. It’s also advisable to make sure you use all guide ropes and weigh each peg down to prevent them from coming loose or out of the ground. Another top tip is to take extra pegs, if you hit a rock underground or the ground is hard there’s a high chance your pegs will bend or break. Taking spare pegs with you will ensure you’re still able to keep your tent secure.
• Don’t have anything inside your tent pushing against the material, as this will result in the inner layer being pushed against the outer, which increases the risk of rain water leaking into your tent.
Sleep Soundly With Nature:
• If you’re looking for a comfy night’s sleep, place a camping roll mat under your sleeping bag. This will lift you off the ground enough to ensure there aren’t any hidden stones or sticks digging into your back or ribs during the night, you can further enhance your sleep by using an airbed. If you have managed to pitch your tent on a slightly elevated area, sleep with your feet facing downhill.
• Keep warm at night by making sure you have a sleeping bag with the right insulation. We also recommend making sure you have the right number of layers on during the night – although this will obviously vary from person to person.
Pack Wisely – But Not Necessarily Lightly:
• Torches, lanterns and head lamps are vital accessories when it comes to camping. Without the light pollution it can become very dark, very quickly in the countryside. Make sure you pack plenty of each, and we’d recommend an LED camping lamp for inside your tent, particularly one which can be hung from the roof of the tent and has various strength settings.
• When it comes to food as there will be no fridge or freezer to hand, it’s important to make sure you have a cool box which is stored in the shade. It’s recommended you only buy food for use on the day in question.
• Even though camping is about going back to basics, there are some home comforts which you’ll still need to make sure you have on you including matches / lighter, spare batteries, a mallet to help put the pegs into the ground and a small First Aid Kit. It is also (highly) recommended you pack the bottle opener / corkscrew, and a tin opener.
• When it comes to selecting camping equipment, opt for quality. Although this is likely to be slightly more expensive (in the short term) it’ll last longer – meaning you can have many wonderful years of camping ahead of you.
• In good old Boy Scout fashion, when camping “be prepared”. This means not only remembering the small things (as mentioned above), practising pitching your tent and taking spare pegs; but being prepared for all eventualities. So wherever you’re camping, make sure you pack your waterproofs and summer clothes, take tea bags / coffee and sugar, toilet roll, and some outdoor games to stay entertained whilst on the campsite.
• Perhaps one of the most important tips for successful camping, is to relax and don’t forget to laugh. It doesn’t matter whether this is your first or umpteenth time camping, tempers will fray and arguments are likely – whether it’s when putting the tent up, bringing it down or trying to light the BBQ and keep the children entertained at the same time.
But remember, camping is about enjoying nature and the great outdoors, whilst spending time with loved ones – so take it all in, have a laugh and relax. After all, it won’t be long until you’re back at work, dreaming of being back on the campsite!