As it looks like summer is finally on the way, I thought I’d put together a few tips for those who are thinking of giving camping a try. Like most things it definitely gets easier the more you do it, so thought I’d share a few tips and tricks that I’ve learnt over the last few years.
Follow these tips and you’ll soon be enjoying the good life too
- Choose your tent carefully! Go for the best you can afford and decide what you want from it. We wanted plenty of space,to be able to stand up and a tent that was easy to pitch. This led us to a tunnel design. It’s worth going along to an outdoors shop and getting some advice (even if you end up buying from ebay!)
- For a first trip don’t bite off more than you can chew! Pick a site not too far from home and only go for one or two nights. If you hate it you can go home and, if you love it, you can book a longer trip as soon as you get back
- Practise putting your tent up before you go. Without doubt pitching your tent is one of the most stressful times of the holiday (especially in the wind and/or rain) and often leads to the first argument of the holiday.
- The second argument usually occurs when you try and fit the tent back in the bag. So again, practise, practise, practise. Or at least try to remember how it came out of the bag…
- One of the challenges of camping is keeping your food and drinks cool, especially on a non powered site. We usually take a large cool box with extra ice blocks. Most campsites have a freezer you can use to keep your blocks frozen, you can then rotate them with the defrosted ones. Also, freeze meat and milk before you go, that way they stay cold longer and keep your coolbox chilled.
- Talking of food-if it’s your first time cooking outside keep it simple. There’s nothing wrong with pasta, burgers and sausages etc. You can also prepare simple meals at home (eg chilli, spag bol, curry) and just heat them up for the first night.
- Take a good torch. Many campsites are very rural and very dark at night. A good torch is a must for night time toilet trips (and visits to the local pub). Also advisable to have an easily accessible light in your tent.
- Layers! When camping you can experience a variety of temperatures in a day. Walking trousers are good as they dry quickly. I wear long sleeved running tops layered with thin fleeces and a padded gilet. Thermals are good for night time. Remember hat, gloves and thick socks.
- To keep warm at night it’s important to have a thick layer underneath you. Use a duvet or a fleece blanket. Invest in the best sleeping bag you can afford. If you don’t sleep or are cold you’re unlikely to enjoy the whole experience.
- If you’re not sure-just ask! The camping fraternity are a largely friendly bunch. Everybody was new once so don’t be afraid to ask if you need help or advice (or to borrow spare pegs or a mallet).
I’m sure that many more tips will come to me, so I’ll keep adding them to my Twitter and Facebook feeds over the summer.
Categories: Camping Tips