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first time camping top tips you should know

Posted by paul lyall on

How to plan your first camping trip some basic tips to get you started


Camping can be daunting for first-timers. If you’re worried about getting your stuff across a campsite, the potential of rain or mud, how to stay warm, or cook a half-decent meal… then don’t worry!

Our handy checklist will help you feel fully prepared for your first camping break, so that you can just get out there and enjoy it!

Research the area


Image result for research pictures
There’s nothing worse than turning up at a campsite and realising there’s not a lot in the vicinity. If you’re after a good local pub, activities for the kids or even a beach, it’s best to look in to this beforehand. Of course, some people prefer the tranquillity and prefer to stay on site – so in this case it’s probably best to just plan your route in advance.

Practice putting your tent up

putting-up-a-tent

If you’ve never been camping before you’ve probably not had first-hand experience of putting a tent up either. This is fine – everyone has to start somewhere! Once you’ve purchased your tent, take it in to the garden (or the park if you don’t have one) and practice putting it up and taking it down. Remember,if you get stuck, Youtube is your best friend!

Believe it or not, one of the hardest things about putting a tent up is actually putting it back in the bag, so pay close attention.

Plan for poor weather

bad-weather

Even if there’s a sunny forecast ahead, you should always be prepared for the worst. Here’s a few important tips:

  • Waterproofing: all good outdoor stores will sell waterproofing spray and offer various solutions for keeping your tent dry.
  • Pack backup supplies: if it does rain, you’ll want to make sure you take wellies to get about, and if you do take wellies, the last thing you’ll want is the mud in your tent or in the car. Black bags are ideal for this – and also double up as impromptu tent covers if your tent ended up with a hole in or was to leak, as well as shoe protectors if you forget your wellies!
  • Create a small recreational area: in poor weather, the last thing you’re going to want to do is be stuck inside your tent all day. A small gazebo or awning with side covers can provide relief from a tent, let you take in the fresh air and also be a communal area for soggy shoes.

Plan for good weather too

hot-weather

Similarily, while you should plan for poor weather, you should also plan for sunshine! Make sure you’re fully stocked up on sun cream, comfortable light clothing as well as sunglasses, hats and umbrellas to block out the harmful rays.  Some campsite shops will stock sun cream in the summer months if you forget to pack it.

Practice simple meals

cooking

It’s a myth that you can’t eat as well as you would at home whilst on a campsite. All you’ll need is a portable stove (available at all outdoor stores, with prices ranging from £5+), gas canisters or tablets, something to cook with and your food.  Mess tins and a portable kettle tend to be the most popular and cheapest items to accompany a stove

For ease, most campsite shops tend to stock fresh, local items such as eggs and milk. If you have the time, practice cooking some simple meals in the same pan so you are an expert by the time you arrive.

Book off-site activities in advance

booking-of-site

If you are planning on heading off site to a theme park or the theatre, try and plan in advance as some attractions may be fully booked – generally, tickets are cheaper when booked in advance too. If you don’t have time to plan or book ahead, most campsites will have tourism information and leaflets to hand upon your arrival.

Pack!

packing

It sounds simple but this is where so many people can go wrong. Make sure you don’t forget the essentials like your tent, sleeping bag, camping mat, pillows, wellies, toiletries and a toothbrush.  If you’re planning to cook on site, then a camping stove is also essential. 

If you’re not travelling by car, a large camping rucksack is a brilliant investment and has various compartments and buckles for storing and clipping things like your camping mat and sleeping bag to.

All that’s left to do now is set up your tent, kick back and relax.

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