Holidays abroad may be off the table for a while, and a lot of people might now be thinking of looking within the country for their next break away. Camping may not have been an option that you have thought about before now, but with the current situation, it may be an experience you’re considering..
If you don’t have any experience of camping, then there are a few things that you need to consider whilst planning your trip to ensure that everything goes smoothly. This guide contains tips that might give you the best chance of falling in love with camping by giving you an experience you’re sure to remember for all the right reasons.
Choosing a Campsite
At the moment, Wales and Scotland are off the market in terms of where you can go, but the restrictions on travelling to these places may not be in place for much longer, so you might have the whole of the UK to work with. Considering things like journey time from home for your first camping trip might be a good idea in case you forget something important or something goes wrong. We’d also suggest you choose, at least for your first trip somewhere with good amenities. While the idea of wild camping may appeal; it’s best to get used to pitching your tent and having resources available nearby for your first trip. If there are specific camp facilities that you’re looking for, you can find the best site for you here.
Things to Bring
Make sure to make a list of all essentials before you leave and check them off as you pack them into the car, so you won’t forget anything. Taking spares of important things such as tent pegs is also advised. Think about specific items that could ruin the camping trip if you forget them – if they’d make the trip unbearable then they’re considered essentials. While what’s important to one person isn’t as important to another, there are some basic needs you’ll need to meet, so the fundamental items that you need to be packing are:
Somewhere to sleep- Practice pitching a tent before you set off. When buying a tent, its best to choose one that is simple enough to put up, so that you’re not struggling for ages when you’re setting up at the campsite.
Something to sleep on – Think about the space you have in your tent. Blankets and small duvets are useful if you don’t yet want to invest in a sleeping bag. A mistake that many first-time campers tend to make is not bringing pillows. Even a small, inflatable pillow will do, and it will make your camping experience a lot more comfortable.
First Aid- This is essential for every time you go camping. Having some form of first aid is really useful when you are camping in a place that doesn’t have a medical facility, so this could really save your trip if you do injure yourself. Always pack it, just in case.
Clothing and footwear- Even forecasters struggle to predict the weather sometimes. That’s why it is wise to pack enough clothing and footwear to prepare for any possible changes and ensures that you can still enjoy your trip, no matter what the weather decides to do.
Cooking- If you are on your own, or camping in a pair, then there are many compact stoves and lots of space-saving cooking equipment that would be suitable. If you’re taking the family, or a larger group, then a dual hob cooker might be a better fit for cooking more than one type of meal. Need some ideas? Find incredible camping snacks to cook here.
Mobile Phone- Some campers may disregard this, claiming that it ruins the overall camping experience. However, a mobile phone is very useful if you need to call the for help during your trip. You can always leave it switched off to protect the ‘au natural’ experience, but it’s best to have it with you.. We’d recommend that you also bring a portable charger to ensure that your phone is charged enough to make any essential calls
Now you’ve got your location and your essentials sorted, take a look at these tips that will help your trip go without a hitch.
Cooking- When you are cooking you shouldn’t, under any circumstances, cook inside the tent because it is extremely dangerous. Not only is it a fire hazard, but it produces a fair bit of carbon monoxide. You can’t taste nor smell this gas, but it could cause major health issues.
Dogs- Dogs are likely to want to explore and play when they are in a wide-open space like a campsite. You should bring a good stake to hold your dog’s lead, so that they are able to explore but they won’t get lost. If you want more tips on camping with dogs, click here.
Extra Items to bring- If you’re not camping off the beaten track, you will likely be sharing the campsite with numerous other families, who may not follow the same schedules as you. Earplugs are a great way to ensure that you aren’t disturbed when you’re sleeping. In addition to this, make sure you have receptacles for waste – a couple of bin bags will save you several trips to the general waste area. Some smaller bags for food waste could be useful too so that you can get rid of anything that will be a bit smelly right away.
As excited as you may be about your first camping trip, it’s best to be prepared. That way, you’re sure to have a successful and enjoyable experience, and one that we’re sure you’ll want to repeat. Who knows? This may be the only way you prefer to holiday from now on!
Based in Liverpool, Sophie Bray is the Senior Editor at Camping Sites in Britain. Previously she has worked for The Huffington Post. Sophie is a graduate of English Literature at the University of Manchester.