Camping isn’t always as simple as just picking up a tent, pitching it and winging it – only the luckiest of adventurers amongst can really make the most of things to that extent! For the rest of us, picking up a variety of tips and tricks for getting the best out of your camping trips – in all seasons – is always recommended. We’ve lined up a wide array of camping hacks and secrets which we think will help even the most ardent of adventurer on their way – some of them you may have heard of before – while others we think are especially sneaky and are well worth putting into practice!
Invest in the Best
This is a hack that will likely make sense to seasoned campers, but it’s worth bearing in mind when it comes to starting out with tents and sleeping bags, too. It’s tempting to save cash wherever possible – but when it comes to finding sleeping bags that can keep you warm and dry, it’s never recommended that you skimp on quality.
Have a Back Up Plan
Consider what do to do if everything goes south – do you have an alternative site you can head to? Emergency options lined up if things fail or give out? Always go prepared.
Plan Ahead – Weather-Wise
Another tip that rather goes without saying is to consider checking the weather forecast before you depart for anywhere – however, what you may want to do is to look at a cross-section of forecasting. It’s worth looking at the likes of The Weather Channel, The Met Office and default apps.
Vent Well When Cooking
Carbon monoxide is – of course – a killer. Never cook inside a small tent – if you are to cook on-site, opt for safe, compact stoves which can be used in wide open spaces. Read our Dangers of cooking in your tent for more info.
Protect Your Stove from the Elements
On a different note with regard to cooking, it’s worth considering investing in a windbreak so that any barbecues, fires or stoves you light stand firm in the height of bad weather – even if you’ve planned ahead with the forecasts.
Pack a Battery or Two
It perhaps goes without saying these days that our phones and other devices are going to be needed at some point – and no matter how advanced our phones get, battery life is always a bit of a burden. There are scores of different portable battery options out there on the wider market for travellers, and we especially recommend taking a solar-powered battery.
Think Lanterns – Not Torches
While the trusty pocket torch is perhaps a camping staple which will never really go away, it’s worthwhile thinking about investing in a powerful and portable lantern instead. These can be hung up or placed out of the way and can provide all-round lighting throughout your tent, canopy and gazebo where appropriate. Once again, a solar-powered option is always appropriate.
Get Acquainted with Pitching
Wherever possible, if you’re new to setting up tents or have bought a sizeable new model to set up and enjoy, it is well worth looking into any instructions which come included before you reach your given campsite. Where possible, if you have the space, it can be a great idea to try pitching your tent for a trial run before you set it up for real.
Don’t Stamp Your Pegs
A quick tip here which may surprise some people, as we’ve likely all done it at one point or another – but stamping tent pegs in with your feet will likely bend your pegs and render them pretty useless for future support. Always bring a mallet!
Pack the Essentials
Again, this may go without saying for some campers, but essentials for one tent of people can be very different for the next. Essentials such as first aid, matches and lighting are perhaps the most popular candidates for an emergency box – but what about duct tape, portable batteries, penknives, pain medication, a pen and notepad?
Plan for Warmth
If you’re set to camp during the colder months, consider taking portable heating packs with you which can be broken up and used to generate heat at short notice and ad hoc as and when you need them. They’re relatively cheap, too!
A major oversight for many people going camping – newbies or otherwise – is to assume that the bottom of your tent will suffice for seating. If you’re on hard ground, it most certainly won’t! Pack floor cushions for super comfy interior seating.
Pack More Shoes than You Think You’ll Need
Packing light is tempting – we can’t say we blame you – but it’s a great idea to have at least two pairs of shoes with you should you be camping somewhere especially muddy, or especially if your favourite boots or wellies have seen better days. Getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere without spare footwear is a nightmare!
Don’t Sleep on the Floor!
Coming back to our earlier point about comfort and the floor of your tent, it’s worthwhile considering how you’re going to set up your beds. Tempted to just throw a few sleeping bags out? It’ll be a cold, hard night – and it’s always recommended for you to sleep raised above the ground wherever possible. Certainly invest in sturdy camping beds wherever possible for the maximum portable comfort.
Consider Your Cooking Options
We all know that the odd portable or disposable barbecue should never be depended upon when it comes to cooking for long periods of time – and while it’s quick and convenient, it’s always worth investing in a sturdier, second option – always have a back-up in place.
Pinch Those Condiments
We’ve all taken advantage of those miniature condiment packets and portions in restaurants and hotels – and it’s worth keeping them to hand for camping trips for years to come, as they have extensive use by dates!
Prepare Your Food – Before You Go
Here’s a good one – especially if you’re planning to put together a recipe or two together while you’re away – as you’re not going to have the luxury of a kitchen or preparation area while you’re out in fields or sitting in a tent. Make sure you put together as much as you can and take it with you in portioned pots before you travel – all you have to do is heat it up!
Invest in Decent Tent Pegs
It’s tempting, of course, to peg down your tent with the equipment you’re dealt with – but you’d be surprised at just how flimsy provided tent pegs can actually be. It’s worth shopping around for sturdy, well-made pegs manufactured by trustworthy names in the marketplace.
Find the Right Campsite
The right campsite for you may not be one which is out in the sticks or which is full to the brim with all mod cons – but it’s worth looking at those which are aimed more towards families if you’re looking for a quiet breakaway somewhere. Look for tell-tale signs such as shops, pools and more nearby – be savvy about where you stop!
Be Considerate – Take Rubbish Bags
Finally, it’s always worth considering your personal impact upon the environment – and upon the sites you visit. Always clear up after yourself with rubbish bags which can carry sizeable volumes – ones which are especially sturdy and resistant, too, never go a miss. It’s tempting to just pick up as much rubbish or waste as you can when you choose to leave your site or pitch – but picking up and binning as you go is certainly responsible.
Do you have any tips and tricks you always use when camping?
Share them below using the comments section.