This past year has meant that much of our lives have been put on hold, and because of that, it has meant that we have needed to consider alternatives for a lot that we would usually take for granted. One of them being holidays.
You may have been the couple that was jet setters taking in city breaks and lavish beach escapes, you may have been the family that worked hard for that annual two-week break in Spain or somewhere exotic. Jumping on a plane felt so normal until we couldn’t do it anymore.
But while things are starting to look a little brighter and get back to normal in the next few months, it has meant that people are a little less enthused about booking a foreign holiday and instead, choosing to stay in their own country.
One of the options for a holiday that you may be considering is camping. But if you haven’t done it before, or ever considered it, you may be wondering where to start.
Here are some tips for those people who are just not “natural born campers” in the hope it will help you enjoy your camping trip this year.
11 Camping Tips For First Timers
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Always plan for bad weather
Spring/Summer is a great time to go camping and it can be glorious, but it can also be a disaster. The problem is, there is no guarantee and you just can’t predict whether it will be a heatwave or a second winter.
So a great tip is to plan for bad weather. It may be the middle of August when you are going away but bring with your wellies and a coat just in case. You will be thankful for your foresight if the weather does turn a little grey.
Plan what you are going to do ahead of your trip
Another thing you might want to do is plan ahead for your trip. Knowing where you are going and what camping site you are staying at will help you to do some research of things to see locally and activities you can do.
This is especially important if you need the internet or mobile service while camping. Some campgrounds are great and offer wifi, but in some of the rural areas, you may not be able to get any service at all.
If you know you won’t be able to get online where you are staying, research the closest location where you can go to have service. In an emergency situation, you will be thankful for that information.
You can also download and print directions to your activities planned before you leave home as well as download movies to your devices just in case it rains.
Being over-prepared is a good thing
You can never be too prepared for a camping trip, especially if this is your first time, so pack what you think you will need and cover every eventuality. It doesn’t matter whether you end up not using the things you packed, if you have the space for it, bring it along. If you do need it you will be thankful for it, and as you get used to camping, you will realise what is and isn’t needed.
Take a first aid kit with you
On the subject of being prepared, a great tip is to make sure you bring with you a well-stocked first aid kit. Camping can bring with it a few injuries along the way for many reasons, and as you are out and about, it won’t be so easy to get treated. You don’t need much, but plasters and bandages, antiseptic cream, some bug spray, allergy medication and painkillers should be sufficient. You can buy a ready-stocked kit online if you want to ensure you have all of what you need.
Don’t pitch up under a tree
It may look like the perfect picture opportunity, but avoid pitching your tent under a tree. In high winds, a tree can be a dangerous place to be under as there is the risk of falling branches. You also don’t take into consideration tree sap or bird mess, which can be a real pain to clean off your tent when you are going home.
Don’t forget about lighting
Camping during the daylight is fine, but at night, people can forget the obvious thing of needing light. In some campsites, especially in rural places, there isn’t much light to help you navigate your tent at night, or find the bathrooms if you need an urgent toilet break. Pack up torches and lights that you can leave in the tent. Headlights can also be useful if you are walking around at night.
Plan for the kids/grandkids
Kids will likely be so excited about a camping trip. It is something that can feel like a real adventure, but there will be aspects of it that they can’t get too involved in, such as packing and unpacking and pitching up the tent. So plan for these things. Bring activities that they can do while you are busy, or set them tasks that you know they will be able to do.
It is also important to plan for your kids at times where you won’t have organized things. Having a tablet or phone is one thing, but if you are trying to have a break from tech then make sure you bring games and things they can do to occupy their minds.
Pack your car in the order you will need things
A great tip is to pack your car up so that when you arrive the things you need are easily accessible. For example, when you first arrive at your destination you will want to pitch up the tent. But if this is packed towards the back of the car boot then it will take some unpacking to get to it.
Pack up the vehicle in the order you need things so that you can remain organized, neat and tidy at your campsite. The last thing you want is chaos before you have even started.
Check for any campsite rules and regulations
Every campsite will be different, so make sure you check for campsite rules and regulations. There may even be stricter guidelines and things that are closed at the moment due to the country-wide restrictions that are still in place. However, generally, no campsite will be the same as another, so ensure you understand what rules are in place before you get there.
Check what facilities will be open
Though campgrounds may be open, some facilities may be closed, like the store, snack shop and bathroom. This may mean that you will have to pack extra snacks, water and even bathroom substitutes. Toilet paper is a must on any camping trip but you may even want to consider a portable toilet and a shower system.
Don’t buy new
If this is your first time camping, resist the urge to go out and buy everything you need. You can probably borrow a tent and some other supplies from a friend. If not, check out marketplaces online where you can buy used. Once you know that you enjoy camping enough to do it again, you can invest some money.
Let’s hope these tips help you when it comes to your first camping trip.