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What To Know About Camping

In more years of camping than I’d like to, I’ve camped at all times of the year, in every type of tent throughout all of the UK and Europe, so I thought I’d share my top 10 tips for those who are new to camping.

1. Don’t spend a fortune for a fancy set-up

If you’ve never slept in a tent before and aren’t too sure what you want to do, you don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on fancy equipment. That said, please don’t make the top novice camper error of buying a single skin tent.

We’ve all seen the inexpensive pop-up tents you can find in places such as Asda and Tesco, advertised as the perfect festival tent. Don’t believe us, an inexpensive single skin tent is a complete waste of money. Your gear and yourself will be soaked. Instead, why not ask an acquaintance if you could borrow a tent, or even try a night under canvas first by booking a camping break?

If you don’t have a group of friends who camp, then why not hit eBay for a second hand bargain and try Freecycle or your local selling groups on Facebook or try places like AutoLeisure who do a really great value selection of tents.

2. Be sure to buy larger tents than you believe you’ll need.

The idea of a four-man dome tent might sound perfect however, once you factor in air or camp bed mattresses, you’re unlikely to actually fit 4 persons and all their gear inside! It’s always best to select a tent that offers you more room, particularly when you’re camping in a car and don’t need to fret about weight or carrying your tent. Being able to sleep and live on top of each other is certain to making you feel grumpy and tired, so make sure you choose the size of your tent which is greater than what is strictly required.

We highly recommend that you purchase a head-height tent which means it’s possible to sit within it, and make your life much more comfortable.

Remember that you’re unlikely to complete your stay in any tent, unless you’re making use of narrow or small self-inflating mats and sleeping squeezed in a single layer on the floor.

3. The night time at night in UK is much colder than you think

Even in the months of June and July temperatures, night time outside is quite cold in UK is generally quite cold. Spending a night in a tent that is cold and chilly is not fun at all. Make sure to bring extra blankets and use layers to help keep warm during the cold winter months.

4. Eliminate the electrical devices

Camping with an electric hook up (EHU) is expensive, and it also means your camping site and pitch options will be limited.

Simply solar chargers aren’t expensive and capable of supplying power to any device like smartphones or laptop, but you can also invest in something that is more robust such as that of the HUBi solar hub.

A side note: If you’re considering taking devices such as hair straighteners to camp with you, no one cares what your hair’s style looks like so leave them at home!

Why not see the camping trip as a reason to unwind? Leave the tablet at home and take the opportunity ts benefit from a have a digital detox.

5. Make plans for rain, wind as well as gale-force winds!

Don’t beat around the bush. Weather in the UK is miserable. As I write this, in the middle of July, it’s wet, windy, cold and I’m still wearing my winter boots as well as an extra thick pair of tights.

OK so, sometimes we’re lucky when the sun is shining and the rain stops for a brief period however, even if the forecast looks good be sure to pack additional layers and waterproofs in case.

6. Purchase camping gear and tents at a lower cost during off-season

In light of the rising demand that means tents are usually more costly at the beginning of the camping season. Although June may appear like a good time to buy a new tent or camping equipment however, the prices tend to be higher during this time of year.

I buy my camping gear from the camping shop near me in winter or early spring. Many stockists also have an offer for summer items at the time of the season’s end, usually around the time of the August end, which is another good occasion to grab the best price.

7. Get the prior year’s model of tent

Tents are like all other items of the consumer market, change often. Manufacturers launch new models and add new features to their top-selling tent models. So any model that is currently in use for the tent will always be able to fetch a premium.

Check for a prior year model and you’ll typically discover them on sale as retailers prefer to push new premium models instead.

8. Make plans for activities and days out in advance

It’s a fact that kids are likely to be bored, particularly when you’re planning a digital detox, so you’ll need to ensure you’ve got lots of ideas on how you and the family will spend your time when camping.

Depending on your kids’ age, certain kids will go off and play for hours on end. If your kids seem to be lacking in the imagination department Do some research and take a range of boredom busters with you.

A football, kite, crafting and paint supplies binoculars, games, cards board games, scavenger hunts as well as nature books are great ways of fending off boredom when camping, without needing to rely on technology.

9. Pick the right campsite

The camping site you choose will have a major influence on how you’ll be enjoying your first camping trip. Find out how far want to travel, whether you’d prefer a coastal or rural and if you’re looking for plenty of amenities (in this case, the location will likely be crowded and noisy) or if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere with a wild, camping vibe (in which case, you’ll have to be able to compromise on amenities).

We’ve had the pleasure of staying at some great campgrounds throughout the years that we’ve returned to repeatedly but we’ve also stayed at places we’d like to erase out of our memories!

10. Be prepared!

Get a bag of essentials. For example, duck tape, cable ties, batteries and a pen knife first aid kit, and many more are useful to have. Camping can be a risky experience, which is just one of the reasons it can be a lot of fun but it’s important to be well-prepared.

The gale-force winds can make pitching your tent more like to a Krypton Factor challenge or you’re trying to pack down the tent in the midst of torrential rain ….just get on with it. Resilience and a can-do spirit is what (I think) distinguishes hardcore campers from muggles, so whatever happens, just go with the situation and try not to let one minor mishap ruin your excursion.