Holidays come in all shapes and forms – you could be jetting off somewhere hot, visiting a new city for the weekend or tackling the great outdoors.
Camping can be daunting for a first timer but, whenever you finally pluck up the courage, it really is worth the experience.
Having also once been a newbie, I’ve made a short list of hacks that are sure to help you survive your first ever camping trip.
Make sure you have the essentials.
There are of course standard things that you need for any trip (clothes, toiletries, towels etc) but there are a couple of things you’re sure to need exclusively for a camping trip;
• A Tent: make sure to find a lightweight tent and that it’s not bigger than you need – there’s no point bringing a family sized tent for two people, it’s just more weight for you to carry!
• Plenty of blankets
• A sleeping bag
• Extra socks (wet socks are the worst while camping)
Remember to double check you have everything before leaving for your trip – mother nature doesn’t have a local supermarket.
Get to know the area.
Do a bit of reading on the area before heading for your trip. Most campsites will be safe but it will just allow you to know a bit more about the landscape and its residents.
Choose where to pitch your tent wisely.
It’s important to put a lot of thought into where you choose to pitch your tent.
Don’t pitch near paths – there’s sure to be pathways running through the campsite. Try to avoid setting up nearby to avoid noises during the night from people moving about the campsite.
Avoid the toilets – although it might seem handy to pitch up near the bathroom, you’ll know all about it when an early bird is up for their morning shower or the constant bathroom trips while you’re trying to sleep.
Stay away from water – although it’s a nice view and you might like the sound of water, if it rains a river is sure to rise and you’ll either have you move your tent or return to it submerged in water.
You should aim to find dry, flat land.
Choose a tent that stands out.
Campsites tend to get busy, especially during summer. When it’s dark at night it can be tricky to find your tent so you should always try to find one that will stick out from the others.
Make candle stakes.
Lighting campfires can be difficult and more often than not impossible to light so make sure not to get caught short.
Grab some candle sticks are put skewers up through the bottom of them. This will allow you to put the skewers near your tent (not too near) meaning you’ll have plenty of light while you sit out and enjoy the scenery.
Make some single use soap.
It’s a nuisance having to cart soap back and forth from the bathroom.
Before going, get a bar of soap and pull off chunks by using a vegetable peeler. These chunks of soap will be perfect for single use.
Create a lantern.
It tends to get dark a lot quicker when you’re in the middle of nowhere.
Make your own lantern by getting an empty milk jug and wrapping a head light around it with the light facing inwards.
This is perfect for bathroom trips during the night or helping your cope with the dark whilst you sleep.
Bring a floor mat.
A sleeping bag will not be enough to ensure that you have a good night’s sleep. Be sure to bring a floor mat to make you comfortable.
Use a sleeping bag case as a pillow.
Save yourself from bringing a pillow (especially if you’re not going by car) by taking your sleeping bag cover and filling it with a couple of jumpers.
Sleep with your clothes in your sleeping bag.
Do you struggle to get out of your warm bed in the morning? It’s a lot worse when you’re camping.
Bring the clothes you plan to changed into in the morning in your sleeping bag with you. You’ll give off heat while you’re sleeping and this will make sure your clothes are nice and cosy for you in the morning.
Do you have some camping tips you’d like to share with me? Let me know here!