More people than ever are packing up and going to a campsite with a tent, renting a static caravan or bringing their own caravan! For most people, it is a great experience that just involves a lot of quality time with family and friends. Since there are fewer electronics and more space for playing, it can even see the kids playing for hours on end.
But before you pack up your tent or head to your local Swift Caravan Dealers, there are some things that you need to know to make sure that your first time (and every time after) at a campsite is A+.
The most popular camping sites are popular for a reason, and they get booked up long before peak camping season. Narrow down where you want to go and book early. There are often discounts when you book early enough, too.
When you camp in the UK, you won’t need as much gear as those who are camping where there are wild animals like bears and bobcats. A general rule is if you are hiking with your tent, you don’t want anything you don’t 100% need.
For those who watched Wild, when an experienced trail walker took almost everything out of her pack for her, that is what you need to do. Even if you are on the road – absolute essentials only, and things that have multiple uses.
Those in rental statics or large caravans have a little more luxury than those in tents. Sleeping in a tent means that you need to invest in good sleeping gear. A sleeping pad, sleeping bag and some pillows are going to help it go much smoother. Anything lightweight or multi-season is a better investment.
Luxury camping parks might have a restaurant or a snack shack nearby, but for the rest of the time, you are going to need to make sure the food you pack is energy-stuffed and easy to pack. Nuts, nut butter, dried meats, trail mixes, milk powders (and other drink powders), and tea and coffee sachets are all worthwhile. Meal planning will make the food situation much easier – try to choose meals that can use the same ingredients in different ways.
A few fresh items with you is a great idea, but if you’re in a tent, they won’t last long and will need to be eaten in the first day or two.
For those in a tent, you are going to need to practise putting it up and getting it down – repeatedly. Why? Because you never know what type of weather or situation you might face, practice makes perfect. You’ll also need to practise using any stove equipment, heaters and even dehydrated foods.
Top tip – If there is a cooking area on your campsite, try to pitch your tent away from it. Food particles and crumbs attract insects, and the smokey smell of the cooking lingers in the fabric of tents.
For parents who are trying to decide if camping with kids is really that great, here are some reasons to think about it: Why take your kids camping,