After more camping years than I care to admit to, I’ve camped at all times of the year, in every type of tent and all over in the UK and Europe So I thought I’d share my top 10 tips for new campers.
1. Don’t overspend for a fancy set-up
If you’ve not been camping before and you’re not sure whether camping is for you, you don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on expensive equipment. However, don’t make the top newbie camper mistake of buying a single skin tent.
We’ve all seen these affordable pop-up tents sold at places like Asda advertised as the ideal festival tent. Don’t believe us, one skin tent that is priced at a bargain is a complete waste money. Your gear and you will be wet. Instead, why not ask your friend to borrow a tent or take a trip under the canvas before booking a glamping break?
If you don’t have a group of friends who are camping, you could try eBay to purchase a second-hand bargain, try Freecycle, the local Facebook selling group or try places like AutoLeisure who do a really affordable range of tents.
2. You should make sure you purchase more space than you think you’ll need
A four-man dome tent may sound great, but once you factor in camp beds or air mattresses, you’re unlikely to really fit four people with all their gear in! Always choose a tent that will give you more space, especially when you’re car camping and don’t have to think about weight or carrying your tent. Living and sleeping on top of one another is a sure way of making you cranky and tired, so make sure you choose a tent that’s bigger than strictly necessary.
We recommend also buying a head-height tent which means the ability to get up in it, which makes your life much more comfortable.
Remember that you’re not likely to complete your stay in any tent unless using narrow self-inflating mats, and sleeping squished across the floor.
For the best camping shop near me visit Auto Leisure.
3. Night time at night in UK is colder than you imagine.
Even in the months of June and July it is true that the nighttime temperature outside is quite cold in UK is generally quite cold. Having to spend a evening in a tent shivering is no fun at all. Always bring blankets with you and layers to keep warm during the night.
4. Ditch the electronic devices
Camping with an electric hook up (EHU) costs a lot It also means your pitch choice and campsite options are limited.
Simply solar chargers are affordable and can be more than capable of supplying power to any device such as your phone or tablet, or you can invest in something a bit more capable like for instance the HUBi solar hub.
On a side note, If you’re considering taking devices such as hair straighteners to camp with you – nobody is interested in what your hair’s style looks like put them away at home!
Why not use camping as an excuse to turn off your phone? Take your tablet off and reap the benefits of a have a digital detox.
5. Prepare for rain, wind, gale-force winds, and more!
Let’s not beat around the bush. Our weather across the UK sucks. As I write this, in the middle of July, it’s very cold, windy and wet as I’m wearing winter boots and the thickest pair of tights.
Okay, so sometimes we are lucky enough to have the sun shines and rain ceases to fall for a brief period However, even if the forecast is looking good ensure you’ve got extra layers and waterproofs just in case.
6. Buy camping gear and tents cheaper outside of the season
Because of the increasing demand and the increasing demand for tents, they are generally more expensive at the beginning in the season for camping. Although June may appear like a good opportunity to buy a brand new tent or camping equipment however, the prices tend to be higher at this time of year.
I buy my camping gear in winter or early spring. The majority of retailers will also offer an offer for summer items at the time of the season’s end typically at the middle of August, which is another great time to buy bargains.
7. Purchase the previous year’s version of the tent
Tents are like all other consumer goods change frequently. Manufacturers come out with new models, as well as add new features to their best selling tent models. As such, an updated model of tents is likely to attract a premium price.
Look for a previous years model, as you’ll usually get them at a significant discount since retailers are more inclined to promote the latest premium models instead.
8. Plan activities and days out in advance
It’s a fact that kids are likely to be bored, particularly if you are planning an electronic detox, so you’ll want to ensure you’ve got plenty of ideas for ways you and your family can spend your time whilst going camping.
Depending on your kids’ age, they may be able to go off and play for hours. If your kids aren’t as creative in terms of imagination take some time to plan their day and take some boredom-busting activities with you.
A football, kite, craft and paint items cards, binoculars, game boards, scavenger hunts and books on nature are great ways of fending off boredom in the wilderness without having to rely on technology.
9. Choose your campsite wisely
The camping site you choose can have a huge impact on how you’ll be enjoying your first camping adventure. Determine how far you are willing to travel, whether you prefer the coast or countryside and whether you’d like heaps of facilities (in this case, the location will likely be loud and busy) and if you prefer something more relaxed with a wild camping feel (in this case, you’ll usually be able to compromise on amenities).
We’ve been to some amazing camping sites over the years which we’ve been returning to over and over as well as at places we’d like to erase off our list!
Take a box of essentials. The things like duck tape cable ties, batteries and a pen knife first aid kit and others are all extremely useful to keep. Camping can be an unpredictable experience, which is just one of the reasons why it can be so fun however it is important to be well-prepared.
If the force of the wind makes pitching your tent more like to a Krypton Factor challenge or you’re trying to pack down in torrential rain ….just take on it. Willpower and resilience is something that (I think) sets hardcore campers apart from muggles. Whatever happens, just go with it and don’t let a minor mishap ruin your journey.