Many of us will be pitching our tents this summer on camping holidays across the world. If you are heading out into the “wilderness” this summer, here are seven easy steps for having the best camping trip yet (even if it rains the entire time).
Camping is great: it’s cheap, it’s fun and it allows for the opportunity to spend some quality time with friends or family. There’s nothing like waking up to the sound of birds singing and the sun rising, with stunning natural views waiting just outside your tent door. Having a successful camping trip requires a few essential elements: supplies, location and activities. We’ve come up with a few more to help get your camping trip off on the right foot, and make the most of the great outdoors.
1) Do some proper pre-trip planning
Before your trip you need to consider a few things. How many people will go? Are you looking for a relaxing waterside trip, or an active adventure up in the mountains? Will you sleep in a tent or a caravan? What will you eat – basic camping staples or more fancy fare? What is your ideal camping trip? Answer these questions and it’ll be easier to prepare the best camping holiday ever.
2) Choose the perfect location
Location, location, location: it really does matter. Based on your idea of an ideal camping trip, which location would best suit the activities you’re interested in? Once you’ve got the answer to this, it’s time to start looking for camping sights in that area. From the Highlands to the Lake District, down to Cornwall or lovely Suffolk, there are so many options for camping in the UK and plenty of great campsites to pitch your tent in.
Tip: If required, make sure you reserve your campsite in advance.
3) Gather up all the essential supplies
There’s no doubt that you’ll need a serious packing list to make sure you’re not forgetting anything. That list goes beyond the usual tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, clothing and food. Make a check-list of everything you’re going to need and to avoid too many extra costs, see what you can borrow from friends for your trip.
Tip: To get you started, check out this handy Camping Checklist.
4) Gather up all the non-essential supplies
There is a big difference between essential items and non-essential items, but the latter should not be forgotten! Beach balls, a book of ghost stories to tell around the campfire, a guitar, playing cards and board games for rainy days, a frisbee, a football… you get the gist.
5) Always have a back-up plan for bad weather
When sleeping outdoors you always gamble with the weather. Prepare for all eventualities. Make sure you have the proper clothing and equipment for both wet, dry, cold and hot days. Sun cream and insect repellent should never be overlooked on a summer camping trip. If it’s likely to get cold at night (which is more often than not), pack plenty of layers. The one essential for a great British camping trip? A waterproof jacket.
6) Learn to cook gourmet over the fire
There’s more to camping food than burgers, hot dogs and toasted marshmallows (although these are all pretty great!). Get creative with your camping menu and impressive everyone with your gourmet camp-fire skills. It’s worth taking a look at recipes and food ideas for camping before you go: BBC GoodFood has some great camping recipes.
7) Relax… you’re on holiday
At the end of the day you are on holiday so when the going get’s tough (read: when it rains the entirety of your trip) you do what you have to do. Camping in the rain isn’t ideal so pulling the plug and going home early to camp at home (indoors) is always an option!
What are your secrets to successful camping trips? Any advice on what to do when it’s raining during a camping trip?