Camping is like a great adventure, you can never be quite sure what you’ll find over the next log, river or on the way up a mountain. But for beginners it can be met with trepidation and worry, the not knowing for some gives an adrenaline boost, but for novices to camping it can be like butterflies in the stomach. Usually this comes about through stories which have been told by friends or family, or maybe that they’ve read online.
Today my post gives our Top Ten Camping Tips for Complete Beginners, and it does what it says on the tin.
- Choosing where to go camping
Choosing the best place to go camping in the UK can be difficult. My tip is to choose somewhere close to civilisation, this isn’t to say camp in your garden but is rather a hint to keep a check on where the local houses, pubs and shops are. You never know when you may need them, and it will also put your mind at ease.
- Prepare a camping checklist
I won’t give you a full list of everything you need to take with you in this post, but take a look at last years Family Camping Checklist for some ideas. Being prepared is vital for any kind of outdoor activity from running to hiking to camping. The better your preparation the better your trip. So think about where you will be, what the weather will be like, have you got all your equipment, what toiletries will be needed, do I need everything or are others in the group sharing the load? Do you need midge repellent?
- Practice makes perfect
If it’s your first time camping practice pitching your tent 3 or 4 times before you leave, make sure you know how it fits together and gets taken apart. There is nothing worse than arriving at a campsite not knowing how to pitch a new tent when its pouring with rain. If you practice it can take a few minutes, without it can take hours (honestly!). Also try out your other equipment like your camping stove and sleeping bag.
- Check everything BEFORE you leave
This sounds really obvious, but if you are in a rush it’s often forgotten – and if you do forget it can lead to mayhem. Especially if you forget your tent! So make sure you’ve ticked everything on your list.
- Gain experience together
Knowledge and experience go hand in hand. If it’s your first trip go with someone who’s been camping before, don’t just disappear off on your own. Also make a plan with your camping buddy and give someone a copy of it – at minimum tell them where you are going to and when you will be back, this information can be vital. It can also take stress away from you as you know what is going on, just as it can your friends or family.
- Sustenance planning
When camping take foods which are light and easy to cook. You don’t want to finish a walk at 11 pm only to realise your food takes 2 hours to cook. Check whether water would be readily available at the campsite, and if not take a suitable amount.
- Talk to people on forums
There are many forums and blogs around the internet, they all want users to talk and interact. So if you’ve and questions or problems ask and they will help. So if you’ve any questions leave a comment.
- Avoid dangers
Avoid pitching your tent below hanging branches, close to animal holes or setts or hollows that could become flooded. Also if you notice any holes make a mental note, you don’t want to be leaving the campsite with a twisted or broken ankle. Finally, keep away from the wildlife – treat it with respect.
- Enjoy the adventure
Once you get to your campsite, pitch your tent and enjoy your first camping experience. Don’t worry if one or two things go amiss, its your first camping trip things will go wrong. But don’t let them worry you or get you down, relax and enjoy.
- Leave it as you found it
Camping is one of the primary reasons behind country-side litter, which can cause all kinds of problems for the environment and animals near by. So when you finish camping take everything you’ve brought with you, remove any litter and leave the campsite nice and clean.
In addition to the above we have found some great resources online which may help plan your camping adventures.
- BBC Weather / the Met Office
- Public transport information – Traveline
- Camping Tips and Outdoor Guides – Love the Outdoors
- Camping with children, activities guide – Take the Family
- Walks around Britain – take a guided tour around Britain
If you’re off camping this summer enjoy yourself, and send us your pictures!