Camping Hacks for Beginners
Camping is great fun so if you are planning your first trip, you are in for a real treat. From beautiful landscapes to toasting marshmallows over a campfire and getting cosy at night, there is so much to be enjoyed. However, if you're new to camping and you're not well prepared it could make or break your trip. So, we've got some of our favourite camping tips to share with you to make your first camping experience one to remember.
In this guide we will look at the following hacks:
- Top Tent Tips
- Sleeping Tips
- Camp Cooking Tips
- Clothes & Packing Tips
- General Camping Equipment & Tips
Top Tent Tips
- Speak to an expert. If you've never bought a tent before, it can be tricky to know what to look for. So, go to a specialist camping or outdoor shop and speak to an expert who will help to find the right tent for you.
- Size matters. When it comes to tents, space is key. You need a tent that you can manageably put up with ease that also gives you enough space for spending time in your tent if the weather is bad.
- Practice before you go. When you arrive at the campsite, you want to be able to put your tent up with confidence. If the weather is bad or you have small children, you'll want to put the tent up quickly. So, it is vital that you practice
- Choose the right pitch. Pitch your tent on flat land and high ground with some shaded areas if possible. Depending on who you are travelling with, you may want to pitch closer to toilet facilities with young kids or further away from facilities if you want a quieter stay.
- Take storage and furniture. Keeping your tent tidy is essential so pack storage boxes, baskets and kitchen units to organise your essentials. You'll also want to bring camping chairs and a table to eat your meals around.
- Pack a repair kit. Your tent should come with a repair kit but if it doesn't, gaffa tape works a treat on any tears or holes and spare tent pegs are essential.
- Get a seasonal sleeping bag. The season often refers to the thickness of your sleeping bag so if you're camping in the summer, a thinner sleeping bag may be preferable whereas when
- Use a sleeping bag liner. This goes inside your sleeping bag and provides an extra layer of warmth but also means you can just wash the sleeping bag liner at the end of your camping trip, rather than the whole sleeping bag.
- Put foil blankets under your air bed or sleeping pad. These help to provide an extra layer of insulation between you and the ground to keep you warm at night.
- Take extra blankets. Whether you're sitting around camp in the evening or it's cold when you are going to bed, it is always a good idea to take extra blankets in case the temperature drops.
Camp Cooking Tips
- Never leave BBQ in your tent. It doesn't matter if the BBQ flames have gone out, disposable BBQs especially can continue to emit toxic carbon monoxide fumes so should never be left inside your tent after use.
- Always try to cook outdoors. If you are unable to cook outdoors, you should leave the doors and windows open. However, you should cook outdoors where possible to avoid fumes circulating the tent.
- Keep the stove raised off the ground. This helps to avoid burning the grass or having anything on the ground catching on fire.
- Don't make a campfire if the site doesn't allow it. This one is down to common sense and good manners. If your campsite says no campfires, don't light one.
- Always pack a fire extinguisher. If there happens to be a fire in your tent, you need to be prepared so make sure to pack a fire extinguisher.
- Pack dried foods that you can cook in fewer pots. This means you won't need to worry about keeping things fresh and you'll also have less washing up to do.
- Take a washbowl to clean up dishes. There may not be a designated washing-up area, so if you take a washbowl, washing-up liquid and sponge you can clean dishes at your tent.
- Plan your meals. By planning what you're going to eat, you can be sure to buy the foods you need in advance without overpacking too much food.
- Take lots of snacks. If you're bored, hungry, cold or all of the above, there's nothing quite like having your favourite snacks to hand. You could also be far away from a local shop so make sure to take your favourite snacks so you have them on demand.
- Prepare food before your trip. If you've planned your meals, you'll already know what ingredients you need. So, rather than chopping up veg in a tight space in your tent, prepare before you go, so everything is ready to cook.
- Use old tea towels. Things will likely get dropped in the mud or stood on, so don't bother taking new tea towels. Pack your old tea towels from home and buy some new ones to freshen up the kitchen.
- Take a large water carrier. There will likely be a drinking water tap on your campsite but every time you want to fill your water bottle up or to wash a dish, you don't want to trek across a field. So, take a large water carrier and fill it up to keep by your tent.
- Pack UHT milk, tea and coffee. Ice blocks don't last very long so if you don't have a cool box or fridge, UHT milk doesn't need to be refrigerated for your cereal or a hot drink in the morning.
- Find nearby places to eat out. If you've had a busy day out and about, you might not want to cook around the camping stove, so research some nearby pubs and restaurants before your stay.
Clothes & Packing Tips
- Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. The weather in the UK is notorious for changing by the hour in some places. So, unlike a week away in the sun, you shouldn't pack in advance but wait until a day or two before your holiday once you've checked the weather.
- Take extra clothes in case you get wet or muddy. There's nothing worse or more uncomfortable than sitting in wet clothes, and muddy clothes aren't easy to clean when you're staying in a tent. So, make sure you take enough spares.
- Pack warm layers. Even in the summer, it can get cold at night or if you get wet. So, be sure to pack cosy socks, fluffy pj's and thick jumpers to stay warm.
- Take a woolly hat and gloves. It can get chilly at night, especially if you are in an open space with few trees as shelter and when it's not cloudy, the temperature can drop. You'll thank yourself for packing a woolly hat when you're nice and cosy sitting around camp in the evening.
- Take a sun hat and sunglasses. The weather can change from day to day on your camping trip and if you're out in the open, you may not get much shade from the sun. As well as using sun cream, a hat and sunglasses will protect your eyes from glare and your head from any harmful rays.
- Use vacuum bags for bulky items. Jumpers, coats, pillows and blankets can all take up lots of space in your car. So, pack these items in vacuum bags and suck the air out so they are much flatter and take up less space in your car.
General Camping Equipment & Tips
- Don't leave the house without a first aid kit. You never know what could happen. It could be a sprained ankle or a small cut but plasters and antiseptic wipes should be the bare minimum in your first aid kit.
- Book activities in advance. If you're travelling during peak season, you may want to consider booking activities and attractions in advance. These can book up quickly so plan to avoid disappointment.
- Prepare for your trip. This one might sound obvious but if you are under-prepared with too few blankets, too little food or an unsuitable tent, you will know about it. So, be sure you are well prepared because it is always better to take too much than too little.
- Use a packing list. Write down all of your essentials in advance so you don't forget anything at the last minute and tick off everything on the list when you're packing.
- Don't forget the little things. This means toilet paper, lights, torches, earplugs, toiletries and anything else you consider to be essential.
- Be kind and have fun. Campers are super friendly so if you get a bit stuck on your first trip, there will be someone around who'll be happy to help beginner campers. Don't forget to adhere to the site rules too which means respecting your fellow campers and staying quiet early in the morning and late at night.
When packing for your camping trip, you may need some extra space for all of your camping gear. This is where a platform carrier comes in handy. Giving you the extra space you need, you'll still be able to stay comfortable on the journey while packing everything you need. If you want even more space when taking your car camping, why not have a towbar professionally fitted to your car so you can attach a trailer? However you choose to enjoy your camping trip, if you follow our camping hacks and leave no trace behind, we're sure you'll have a great time.