Perhaps you have booked your tickets at a summer festival, or maybe you are planning the annual family camping trip at home or abroad? If the thought of preparing for a camping trip fills you with dread, read on. Before you start panicking over bugs and building a kit rack, our camping tips will keep you right.
– This seems like an obvious one but take a bit of time choosing your tent. Yes, the label might say ‘two man’ but squeezed in there, do you think you’ll be comfortable cosied up together? We would suggest sizing up your tent – if it says ‘three man’, it might sleep two, at a push, so if there are two of you, think about a four man tent to make sure you’re comfortable.
– Depending on where you’re thinking of setting up camp, go early. Find the best pitch spot and get your tent and camp set up as early in the day as possible. Make sure you’re all set up before dark, you’ll thank us when you realise that trying to pitch a tent by the light of your phone is less than fun.
– Choose a pitch on higher ground (to avoid any water gathering around your tent) and ideally in the shade. Tent canvas can heat up quickly and you probably want to avoid a sauna sleeping experience.
– Consider bringing some foam floor tiles to make your sleeping experience a whole lot more comfortable and to line the floor of your tent against damp and bugs. Foam sleeping mats work but even better are the foam tiles you might have lying around in your kids’ play room.
– Whenever you get home, take a bit of time to clean your tent. It might be the last thing you’d want to do but if you pack it up dirty and wet, you might as well throw it out because when you come to use it again, it will smell really bad (again, trust us on this!) and most likely it’ll be covered with mould.
Unwelcome Creepy Friends
You know who they are and they can really ruin your day when you’re out in nature with no escape. We’re not talking about the friends you choose to bring (there’s nothing we can do about your choice of friends) but those of the uninvited multi-legged or flying variety. We have a few tricks to help you cope through the camping fun.
– Get to the fresh herb section of the supermarket and buy some sage. Burn bunches of it on the barbecue to keep the mosquitoes away.
– Put small trays of water under each leg of your camping table to avoid ants crawling up the table top.
– If anyone gets a tick bite, soak some cotton wool in soap and hold it over the tick for 20 seconds. It should be, ahem, soapy, by then, when it will stop chewing and come away with the cotton.
– Keep a tupperware box with your matches inside to avoid them spoiling in the rain. You can also attach some sandpaper to the inside cover of the box to give you an instant and dry spark.
– Bring a couple of egg cartons filled with coal or fire briquettes to act as your initial fire light. This is a quick and easy way to start your camp fire without fire lighters or kindling wood.
•- If you do run out of a fire lighters or kindling, throw some tortilla chips on the fire to get the flames started. It might seem like a waste but you’ll get a quick spark and it will be worth the sacrifice!
You’ll have your own list of camping essentials (think tent, sleeping bag, waterproofs etc) but here are a few things that might not make the list but which we consider completely essential:
– Spare batteries
– Power pack to charge gadgets
– Pen knife
– Small first aid kid
– Ear plugs
– Zip lock bags
– Extra socks
– Baby wipes
– Extra toilet paper
– Water purification tablets
– Kitchen Roll
– Tin foil
– Gaffer tape
– Bottle opener
– Bin Bags
So, now that you have the camping essentials sorted, get on with rolling your sleeping bag and dust off the wellies – we hope you have a wonderful time!