So many people go camping and make it part of their annual holidays. But if you’re newer to camping you can end up making it harder on yourself by not doing research before going. I’ve pulled together some of the camping tips I’ve learnt over the last 4 years camping, and some camping hacks from friends and other bloggers.
Failsafe camping tips
Tents and camping equipment
1, Buy tents at end of season or mid winter.
2, Look out for soon to be discontinuing deals
3, Don’t rely on camping shows – they often only have one company doing all the tents.
4, Look out for loyalty or discount cards – try Go Outdoors, but also some Facebook groups offer discounts to members for independent shops
5, If you have a new tent, pitch it before you go – to practice and check everything is there.
6, Check your tent poles before you go.
7, Take extra tent pegs with you.
8, Take microfibre towels – we use Decathlon ones – they’re quick drying, very absorbent and pack up small, but are still large enough to be a good bath towel.
9, Try Hammam towels – absorbent, more sustainable and can be used for shawls or blankets in the evenings.
10, We live in flip flops most of the time. Take light trainers, and wellies if it’ll be wet.
11, Baby wipes for everything
12, Head torches keep hands free
13, Don’t forget kitchen roll and bin bags
14, Pack your car in reverse order of need – leave space for tent, groundsheet, mallet and pegs to go in last.
15, Take small craft packs for rainy days – we’ve done sticky mosaic pictures and making fridge magnets
16, Card games are good to not take much space
17, Small pocket kites, frisbees and balls are simple old fashioned fun.
18, Swingball for adults or kids
19, Walkie talkies are great fun for kids camping in big family group. Or for games – get the base (adult) to tell the group of children things to find like a scavenger hunt
20, Keep children’s toys and stuff together, by taking a small paddling pool to put in or out of the tent and use as a ‘play’ area in the tent.
Tents and campsite
21, If you’re taking an electric pump, take lots of inflatable equipment but save the space by putting them in vacuum bags and compressing
22, Cable ties for keeping push button showers running – hold them round the button and pipe tight, then slide off when finished.
23, Solar fairy lights inside the tent like a nightlight for children if they get up in the night.
24, Solar lanterns outside the tent door to guide you back to it (or use glow sticks around the guy ropes
25, Protect the tent groundsheet from table or campbed legs by using plastic pringle lids or similar underneath them.
26, Never pitch at the bottom of a hill, or a dip in the ground. If it rains you’ll get the run off.
27, Learn how to use guy line adjusters – they’ll make all the difference to the sturdiness of your tent.
28, Make homemade lanterns by drilling holes in the side of tin cans and adding citronella candles to help keep away bugs
29, Lots of light layers at night
30, If you find airbeds uncomfy, try a camp bed with self inflating mattress or airbed on top. Also keeps you warm because you’re not on the ground
31, Keep warm at night, by insulating under and on top of the airbed, e.g put blankets or interlocking foam playmats under your airbed, and sheet or blanket on top of it.
32, Put your hot water bottle in bed 20 minutes before you get in
33, Bulk cook before you go – it’ll take a day to fully defrost, so you have probably 2 nights food just to heat up (we like spag bol, chilli and curry).
34, Use boil in the bag rice (or use the campsite microwaves.
35, Check the campsite freezer pack system. If they have a large freezer you put your own packs in, think about putting in ready meals if there’re also microwaves there.
36, Freeze meat and dairy in a cool box, they’ll gradually defrost giving you a couple of days of food
37, Use boil in the bag rice (or use the campsite microwaves.
38, If you camp regularly, keep a plastic box with camping cutlery, plates, utensils and pans in. Saves trying to locate suitable ones to take each trip from your kitchen.
39, Lint in a toilet roll is a good fire starter (or evidently vaseline on cotton wool.
40, Store toilet roll and matches in a sealable bag.
41, When drying out a tent, if you don’t have garden room, hang over the banisters over the stairs.
42, If anything is broken or missing, replace it straight away. You then won’t have a panic when you arrive at the campsite for your next trip.
43, Enjoy all your memories and bore everyone you meet about how great your trip was.
For more camping hacks, check out my camping Pinterest board.
Hopefully with this list of camping tips and ideas, your first next camping trip will be a big success.
What tips would you add to the list?