By Roxie Broun
The weather is warming (a little bit) and thoughts are turning to what you might do when lockdown is over. As it seems increasingly unlikely that we’ll be swanning off abroad for our summer holidays, campsites are preparing for a record year. It’s time to pick a campsite, pack up the tent and hit the road. Beginners fear not. These easy camping tips to make you a happy camper will make sleeping under canvas a breeze.
Comfort is Key
- Bring a pillow. While not an essential, you will have a far better night sleep with one.
- Don’t sleep on the ground, buy an airbed, camp bed or a mat.
- Bring warm clothes. Even in summer it can get very chilly at night. Round the campfire or some nights even to sleep in, a hoody or joggers may be needed.
- Bring a woolly hat, for sleeping in.
- Bring lots of blankets for the same reasons as the above. Invest in a wool one to go over your sleeping bag to keep you extra toasty.
- Bring some emergency foil blankets or picnic blankets to put underneath your mat or air bed and a blanket to go under a fitted sheet on top too. You need to insulate yourself from the bed and the bed from the floor.
Eating and Drinking
- Make a list of easy, one pot meals. The last thing you want to be doing after a day of exploring is cook a complicated meal without all the mod cons of home.
- Prep as much as you can in advance. Chop your veggies.
- Freeze meat so it keeps for longer in your cool box. Still take ice packs if you are going for a few days, lots of campsites will have freezers you can use to keep spares frozen or sell ice. You can also buy electric cool boxes.
- Look for campsites that offer food if you fancy a night off but still want to eat around the fire.
- Buy a bag of ice on the way to the campsite so you can put your beers/wine/gin on ice asap.
- Under no circumstance forget marshmallows and skewers.
- Some campsites have WIFI, lots don’t. Some don’t even get 4G. If it is important to you to stay connected, check before you go.
- If you want to take devices and don’t want to rely on charging everything from your car cigarette lighter, your best bet is to book a pitch with electric hook up. You will need to buy a mobile mains kit.
- Bring a food bag to protect your phone if you are expecting rain.
- Read reviews, look at pictures, know what you are booking. Some campsites have toilets and showers that are as good as you would find in a 3/4* hotel. Some are very, very basic. CampInn.com have all campsite facilities listed so it’s super easy to know what to expect.
- Bring flip flops to wear in the shower.
- Bring a head torch for late night toilet visits.
- If you are feeling fancy or don’t like the thought of sharing a toilet with strangers, you can buy pop up toilet tents with a portable loo fairly cheaply.
- Bring a potty for young kids. Yep, even if they are toilet trained. It saves a 3am toilet run.
- Bring fleece onesies to keep them warm on chilly evenings, during the night and fresh mornings.
- Be prepared for excitement, especially on the first night. It might take them a little while to get to sleep.
- Take something for them to do in the mornings, a tablet (controversial I know) or toys/books. They’ll be raring to go by 7am, it will buy you time for a coffee.
- Campsites with play areas for the win.
- Bring anti bac hand gel.
- Try not to fret if they get grubby. It will happen when living the outdoor life and usually a sign they have been having a great time.
- Don’t forget wet wipes.