When you’re looking for picturesque views, ultimate peace and quiet and a chance to really get away and escape, not much can beat camping in the great outdoors.
Everyone has their own reasons why they love camping, and it’s no surprise that the popularity of this fuss-free getaway just keeps on growing.
Life is getting louder, more stressful and harder to switch off from, it’s a fact. We are exposed to 5000 advertisements and messages on an average day, spend over eight hours on staring at a screen, and thanks to the internet we now receive five times as much information a day as we did in the 1980’s.
So no wonder people are turning back to basics, and seeking the peaceful respite that camping can provide. Especially if there’s no phone signal at your chosen destination.
This is the main reason we love to get away, pop up a tent and talk the hours away under the open skies. Now I wouldn’t say we are camping experts. I certainly have many more pitches and tents to erect before I could claim that title. However we have been on a fair few trips, and we are starting to feel that we have got the basics down when it comes to having a perfect outdoors break.
So below I will share my easy camping tips. For those who are more seasoned outdoor sleepers, please share your advice in the comments below, it will be great to hear your insights.
Book a great campsite
There are thousands of campsites across the U.K, so you will be truly spoilt for choice when it comes to immersing yourself in nature for some much needed R&R. Personally, my favourite places to pitch up are in the Scottish Loch Lomond area, Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the Yorkshire Coast. Being by the lake or the sea is a top priority when I am looking for a destination, especially if I can open up my tent in the morning and see right out over the coast whilst still toasty in my duvet.
I love the site www.pitchup.com for instant booking of tent pitches, camping pods and much more. We use it when we are booking a last minute getaway and need quick sight of visibility rather than ringing around a lot of destinations. Plus, they have loads of reviews, so you can quickly see if the site is right for you.
Get to your site with enough time to put up your tent, and discover where the bathrooms, showers and water points are whilst it’s still light. It’s fully possible to do it all in the dark via torchlight, but it makes for a much more relaxing stay if you can get yourself set up in the daytime.
Practice at home first
We have all been there. Whether it’s a tent, flat pack furniture or a new recipe. Following instructions for the first time is never easy. Prepare yourself for putting up your tent by making sure you have practiced at least once at home first. You will be really grateful, especially if the weather isn’t pleasant and you want to get it up as quickly as possible!
Invest in your kit
Good quality camping gear can make or break a trip. Invest in the core pieces which really matter. A good tent, quality camp chairs, a robust airbed and stove or portable BBQ. There’s nothing worse than getting to a dream weekend away and the tent collapsing, airbed deflating or BBQ breaking (I have experienced the two former, and only thanks to Duct Tape did we get through the stay!) Oh, on that note, duct tape fixes a lot of camping issues – so have some in your bag.
Pop-up tents can be brilliant for dry one-night stays, we often use it if we are away for half a day, but I wouldn’t advise you use it for wet weather or longer breaks.
Side note – before you do invest in all the above however, maybe lend the kit from a friend first to try out if camping is for you.
Camping doesn’t have to mean being uncomfortable
Take what you need with you to make yourself comfortable and relaxed on your trip. We always pack:
- A good quality airbed
- Picnic blanket and groundmat to go under it – double dry
- Portable toilet (when the night-time walks for the bathroom blocks are too far)
- Extra throws to go on top of the airbed (most heat is lost from the cold ground below you)
- Camp chairs
- An actual duvet on warm nights (much cosier than a sleeping bag)
- Portable speaker
- Whistling kettle (got to get the morning coffee in!)
Prepare your entertainment
Quite often, relaxing under the stars is enough, however it’s always great to have some cards, and travel board games that you can play as the night winds down and the sun is still in the sky.
Deet is your best friend
Like I have written many times before, Deet is one of my top ten must-have items when travelling. Midges and camping go hand in hand. Firepits and citronella spray can also help.
Plan for rain
You’re going to sleep outdoors, in the UK. There’s a high possibility of rain. By being prepared, it makes it a whole lot easier. Take clothes that dry quickly, keep wellies on standby, and an umbrella for cooking in the drizzle.
Take the right essentials
I always think the key to a good camping trip is solid preparation. I don’t go without the following little extras as essentials:
- Spare plastic bags for wet clothes, rubbish, and much more
- Wet wipes
- Bottle opener (or better yet, a multi-tool knife)
- First aid kit
- Spare tent pegs
- Duct Tape
- A water container to refill on site
- Torch and batteries
- A charging powerbank (for loading up your phone for a map to get home the next day)
Camping is fun with friends
Camping can be romantic, but also a great social activity with a great group of friends. Stories round the campfire, slightly warm wine and roasting marshmellows make for a great group weekend away.
Book a site and get people on board for a new take on group holidays.
What is your top camping advice? Do you have any brilliant sites we should check out? Comment below and I will share in the next blog.