This Sunday just gone (03/25) marked the start of British Summer Time! Although we’re based on the other side of the pond, it does remind us that camping season is just around the corner! Although camping sounds like a simple task on the surface, there are actually a few things you DON’T want to do if you DO want to have a good time.
Top help you out (and to save you time traipsing around the camping store looking for answers) we’ve collated a few big tips courtesy of gocampingaustralia.com and joyofcamping.com. Enjoy them! Then go outside and enjoy the great outdoors a whole lot more!
1) Research where you are going – This includes figuring out where it is in relation to you, how far away it will take you to get there, and how forgiving/unforgiving the terrain is. You don’t want to be spending hours in the car only to arrive at your destination at sunset. Setting up camp at dusk (although pretty) is no fun at all. Also, check the weather forecast and if there are any camping facilities nearby (i.e. water or toilets). Checking beforehand will give you time and a half to bring all that you need to!
2) Try out your equipment before you arrive at your camping haven – Make sure that whatever you have works, and whatever you don’t have is somewhere you can get it! A big piece of equipment to check or test out pre-camping expedition is whatever you choose to sleep in! If it’s an ENO (we hope so!) and you plan on sleeping in it with your partner, try it out and see if you will be comfortable. Although we think they’re perfect for nights in the shady grove, we have never been in one with your man’s pointy elbows or your kid’s tendency to toss and turn! If there are no trees where you’re going and a tent is the only option ( ), pop it up in the back yard and see if you can all squeeze in. Tent manufactures tend to use very small people when giving their recommended ‘sleep’ count!
3) Have a Plan B if you’re campfire isn’t all that – Done safely and correctly a small campfire is perfect for getting warm and roasting marshmallows, but make sure you have an alternate option for staying warm or cooking food. Remember, not all wood you find burns well (or at all), and it may have rained recently leaving everything behind damp. Small camp stoves are getting lighter and lighter, so they’re definitely an option to consider. (You also can’t go wrong with a PB+J or a tub of pasta salad!)
4) Go QUALITY even if it is a few bucks more – Although it’s always tempting to save 20 bucks and get a cheaper version of a name brand, remember the items may not survive more than one camping trip – if it survives that one at all! Being in the middle of the woods post-nightfall and discovering your sleeping bag zipper has broken isn’t the best feeling ever. (Luckily, ENOs are affordable AND great quality – and come with a 2 year warranty again manufacturing defects!).
5) Don’t get everything at once, and bring everything at once – on the flip side, if you’re new to the great outdoors you don’t want to spend all your saving on a bunch of new camping equipment. Everyone’s different, so outside of the essentials (shelter/food/warmth e.t.c.) it may take you a few attempts to figure out what YOU need specifically. While we may hate it if we didn’t have our Guardian BugNet with us, you may never come into contact with pesky flies so have no use for it! Also, don’t bring too much with you on your trip. Although it’s nice to have your portable DVD player at all times, you’re kind of missing the point of camping (and risking back problems!) lugging it to the top of Mt. Pisgah with you!
6) Always take your trash – this is kind of a no brainer and we know you’ve heard this multiple times before – but it’s still an important one! Respect the environment where you’re camping and leave it just as you found it, for someone else to enjoy! Also keep your food stored in sealed containers. Although wildlife enjoys their own munchies, the opportunity for a free ham sandwich wouldn’t be passed up by many woodland critters! Or bears!!!
Most of all, have fun and enjoy the outdoors! It may not be easy the first few times, but remember you’re surrounded by nature itself, and that alone is a pretty awesome thought!