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In recent years, with a rise in festivals and a renewed love of the great outdoors, more and more people are skipping checking it at hotels in favour of sleeping in tents.
Camping is a fantastic way to get away from it all with family and friends and being at one with nature.
Not only can it be great fun, and relaxing, it also tends to be more cost-effective than renting a cottage or jumping on a plane.
We know the weather might not always play ball, but we have put together a basic guide to camping so you can give it a go and work whether it’s right for you.
First things first, you need a location. You can take it slowly and start in your own garden, otherwise look for a campsite within an hour or two of home. If you are feeling braver, there are many amazing spots close the hills and dales, beaches and rivers as well as lakes and mountain sides.
When it comes to the camp site, check out the reviews before you book. Just as you would with a hotel, look at the cost, facilities, toilets and showers. See if there is a shop, pub, hot showers and generally cover off the basics so you get a really good feel for where you will be staying and what is on offer.
Once you have booked you will need a tent.
Your tent will be a key purchase, so it is best to get it right.
There’s a wide range of options on the market and you soon just how big a business camping and camping equipment has become.
Set a budget and try to stick to it. Consider how many people will be in the tent because a family of five won’t get much sleep in a two man pop-up. Style, materials and features all affect outdoor living, so do your research and find a tent that works for all your needs.
Each tent goes up in a different way, so we suggest you do a trial run at home before you go away. Pitching doesn’t have to be hard but do read the instructions, don’t do it in the dark and when you pack up, keep all the parts safe. On the day of your trip, leave early so you can set up and remember it isn’t much fun pitching a tent in the dark.
Even in the warmer summer months, the evenings can get cold, so make sure you pack warm sleeping equipment. Start with a mat, it takes the cold floor away from your body and offers comfort. Alternatively go for a blow-up airbed but remember to pack sheets, pillows and of course, a pump. You will also need to take a sleeping bag. Again, do your research. Think about the shape, size, materials and go for the best your budget will stretch too as this will keep you warm and last more than one trip.
Other things we suggest you pack for your trip are:
- Waterproofs and wellies
- Toiletries a hang-up bag you can take to the shower
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Warm jumpers and socks
- Sun screen and hats
- A baby carrier and mountain type buggy (if you have kids)
- Toilet rolls, tissues, anti-bacterial gel and wipes
- Insect repellent
- First aid kit
- Flasks, camping cutlery and crockery plus a tin opener
- Portable BBQ
- Food and drinks
- Phone and charger
- Lots of water
- Torch and batteries
Most of all, enjoy being at one with nature and have a fantastic time.