There’s nothing quite like roasting marshmallows over an open fire, gazing up at the stars and sleeping among nature.
Camping gives you the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, making it the perfect autumn activity for couples, friends or the whole family. Enjoy the open road as you drive towards a peaceful spot, before settling down and putting up your tent – what could be better?
While it’s certainly worth the effort, there’s no denying that a successful camping trip needs to be planned out carefully. Whether you’re a complete newbie or simply want to upgrade your experience, take our camping tips on board to get the very best out of your next outdoor adventure.
Invest in solar lightsIf you’re not staying on a well-lit campsite or the lights go off early, it’s worth bringing along some solar lights. Not only will these lights soothe those nervous of the dark, but they’ll make sure nobody will trip over if they need to leave the tent in the night to use the bathroom.
Solar lights are eco-friendly, charging under the sunlight and lighting up at night. Invest in ones you can take with you, and you won’t have to worry about bumbling around in the dark should you need to get up at night.
Don't set up under a tree
Offering privacy and shade, setting up your tent under a tree can be incredibly tempting. In reality, this will likely result in your tent being covered in bugs and sticky sap from the trees – not the vibe you’re after! This can damage your tent and make packing up much harder. Instead, pitch your tent out in the open away from trees if you can.
Bring a survival kitPreparation is key to having a successful camping trip, and that means planning for every occasion. As well as bringing along your typical first-aid kit, pack a whistle, flint, mini torch and a compass. It’s also wise to bring along a fully charged battery pack that plugs into your smartphone. While you may not need to use these items, it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry when exploring the great outdoors.
While most camping grounds have toilets on site, they may not be as well stocked with toiletries as you’d like. Make sure your stay is as comfortable as possible by packing your own bathroom caddy. Fill it with wipes, toilet roll, anti-bacterial soap, hand sanitiser, toothpaste and dry shampoo, as well as mini shampoo and conditioner bottles for when you take a shower. Don’t forget your sunscreen either!
Prep your food before you go
Tucking into a delicious meal while surrounded by nature is amazing, particularly on a bright sunny autumn day. While this may be the case, the prep isn’t as enjoyable – especially if the facilities are lacklustre.
Chop onions and veggies in advance, sealing them in lunchboxes so they’re ready to cook whenever you fancy. Bring along tinned foods such as beans and soup that can easily be heated up over items that go off quickly, like fresh meat. Plan out your meals and think about what can be done in advance so you can spend more of your time enjoying your trip.
Prepare for rain
While you’ll have likely checked the weather forecast in an effort to avoid rain, sometimes nature lets us down – and when it rains, it pours. Always put down waterproof tarps both underneath and outside your tent to help prevent water damage, and make sure you choose a dry patch of land before you set up for maximum comfort. Stay away from any bodies of water, no matter how pretty they are.
Another key thing to do is to check your tent for any holes and patch them up before you leave to make sure there are no leaks. Nobody wants to be rudely awoken by rain pouring into their tent, after all.
Stay warmTemperatures fall at night, so it’s wise to pack more layers than you think you’ll need. Not only will this help you stay warm, but it’ll mean you’re as comfortable as possible. A hot water bottle is a great idea should you have access to hot water, although extra blankets and thick sleeping bags work just as well if not. Speaking of sleeping bags, don’t skimp on this purchase. Instead, opt for one that’s extra padded – you’ll thank us later.
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