10 Foolproof Tips for Camping Newbies
26 July 2017
Well it’s official - camping season is well underway. Millions of Brits are heading off into the countryside to pitch up their tents and live a simpler life for a few days. Here in the B&M office, we love a good camping trip as much as the next person, but what about all of the camping newbies out there?
There isn’t a Camping for Dummies (is there?), so we’ve had a good think and put together these 10 tips for camping for beginners. We've also put some links to cheap camping equipment, so you can have an amazing camping trip without breaking the bank. Enjoy!
Buy a bigger tent than you think you’ll need
It may say ‘4 man tent’ on the pack, but once you’ve got all your gear inside it the chance of you actually comfortably fitting four people inside is pretty slim. As a guide, aim to go for a tent that’s two men bigger than the amount of people in your party.
B&M Top Tip: We recommend getting a tent that has an open area that you can fit a small table and chairs in. That way, if the weather goes against your favour, you have a space to play cards or board games.
Plan for all weather
We all know that the weather in the UK can be somewhat changeable, so be sensible and pack a variety of clothes. As a minimum bring waterproofs, a hoodie and some thick socks. Oh and pack some hiking boots while you’re at it too.
Pack warm pyjamas
The onesie really comes into its own on a camping trip. Having something warm to sleep in is essential for getting a good night’s kip when you’re out in the sticks. It may seem like a lovely sunny day in the country, but once the sun goes down the lack of air pollution means that the temperature may drop significantly.
Bring extra tent pegs
Tent pegs go missing, it’s a fact of life that you just have to come to terms with. Not only that, but you may have to readjust your tent when you’ve already bent some of the pegs into shape, meaning that you’ll most likely have to use fresh ones. Be smart and take some extra pegs, or you may just find yourself trying to sleep with flapping accommodation!
Bring a portable gas stove
If you’re planning to make your own food whilst you’re on your camping trip, we recommend bringing a portable gas stove with you. This means that you can actually heat up food on the hob without the hassle of a campfire. You’ll also need cartridges so be sure to stock up on these.
B&M Top Tip: Speaking of campfires, it’s always worth calling ahead of your trip to check if the campsite allows them. Fires may be cool to sit around, but they’re also dangerous and can be devastating if not kept under control, so keep a clear head if you’re in charge of one.
Wear wellie socks
If you’re going to be wearing wellies during your camping trip, especially if they’re going to be teamed with shorts, we cannot stress the importance of wellie socks enough. The tops of wellies have a tendency to rub on shins, and you don’t want to end up with nasty open sores where your wellies have been.
Get a whistling kettle
If you like a brew in the morning, don’t be tempted to bring anything other than a whistling kettle with you on your camping trip. Heating up a kettle on your camping stove can take a bit longer than the ordinary way of making a cup of tea, so you’ll need to be aware of when the kettle has boiled to avoid disaster.
Bring an airbed
This one ties in nicely with the earlier point about the countryside being cold at night - bring an airbed with you. Laying on a cold floor, even with a groundsheet, could result in back pain in the morning. Bring an airbed and get a better night’s kip.
Don’t forget a camping chair
Many people forget camping chairs for their first camping trip, and the same people usually end up buying them at an overinflated price from the local shop. Save yourself the hassle and bring a camping chair with you.
Don’t get there too late
This one is especially for those of you who are going to be camping with the kids. Say you arrive on the campsite at 8pm. It could take you a while to find a place to pitch up, an hour to put the tent up, half an hour to get everything inside sorted, and then you’ve got to sort out what everyone’s going to eat. We reckon it would be at least 10pm by the time you’re sitting down to eat. If you can, book an extra half day off work and get there as early as possible - you’ll have a better choice of pitches too!