With a little forethought and imagination your camping trip can be very enjoyable. Before going on vacation, I always do some practice in my backyard and make sure I remember how to pitch my tent.
When it is set up it also gives me the opportunity to check that all the parts are there and in good working order and I also check that my tent is waterproof. If it is a new tent then it gives the opportunity to familiarize yourself with it before going on an adventure. What a dilemma, at my destination, if I don’t know how to put together my vacation accommodation!
Tips for a first camping trip
When I have chosen my destination and found my campsite I think of facilities, do I want everything available or do I want to “rough it”. If you go as a hiker and carry your tent and gear in a backpack and depending on where you stop for the night, you might have to forgo some of life’s little comforts. Also consider your physical limitations and remember to take this into account when packing your things.
If you are traveling by car or van then obviously you can take more equipment and can travel further. There are many campsites available around the world. They vary from a basic site with water and WC facilities to those which also include a swimming pool, shops, restaurants and entertainment. Costs vary wildly, so always weigh the different options before making a decision. Do you prefer calm and open spaces with basic amenities or a more sociable and lively holiday, full of entertainment, it is your choice.
I really think it’s a good idea to make a list before embarking on a trip. For camping you really need to remember the basics. A container for drinking, water, a plate, cutlery, a pot for cooking and heating the water, a flashlight and of course a warm sleeping bag are a must and the thing that many people forget – a can opener ! On a personal level, I still think it’s a good idea to bring your own toilet paper as well. A camp bed can also be a must for getting a good night’s sleep on stony ground. Also take warm clothes, even if you are traveling in the summer, the nights can be chilly in a tent.
In general, when camping you cook for yourself, so it is a good idea to have some kind of cook. Take a small gas stove, you can choose between a single or a double. It may take skill and ingenuity to cook a meal for three, but it is done by cooking the food separately. You can go for nostalgia and start a fire, but you have to be very careful and use it as a last resort because the surroundings can be dry and a spark could easily set fire to a dry undergrowth (this kind of fire is also banned in many places). Apart from the safety aspect, “fuel” will have to be collected for the fire, not easy if there are no old branches or pieces of wood around.
Think carefully about the food you are going to eat. If you only have one baking sheet then there is no point in taking food that needs to be baked! Unless you can buy fresh food every day, canned food is ideal because you won’t need a refrigerator to store food.
Above all, don’t forget to leave the campsite as you would like to find it on your arrival, clean and tidy, remove all your waste and leave as if you had never been there.