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Camping holidays are a fantastic way of spending time as a family enjoying the outdoors. Whilst this all sounds very idyllic, we know that accidents can happen and that things don’t always go to plan. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned camper, we’ve compiled this list of common camping mistakes along with practical tips on how to avoid them. With our help you can enjoy a stress-free camping trip that you’ll want to repeat each year!
1) Buying the wrong tent
It goes without saying that your tent is the most important item of camping equipment. That’s why having the wrong one can be extremely problematic and put a dampener on your trip. Always buy a tent that you have seen fully assembled so you can get a feel for its size and the amount of space available. This will enable you to avoid spending lots of money on something that is either too big or too small for your needs.
2) Not pegging down your tent properly
The great British weather is unpredictable and can change without warning. Always ensure your tent is properly pegged down even if it’s not windy. You don’t want to return to the holiday park to find your tent broken, blowing across the campsite or up a tree!
3) Underestimating the elements
Even in the height of summer it can get chilly overnight. There’s nothing worse than trying to sleep when your cold and it can be difficult to get warm once your temperature has started to drop. Always sleep on a roll mat or airbed to keep yourself above ground level. Make sure you pack plenty of extra blankets, spare sets of dry clothing and a waterproof coat.
4) Not bringing enough lighting
Whilst everyone has a torch on their phone it’s not always enough when camping. No one wants to be stumbling around in the dark or trip over guy ropes on their way back from the toilet block, so be sure to bring lots of lighting options. Head torches are especially handy because they allow you free use of your hands. Lanterns are great for lighting up the inside of the tent.
5) Not testing your equipment
It’s important to thoroughly check all of your equipment before you leave home so that you can make sure everything is in good working order and that nothing is missing. Erect your tent, put the poles together and make sure there are no holes in the air beds. It’s easier to make repairs or find replacements at home than in an unfamiliar environment in the middle of the night!
6) Bringing too much or too little
It can be difficult to know how much to bring, especially when you’re new to camping. Make a detailed checklist of items and review before you leave. Find the right balance between essential and luxury items. There’s no need to bring everything and the kitchen sink but equally there’s no need to scrimp if it means it will make your life difficult or miserable! Sometimes people think it’s not camping if you don’t get back to basics, but if a blow-up mattress or camping bed makes the difference between a restless night and a wonderful holiday – it’s worth the extra space in the car!
7) Cooking inside your tent
Cooking inside your tent can lead to condensation, fire and in the worst case scenario, carbon monoxide poisoning. Always ensure you cook outside in a well-ventilated area away from tents and other flammable materials. Wind breaks are great for protecting your dinner from the elements.
8) Failing to plan your meals
If your planning on cooking your own meals during your camping trip make sure you plan your ingredients carefully. Buy items that don’t need to be refrigerated and store your ingredients in sealed containers to stop the bugs getting in. Don’t try and cook overly complicated, restaurant quality meals – simple and wholesome family favourites such as pasta dishes or barbeque food will go down a storm! Many campsites don’t allow open fires so be sure to bring your own stove.
9) Not researching your destination
As the age old saying goes ‘fail to plan and you plan to fail’. Thoroughly research your destination and campsite at the time of booking to ensure it has everything you need. You don’t need to plan a detailed itinerary but make sure you know there are things you enjoy doing in the local area and that the holiday park has all the facilities you require.
10) Arriving late at night
Arriving to a campsite late at night can make everything more difficult. Putting up your tent whilst avoiding a family argument is already difficult enough without throwing lack of light and difficulty finding your pitch into the mix. Arrive in plenty of time to have your whole set up complete before the sun goes down. It will also save you annoying your neighbours with bright lights and increased noise!
11) Failing to pack up properly
Packing up your equipment properly when you leave the campsite can save you time and effort when you next want to go on a camping holiday. Ensure you put everything back in their bags and store them together so you don’t forget them next time. If you pack your tent away when its’ still slight damp be sure to air it out when you get home so that doesn’t get musty or smell.