How to get the most out of your first camping trip

You don’t have to be Bear Grylls to get the most out of the great outdoors. 

While the British survivalist and former SAS serviceman would undoubtedly be a handy campmate, his bedtime stories about the time he climbed Everest barefoot or fought off a shark with a plastic straw would quickly become tedious. 

And he’d probably insist that you strip off for a naked callisthenics session.

However, without Grylls all up in your grill barking instructions, it’s important you take steps to learn your guy ropes from your tent pegs if you’re to avoid hastily stuffing your tent into the back of your Hyundai and heading for home. 

But help is at hand.

To make your first foray into the wonderful world of camping much easier, we’ve compiled a few top tips to help you and your family get the most out of the kind of holiday that’ll have you wishing you’d done it sooner. 

Take a look, budding adventurer … 

1. Educate yourself

It may seem obvious, but before you even think about setting foot in a campsite or a forest or your back garden, it should be your number one priority to learn everything you can about your equipment and the environment where you’ll be setting up camp. 

This needn’t involve a university-level knowledge of camping paraphernalia (while you’re here, though, our pals at Anglia Ruskin Distance Learning offer an easy way to boost your skills in a number of areas—check out their website for more info) but be sure to familiarise yourself with your gear.

2. Take spare clothes 

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Although you’ll be busy enjoying the great outdoors—tending the BBQ, jumping in rivers, playing kumbaya around the campfire—it’s still extremely difficult to ignore the weather, especially if it’s raining cats and dogs. 

It’s almost impossible to enjoy yourself if your clothes get soaked and you’ve nothing dry. So, whatever you do, make sure you have a set of clothes with you that you can change into if you do happen to get wet. It’s a real misery-saver – thank us later. 

3. Buy a decent sleeping bag 

Sleeping Bag - How To Stay Warm In A Tent While Camping

Let’s get serious for a second: aside from being uneducated about your surroundings and being wetter than an otter’s pocket, nothing will make you more miserable than trying to get some shuteye inside a sleeping bag that’s thinner than a crisp packet. 

Our top tip is to opt for a goose down sleeping bag. It’s smaller than the sleeping bags you’ll find in budget stores, which means there’s less air to warm. In addition, the goose down filling will give you an extra layer of comfort and protection from the bumpy—and often cold—ground.   

Now it’s your turn …

Do you have any top tips for novice campers looking to make the great outdoors less daunting? What mistakes did you make on your first few trips? Please let us know in the comments section—we’d love to hear from you.

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