5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Camping….

5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Camping….

I am so excited about getting a new tent this year and heading out for some more adventures; but there have been many, many camping lessons that we have learnt the hard way.

  1. Choose the right site

We have stayed at some amazing campsites over the last few years, and some that didn’t quite hit the spot. I now always check that fires are allowed, and I tend to avoid sites that are predominantly for caravans. In fact, these days, I find that the simpler, the better.

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The National Trust Campsite at Great Langdale is one of our favourites

2. Avoid the midges 

When we told people we were camping in Scotland in July, we were met with a few raised eyebrows. We brushed it off, but it wasn’t much fun. It’s a shame because Caolasnacon was by far the most beautiful place we have ever camped, and I am eager to go back north of the border, however I’d think twice about camping in the height of summer again.

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I don’t need an excuse to post photos of Caolasnacon. If you look closely you might see that the fisherman are wearing face nets to protect themselves from the midges

My overriding memory of that site is seeing a few young French guys taking shelter from the midges in their car, desperately trying to bat the wee terrors away and looking thoroughly confused.

3. Remember how everything goes away

As much as I love camping, even I admit that setting up and, even worse, packing everything away is not entirely enjoyable. We’re better these days, mainly because we try and get organised and we always take a picture of how everything fits in the car. In fact, I’m pretty sure that last time we even managed to pack away without arguing, which was a first!

4. Pitch away from the wind

Last year we camped in North Devon for a week. When we arrived it was windy (which is always fun when you’re setting up camp), however Luke was convinced that the wind wouldn’t last long (ha!), and so he insisted we pitched towards the best view. This direction also happened to be facing into the wind. It wasn’t much fun, particularly when the gusts reached 40mph. Yes, we had a nice view, shame we couldn’t enjoy it!

5. There is no such thing as too many wet wipes

I’d love to say that I’ve discovered this since having Finn, but children or no children, you can never have too many wet wipes when you’re camping. However many you think you might need, take more.

Finn enjoying his first camping trip last year

When we were starting out I tried to research as much as possible, but often found the information too overwhelming for a novice. I wish I had come across something like the Ultimate Camping Guide from Halfords. It covers all the bases and is packed with lots of great advice. It covers everything from camping meals, campsites, travelling abroad, advice for newbies and keeping the kids entertained. It also features a handy checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything.

The Ultimate Camping Guide

The Ultimate Camping Guide from Halfords

So what are you waiting for? All you need is a tent (and a few other bits) and away you go! Did you know that you can also camp on astro turf or leisure grass? These all-weather surfaces are fantastic ways to avoid the pitfalls of British weather, and it allows you to camp with more freedom. Many campsites across the country have adopted leisure grass across their sites. You can find out more here.

Are you camping this year for the first time? I’d love to hear how you get on.

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Comments

  • Laurie Laurie October 17, at 12:42

    After a couple mistakes with camping myself, I now always double check to make sure I have all my gear (I make a list) and also check the weather before leaving. Great information and tips, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker October 19, at 18:44

      Yes, I try to be more organised now, nothing worse than forgetting something! The weather is also important-although not sure how much I trust forecasts!

      Reply
  • lovinglifeinwelliesblog lovinglifeinwelliesblog November 02, at 11:23

    I’ve learnt that camping anywhere near water attracts the midges and I love camping near water! They’re not a problem in the colder months tho. I’ve also learnt the camping in winter by the sea is not as romantic as it sounds not when the winds are bitterly cold and you didn’t pack thermals – lesson – bring thermals and some more!

    Ha ha you live and learn right? 🙂

    Reply

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