Camping FAQs: A Beginner's Guide

  So, you want to organise a camping trip, perhaps with friends, family, or even a solo trip - but you don’t know where to start. You know you should have a tent, but what else? This guide should help those looking to embark on their first camping trip, or simply those who aren’t sure what to pack, meaning you can be prepared from the start.

Planning your trip

You have a weekend free, or you’ve got a week off work - you’re looking for an adventure! Camping can be a great activity to partake in, wherever you decide to go. Being outdoors can offer an exciting change of scenery (literally!) and help you explore new surroundings.

 

The first thing you want to do is decide where to go on your camping trip.

 

Choose a place that allows camping - depending on where you decide to travel to, you must check that camping is permitted first.

 

If you’re driving to your destination, you may also need to consider parking - is there somewhere at your chosen site to park your vehicle? If not, is there somewhere close by? Planning ahead will ensure you have a smooth trip and should offer some peace of mind beforehand.

Camping FAQs

Packing the essentials

Have you found yourself asking ‘what should I take on my camping holiday?’ This depends entirely on you and your trip - a quick stay or a week-long break? Just the two of you or a whole host of family and friends? We’ve compiled a checklist of essential items we think you should consider taking on your trip!

Luggage

Depending on who’s going and what you intend to take, you need a bag to put everything in! If you fancy a solo trip with just the bare essentials, a backpack might be enough for you. If there’s a larger group, you may want to opt for a larger travelpack.

Clothing and footwear

Your camping wardrobe will depend on the climate, but it’s important to pack the necessities, in case unpredictable weather strikes.

Top tip!

As a basic guide, think about: base layers and thermals, lightweight t-shirts and jumpers, a waterproof coat or rain jacket, sturdy footwear, flip-flops or sliders (for using in and around the tent), leggings and other comfortable bottoms and pyjamas (some nights could pose frosty temperatures, so packing good quality pyjamas are a must).

Take some time to plan out any outfits for specific activities you may have organised, or specific items for hot or cold weather you could expect.

Camping FAQs

Lighting

 Sitting around the campfire at night can be a fun activity for the whole family, but when the fire’s out, you’ll need some light! We recommend a couple of torches and lanterns, with spares, as well as charging packs or batteries.

Sleeping equipment

Sleeping bags, air beds or air mattresses (with a variety of sizes, including singles and doubles) and pillows are some good options to take. You may want to take a pump to blow up any airbeds, too!

Cooking kit

Whether you’re the chef of the group or would just prefer to watch someone else take the reins, there’s plenty of different types of cooking gear you can pack. Outdoor stoves and grills, cutlery and pots and pans are great options to take to aid in breakfast, lunch and dinner-making. Don’t forget any charcoal or stove fuel if you need any, as well as matches or a lighter.

You may also want to have a BBQ, perfect for a relaxed meal after a long day - always check first if the campsite you’re attending allows BBQ-ing, as some might not!

Health and beauty items

Consider the essential toiletries you may want to take, such as: soap, shampoo and conditioner, sanitary products, deodorant, wipes and toilet roll. A first aid kit is a must, along with plasters and any other medication you may need.

Tent

 The final item on this list (and possibly one of the most crucial bits) is the tent. Again, think about how many people will be attending and how much space you’d want.

Always make sure you have all of the equipment to set up your tent before you leave for your trip, like the tent pegs. Your tent should also be in good condition, to shelter you from any unwanted weather.

1-2 Man Tents

3 Man Tents

4 Man Tents

6 Man Tents

England

Types of tents - what tent should I buy?

Pitching up the tent can be a great part of the camping experience, but have you found yourself questioning which tent would be best?

Pop-up tents

A pop-up tent is a great idea if you don’t fancy spending lots of time trying to assemble a tent. They’re easy and quick, perfect for camping trips and festivals.

1-2 man tents

Perfect for couples and solo travellers, a 1-2 man tent is ideal for easy packing and assembling.

3-4 man tents

Slightly bigger, 3-man and 4-man tents can be great for small families or if you’d prefer a bit more space to move around the tent. Comfort is key when camping, so if you’re a solo camper who likes their space for example, a three man tent could be a better option for you.

6-man tents

If you’re off on a family camping trip, you may want to opt for a larger tent, like a 6-man tent. Some larger tents come with extra space, great for socialising or storing luggage.

 

Always read the instructions before assembling a tent to ensure a smooth trip and make sure you pitch your tent where there are no obstacles, like trees, that could pose as hazards in poor weather.

Food and drink

Another necessity you’ll want to pack for your camping trip is food and drink!

As previously mentioned, cooking equipment is pivotal for creating delicious meals when on a camping trip. One thing to remember: If you’re taking perishable foods and drinks like butter and milk, ensure you have a cooler box to store them.

Top tip!

A tip for cooking while camping: Never cook inside your tent or in an enclosed space - proper ventilation is needed when cooking to avoid carbon monoxide threats.

England

With the right equipment, you’ll want a stellar camping menu! From tasty snacks to proper campfire eats, we’ve compiled a list of some delicious dishes the whole party will love.

?      Pasta pots.

?      BBQ food (if you take a BBQ with you) such as burgers, hot-dogs, vegetables, veggie burgers, fish and potatoes.

?      Soup and other canned foods.

?      Cereal and porridge pots.

?      Fruit and veggie snacks (better for short weekends where they’ll be eaten relatively quickly).

?      Some of your favourite snacks.

?      Marshmallows - a typical camping treat

?      Water is essential so take lots - reusable water bottles are best so you can fill and refill!

?      Any of your favourite drinks, hot and cold.

Extra information for a fun-filled camping trip

 Make sure to check out the local area! Whether you prefer to make a day-by-day itinerary when going on holiday or just take every day as it comes, camping can be a freeing experience, allowing you to explore nature and have a change of scenery from what you’re used to.

Visit local attractions or take on some popular hiking trails around your campsite - whatever you decide to do, you can explore a new local area, whether by foot or vehicle.

 

Another important factor is regarding your tech! Battery packs and portable chargers are important for phone charging, not just torches!

Camping glossary

Mummy bag- Used to determine the height and thickness of a sleeping bag’s insulation.

Packed size - A tent’s dimensions when stored in its bag.

Pitch - The space in which you set up your tent/the act of setting up your tent.

Rain fly - The waterproof and windproof outer tent layer.

Temperature rating - The temperature rating of a sleeping bag means you can choose a bag to suit the season - all based on the temperature the average person can sleep comfortably in.

3-season tent- A tent crafted for use in the spring, summer and autumn.

4-season tent - A sturdy all-weather and all-season tent, crafted to handle even wintery conditions.

Berth - An indication of how many people a tent can hold - excluding luggage.

Flysheet - The outer fabric of a tent.

Footprint - Placed under the tent floor to protect from abrasion.

Groundsheet - A highly durable and often waterproof sheet made for both walking and sleeping on.

Guy lines/guy rope - Guy lines or guy ropes are cables that are used to add stability to a tent, attached to a tent and stakes, increasing the tension of the tent surface.

Inner - A non-waterproof element of the tent, creating a sleeping area and sitting under the rain fly.