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- Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2013
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- Posted in:Travel Tips
Following on from our camping holidays feature where we talked about some of our most popular campsites, we decided to put together a quick list to make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. Remember, though, most campsites nowadays are custom-built and have everything you need - so don’t worry about bringing Swiss Army knives, cooking utensils and compasses. In fact, many of you will probably stay in the cabins and other accommodation onsite… but if you don’t:
Pack light and pack smart
We all do it - bring too much on holidays - but when camping, you need to be ruthless with what you bring. I’m guilty of bringing some ridiculous things on my first trip and my back regretted it, believe me! Make a list and then cross half the things off of it; now you know what to bring.
Something else to remember, especially if you’re going from place to place, packing and unpacking - pack smart! If you stick to essentials like shoes and toiletries in the bottom of your rucksack then remember that in order to get to them you’ve got to take everything else out. A messy tent leaves less space for you and isn’t nice to come back to.
Following on from the last point it’s important to mention a few essential you will need, but may forget:
- A torch to make your late-night strolls to the toilet a little easier.
- Plastic bags for keeping a clean tent and for putting wet things into.
- A sleep-pad will seriously improve your sleep and maintain your posture.
- Bug spray because there will be bugs and you may need to fight them.
It’s pretty obvious that a tents security won’t deter someone wanting to get in. You can stick locks on the zips but, and let’s face it, it’s a fabric tent! Bring all valuables with you, which shouldn’t be much if you’ve packed smart. Always have a small bag of some sort to wear when sightseeing and away from the campsite.
Pitching your tent
Pitching a tent can be two things: fun and frustrating. I’m not saying it’s usually the latter, but it depends who you have helping you! There are a few simple things to make it all easier, though, the first being to practice before you leave home. You may not look too clever pitching a tent in your garden but it’s good to get used to it and it’s a great excuse to sleep outside.
Once you get to the campsite, make sure to choose a good, flat area and avoid setting up at the bottom of a hill or in a hollow just in case it rains. It’s confusing (to say the least) to wake up a few inches deep in water with your shoes floating past your face.
If you can’t avoid setting up your tent on a slope make sure you set it up so that your head is higher than your feet while you sleep. This is a common rookie mistake which will lead to a horrible sleep and an ever-more-horrible headache in the morning.
Dry your tent before packing
It’s something you can’t avoid - when you get up in the morning everything will be wet with dew. While you should always avoid leaving your clothes out overnight, I’m afraid your tent won’t escape! The best thing to do is to delay departing the campsite until a little later; it doesn’t take long for the damp to lift again. Packing and unpacking a wet tent isn’t fun!
Keep it clean
If you’re going camping then you’re probably the outdoorsy type anyway so you’ll know not to litter and to keep things clean. There are many reasons for this, of course, including the danger of attracting irritating bugs or animals (the animal threat fluctuates greatly on where you’re camping). But of course it also looks terrible and we don’t want that!
Now, get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!
By: Eóin White