7 top tips from experienced campers
Camping is a skill you can learn. The best thing to do is to just go out and find out what your ideal camping holiday is. But tips from experienced campers are always welcome. We asked camping enthusiasts for their best camping tips and chose our favourite seven.
1. Relax and take things as they come!
Camping is about slowing down and not having any obligations for a while. Of course you can plan everything down to the last detail, but the weather is an important factor during your camping holiday. If you find it is raining on the day you wanted to go for a hike, just head to an indoor playground or the campsite’s entertainment room, or read a book. On days when the weather is too hot for a big outing you can sit at the waterside with a picnic blanket, parasol and coolbox. And if you don’t feel like cooking, just get a pizza. For the real control freaks among us, you’ll see that the long days in the open air and the countryside will calm you down. Even if the day does not go as planned.
2. Make a list at the end of your holiday
Okay, it’s also useful to have a packing list before you leave. But it’s only during and after your holiday that you will know what you were missing, or should have left at home. A clothesline and pegs would have been handy, but the wine glasses that are always toppling over on the camping table should stay at home next time. And a hammock was a great idea, but only when there were suitable trees nearby. After a few camping holidays your list will be almost complete. Tip: take a look at a sample packing list and read what you should definitely pack when you go camping.
3. Make sure you have a comfy bed and a good chair
One of the advantages of camping is that after your holiday you will appreciate the luxury of home again. But that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer, you are on holiday, after all! So invest in a good place to sleep. Choose an air mattress or sleeping mat that you don’t constantly slide off. A mat that creaks when you move can also be a source of irritation for you, and for your fellow campers! So take some time to test your bedding beforehand. The same applies to comfortable chairs. Having breakfast on a picnic blanket on the ground is nice for a one-night stay or a weekend, but you’ll soon miss that chair. An adjustable chair is especially handy; you can sit comfortably at the table, but you can also read or sunbathe in the reclining position.
4. Pack light and stay organised
It takes some effort, but disciplined packing pays off. Pack light; if the weather’s not great during your trip there’s nothing wrong with wearing the same clothes a few days in a row. And you can just rinse your crockery right after dinner; you don’t need two of everything. Packing light isn’t only handy because the car boot can fit shut, but once you are at your destination it’s also nice when there’s not too much clutter. Tents, caravans and holiday homes tend to become chaos in the blink of an eye. Tip: make sure that all the stuff that’s lying around gets a place in a tent organiser. Take a look at how your neighbours at the campsite do it for new ideas on how to deal with clutter.
5. Find a campsite that suits you
If your children like dancing all day with the entertainment team then a quiet natural campsite might not be the best choice. But if you have children who love horses, then a farm campsite is probably a big hit. In short: invest some time in finding a campsite that suits you and your family. Pay attention to the activities in and around the campsite, but also to how much space you have for your camping equipment. You might also want to decide in advance whether you want to have a spot under the trees, or as much sun as possible. And the better the campsite suits you, the sooner you’ll find neighbours that you get on with. Makes for a nicer stay! Select a campsite by checking the amenities or ask friends and family for tips, for example via Facebook.
6. Bring a bucket
The one thing that shouldn’t be missing from your packing list! A bucket can be used to wash something by hand, as a toilet bucket for night-time emergencies, to win a water fight or as a baby bath. And if there are too few hooks in the shower, a bucket will make sure your clothes stay nice and dry. There are even special washing and toilet buckets or lightweight folding buckets for sale at campsite shops. But a common-or-garden bucket will also do the trick.
7. Enjoy yourself
Camping sometimes means improvising, but that often results in beautiful experiences. Without that rainy day you might not have discovered that nice museum or new boardgame. And did you know that the sound of the rain on your tent or caravan can be wonderfully soothing? Doing the dishes by hand at the campsite can become a lovely family ritual. And if there’s an active woodpecker nearby, enjoy the fact that you’re so close to nature! Try to find out what works for you and if you don’t like it, you’ll have a nice story to tell and you’ll just have to change your approach on the next holiday. We wish you a lot of camping fun!
Do you have a camping tip?
What’s your top camping tip? We would love to hear your experiences!