How do you feel about camping? Maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to try, but never found the time? Maybe you’re an avid camper who loves to get back to nature? Or maybe you hate the idea altogether, and would rarely think of booking a camping trip to go on with your loved ones? I’m both – Day 1 I am at one with nature, watch out Bear Grylls…day 3 or 4, I want to go home and have real coffee…the instant is no longer strong enough….
No matter what kind of person you are, camping is something we all get around to doing at least once in our lifetimes. And if it’s your time to hit the trail and set up a tent, let’s try and make things easier on you. Because as vacations go, it’s one of the harder types to get through and have a good time with!
So, without further ado, here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re packing for your next camping trip, and want to ensure it goes off without a hitch (apart from in the tent, of course!).
Learn How to Pack Light
The first thing to do, when you’re planning to go camping for the first time, is to work out how to pack light. You don’t want to be lugging heavy bags with you everywhere you go when hiking through the woods and the back fields. You want to be able to carry a bag on your back that won’t slow you down, or make your legs and feet hurt. Thankfully, many who have come before you have perfected some ways of doing this.
Only pack a few clothes, like one pair of trousers and a pair of light shorts – you can wear them more than once on the trip, and you can always stop off to get them washed if need be. Make sure you’re only packing one pair of shoes; something like a good pair of sneakers or running shoes would be best for the high intensity activity here.
You can also make use of special packing bags to keep your stuff all contained in one place, and not mashed in the bottom of your bag underneath everything else. And if you learn how to roll all of your clothing bits together, with your toiletries in the middle, you’ll have even more space to make use of.
Don’t Forget These Items in the First Aid Kit
The first aid kit is crucial to the healthy and safety of a camping trip, and you’ll want to be sure you’re packing all of the right things for staying in the midst of the great outdoors. Something like bug spray would come in handy for such occasions, so make sure a bottle of that goes in first of all!
Let’s cover the basics first of all: you’re going to need plenty of band aids, in various sizes, as well as bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, antiseptic solutions, painkillers that also help to reduce inflammation, antihistamine for hayfever allergies, eyedrops of a similar nature, after sun cream for any sunburns you received throughout the day, and a good pair of tweezers and some small scissors.
But for camping, you may also want to carry some soothing aloe vera, as well as an epi pen if someone traveling with you could potentially be in need of one, and an emergency blanket just in case. After all, if you’re in the middle of nowhere, you won’t ever be sure how far away help is.
Upgrade Your Tent
You’ve heard of glamping, right? Well, you might want to take some of its ideas to heart here. If you’re someone who isn’t used to camping, and want to break in gently or slowly let yourself get used to the great outdoors, being able to keep a bit of modern tech and creature comforts about you is a great way to upgrade your tent.
Of course, you want to get the authentic camping experience, but at the same time, you’re a bit nervous. Don’t worry, a compromise between the two can be made here! Even just getting a bigger tent than you were planning on can be a great way to introduce a bit of the glamping lifestyle to your trip. You can find a little more detail on those options right here.
But one way you can upgrade the tent you’re planning to camp in, without going all out for glamping, is to invest in units like hard floor camper trailers. These act very well as tents in their own right, but come with a little caravan base that the canvas juts off from – they’re great for young families and first time campers to make use of! You’re afforded a few more amenities, like a sink in the main trailer, but you’re still going to be traditionally camping at heart. They also last a very long time, if you were planning to make camping a long term arrangement in the future…
Remember that you can get add ons to make your tent more comfortable too! You should never light a fire or BBQ in your tent, so never do this to keep your tent warm. Instead, use a tent heater.
Dress for Any and All Weathers
And finally, make sure you’re dressing (and packing) for both hot or cold and wet or dry weather. You don’t want to be caught short with only a vest top when a cold snap rolls in, and you want to be able to take that jumper or cardigan off when things get a bit humid out in the fields under the sun.
To make this easier, try packing clothes made of cotton – they’re breathable in the hotter periods of the year, especially if you’re hiking, and be sure to pack something made of wool for when it gets cool in the evenings. And always try to have a waterproof coat or covering in the back of the car you’re taking, or in a bag that can be dangled from the belt of your trousers. You never know when it’s going to tip it down, especially if you can’t check your phone to see the weather forecast.
If you’re about to go on your first ever camping trip, have fun out there. And make sure you pack right as well, because nature can be harsh at times!