As novice campers, we realise we will be riding a camping learning curve for a little while. After our first camping trip, here is a list of what we wish we’d known beforehand…
- Where possible, avoid pitching tents under trees. As seen in The First Trip Part One… Tents with a View, we learnt this the hard way. We hadn’t even finished setting up when our brand spanking new tent was sporting dollops of bird poo. We’ve also since realised that if it rains, the rain dripping from the trees lasts a loooong time after the rain stops. Thanks to Heapies Out and About for this pointer!
- Linking to point #1, wipes are always handy to have! Luckily, Guy Rope #2 came to our aid here because otherwise we would have arrived with blue tents but left with white ones…
- After making it through our first evening and morning, we thought we had everything sussed and we hadn’t forgotten anything. However, upon returning from our showers, we stood looking at each other holding our towels…. where could we put them to dry out? We needed clothes pegs to hang them to our guy ropes. Luckily, we managed to nab some from Mum and Dad this time…the perks of staying on the site that they are the wardens for!
- Make sure the tent footprint is completely covered by the surface area of the tent to ensure that no water sits between the groundsheet and the tent. When it came to packing away on the final day, we were dismayed to see a collection of little puddles that had emerged!
- Arrive as stocked up as possible. We had been food shopping ahead of our trip and the cool boxes were jam-packed with supplies so we thought we were ready for the weekend ahead. However, upon settling down to enjoy our first evening, we realised that we weren’t at all ready…. we had no alcohol or snacks. For as much as we love a late night Asda trip, we won’t be making that mistake again in the future.
- Don’t always be cheapskates when purchasing camping equipment because sometimes you can think you’re getting a bargain when really you are compromising the quality of the product. Flashback to a few weeks earlier when we were shopping for utensils… “Look at the price of this knife block! You get five knives and a pair of scissors for a few quid!”. However, we came to regret that decision when Guy Rope #2 used the biggest knife from the block but was left holding fragmented pieces of said knife…after cutting up a melon…
- Another item that we wished we spent more money on – camping lanterns. We bought two small, battery powered lanterns each (identical of course). Whilst we were pleased with the amount of light that these lanterns provided, we reached a point during the first evening whereby we fell into almost complete darkness. All four lights had gone out and the batteries needed recharging…all at the same time. Luckily we are fans of fairy lights and candles so we enjoyed the dimly lit ambience throughout the weekend.
- In car #1, we struggled fitting all of our camping gear into the car which meant we had to leave our bucket and chuck it camping loo behind. Guy Rope #1 has taken this to mean that we must invest in a bigger car. Now I’m not so sure that a bigger car is essential for future camping trips but Guy Rope #1 is clinging to this justification because he has wanted a bigger car for years and he knows that he may be able to use this to his advantage! I’ve sussed him out!
So there it is, a list of what we now know for next time! Please feel free to share your camping tips, tricks and advice with us to assist us with our future trips!