Hey Guys, over the bank holiday me and my boyfriend decided to take a step toward nature and go camping with my family and a family friend. There was 12 of us all together with ages ranging from 5 to 38. It was an experience to say the least, and as a first time camper I would like to share with you my tips on how to survive it!
Before I get onto the tips, a little anecdote of my camping experience is in order. We left on the Friday morning around 7am in order to miss out on the traffic along the motorway. Me and my boyfriend was awake from 4:20am to pack the car, shower and any last minute ‘I have forgotten something’. We packed the car, filled up on gas and made it in time to leave and meet my family at their house for 7:10am. We left and the whole journey was rather smooth, there was no traffic *Here’s where my mum says ‘I told you so’! Our friends met us on the way and we all got there in once piece. The tent erection was the highlight of that day, as me and my boyfriend had only opened the tent that morning to pack it in the car. We had no experience with this before, and lets just say it was entertainment for the whole group. Around an hour after starting we understood what needed doing and managed to set the tent up – with maybe only one or two swear words along the way! By 10:30am the first alcoholic drink was in my hand and we was all having a wonderful time. There was no sun by this time of day, and I had gave up hope on the hot weekend! All laughing and playing with younger children we all seemed to be enjoying ourselves despite the colder weather. Me and partner split of from the group to have a little ‘us’ time and tried to take a walk along the beach – the wind was a lot stronger than I thought and before we even got past the dunes to enter the beach we turned around because we had sand in our eyes, noses, mouth and it was all in my bag! So we continued on to meet the rest of the group at the sites pub and entertainment area. As we was all so cold we all took seat in the smoking area as it had a little heater that we all enjoyed a little too much! We headed back the tents, drank a little more, got a Chinese from the local takeaway shop and headed to bed around 9pm! All awake by 8am Saturday morning, our friends feeling a lot worse than us – due to drinking too much alcohol! We cooked a bacon sandwich and started planning for the day. We took a walk through some of the fields and found a herd of cows in one. We was slowly walking over too them, then turned to walk away and they started following. Panicking a little we all sped up and crossed the cattle grid – because wild animals can be very unpredictable. Once we knew we was safe, and the cows were not out to harm us we all got a little braver and inched closer the cows – Our friend was the only one brave enough to cross back over the cattle grid to stroke them! We had originally planned to have a barbeque on the Saturday, but with winds as strong as 25 miles an hour, we threw that idea out the window and all ate barbeque food – cooked on the grill instead. We all drank a little more, and played some card games – UNO mostly! And was all in bed by 11pm. Sunday, the day before we was all going home, it was Easter day so we had little plastic eggs with sweets and chocolate inside, hid them around our 3 tents for the children, and had a little Easter egg hunt in the morning. With nothing planned for this day, we just sat under blankets and jumpers eating a cooked breakfast – Thanks Dad! Me and my partner had decided the night before we was going to head of today, as it was too cold and we are most definitely not outdoor people. So we packed our tent – it was a lot easier than putting it up, and started to head home, leaving the others behind.
So; I feel after this weekend I can give you a few tips to help with your camping experiences!
Tip 1: You cant over pack on jumpers. I took only two jumpers, and I don’t feel that was enough! Even if you don’t use them, at least they are there, because nights in an open field are a lot colder than your garden.
Tip 2: You need items to cook food in. Its great packing a Stove complete with the correct gas canisters, but if you don’t have any pans or pots you’re not going to get very far!
Tip 3: Socks are your best friend! I took only 1 pair of fluffy socks, and they kept me so much warmer than any jumper. As long as my feet were warmer I was warmer.
Tip 4: Practise putting up your tent first! We just went with it, and put it up for the first time when we got there. Try and practise this first, it stops arguments, saves time and it wont smell like a new tent – its not a nice scent to be sleeping in. Also, if you need anything else (Ground Sheet, Pegs ect..) you will know and can purchase them, looking like a pro, before you get there.
Tip 5: Bring food that is ready to eat. It is so easy to open a packet of breakfast bars, and give yourself a little energy, rather than waiting for 10 minutes for your can of beans to cook. Everything takes a lot longer to cook, so its easier to bring food that is ready to eat e.g.: Breakfast bars, Crisps, boxed cereal ect..
Tip 6: Bottled water is a lot cleaner. Admittedly, there was a tap there, but I felt a lot better drinking bottled drinks than I did from that tap. Im not saying its not safe but I just felt better.
Tip 7: Good company makes a good camping trip. When you’re camping there is next to nothing to do, choose company wisely, and make sure its people who make you laugh a lot! Its a whole weekend with no phones, entertainment and day trips.
So, there is my 7 top tips to surviving camping. Have any of you been camping recently? If so, what else would you add to the list? Thanks for reading, Jade xo