Fall In Love With Camping – Tips For People Who Hate Camping!
Perhaps you’ve never camped before and are convinced you’ll hate it or maybe you’ve camped in the past and hated every minute of it? If that sounds like you, read on for some simple tips that will transform your camping experience.
1. Be willing to have fun (whatever the weather!)
If you’ve agreed to go camping or are thinking about giving it a try for the first time, make sure you are in the right mindset. If you’re already convinced you’ll hate it before you even get there, then you probably will.
Remember the fun you had exploring somewhere new and building dens in the great outdoors when you were a kid? Try to relax back into that kind of mindset – you won’t be staying in a luxurious 5* hotel but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!
2. Think about what clothes you pack
Going camping requires more careful packing than a weekend stay in a hotel. A few of the things that you’ll need include warm pyjamas to wear in bed, flip flops, towel and toiletries that can be easily taken into the shower with you, and plenty of extra layers, including waterproof outer layers in case the weather is rubbish.
Staying warm and dry should be a priority; looking stylish – not so much, so think warm and practical. Remember there’s never a place for the likes of heels and false lashes when you’re camping. As long as you pack for the outdoors (expect cold, wind and rain even at the height of British summertime) you’ll be off to a great start!
Check out how to keep warm when camping in a tent.
3. Take the right camping gear with you
Being comfortable when camping is the single most important thing that will determine whether you enjoy your camping trip or not. Even if the weather is rubbish, as long as you are warm and comfy and have somewhere dry to hang out, you can still make the most of it.
A very cheap sleeping bag from a bargain shop won’t keep you warm, and sleeping on nothing but a flimsy yoga mat definitely won’t give you a comfortable nights sleep. A cheap inflatable air mattress is much more comfortable, and investing in a decent sleeping bag, or borrowing one from a friend and ensuring you take extra blankets and a pillow, will ensure you’ll sleep well.
4. Don’t regard yourself as being ‘above’ camping
Despite it’s huge rise in popularity, there is still a bit of a stigma attached to camping. To enjoy any new experience it’s best to fully immerse yourself, so don’t make the mistake of looking down your nose at campers or make the assumption that they are only camping because they can’t afford to do anything ‘better’.
Many campers also travel extensively, staying at hotels and going on luxury holidays and city breaks. Camping is simply a choice and in many cases, a preference – not something we do because we can’t afford to do anything better; and from our point of view the benefits we get from camping are way more meaningful than the convenience of 24 hour room service.
5. Don’t fixate on the things you can’t do when camping
There’s nowhere to plug in your hair straighteners, you can’t watch TV and there’s no super-fast internet connection – so accept it, and move on.
Getting fixated on the things that you can’t do whilst camping will trap you in a negative loop, and a negative mindset will ensure you don’t enjoy yourself.
6. Use camping as a chance to practice mindfulness
Humans aren’t meant to spend all of their time indoors with everything at their fingertrips and a constant connection to anything and everything. Modern life is demanding and people are increasingly suffering from mental health issues as a direct result of our 21st century lifestyles.
Camping is an opportunity to embrace a different way of living, so instead of lamenting the things you can’t do whilst camping, see it as an opportunity to get away from the stress and distractions of modern life and a chance to reconnect with friends, family and importantly, yourself.
7. Plan stuff to do
If you are used to being constantly online or spend hours in front of the TV, camping will give you free time that you might well have no idea how to make the most of.
Take a good book and/or magazine with you, dig out the board games, take along your guitar and sing around the campfire, take your camera and get some great shots of the landscape, take art supplies with you, go hiking, explore the local area….there are heaps of things you can do when camping but you can also use the opportunity to simply relax, there’s real pleasure to be had in lying on your back and watching the clouds float by or staring up at the stars.
8. Think about food
If your day is punctuated by several cups of tea, or you can’t function without a morning coffee, doing away with them whilst you’re camping will feel like a chore. If you aren’t one to embrace change then a different routine and going without things like this will quickly make camping feel like too big a compromise. If you can’t do without a brew, borrow or invest in a camp stove and kettle.
Likewise, if you love cooking and normally prepare fresh food and cook from scratch, put a bit of thought into easy meals that will allow you to eat well whilst camping. If you let the quality of your nutrition drop whilst camping, then it stands to reason that you won’t enjoy the experience as much.
It’s actually really easy with a bit of planning to prepare proper meals when camping; tasty chicken curries, vegetable stir frys, hearty casseroles and even a simple omlette with a bit salad are all super easy to prep and cook when camping with a little bit of forward planning.
9. Choose your campsite wisely
Campsites all have their own distinct personalities and finding the right one will have a big impact on how much you enjoy your camping break. Campsites range from big and busy with set pitches and lots of on-site facilities to basic and peaceful sites in the middle of nowhere with just the bare essentials.
Make sure also that you are aware of the rules at each campsite. Some won’t allow group bookings, BBQs, campfires or even any noise after 9pm, so make sure you choose a campsite that meets your requirements.
10. Don’t take a tiny tent
Camping in a tent that you can’t stand up, get dressed or move around in easily often just isn’t practical. If you’re going on a group camping trip and will be traveling by car, the trick is to ensure you have a decent sized tent. Being able to stand up to get dressed and having somewhere to sit and hang out if the weather is bad is much easier if you have a standing height tent that isn’t at full occupancy.
You can get a spacious standing height tent like the Quechua Arpenaz 4.1 for around £70, and if you don’t fancy investing in a tent, why not split the cost with a friend, or better still, borrow a tent from someone?
Take a look at top tips for first time campers. Got any great tips to share yourself? Let us know in the comments below!