My top 10 tips for first time campers, first time camping tips

My top 10 first time camping tips – What we learnt from our first trip

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We all had a brilliant first camping trip to the Cotswolds and have now caught the camping bug.  We are looking forward to taking another trip and definitely feel we will be a lot more prepared on what to do and bring.  Camping can be a great way to get away and spend quality time with the family but it does take a bit more preparation than your average holiday.  It can be quite daunting for first time campers to know what equipment you need and which campsite to book.  We learnt a lot from our first camping trip.  Here are my top 10 first time camping tips.

First time camping tips

1. Don’t spend a fortune

If it is your first time camping you do not want to go and spend a lot of money on lots of equipment until you know you enjoy it and want to go again.  Its a good idea to beg and borrow from friends and family.  We bought a tent from Amazon and had our own sleeping bags and camping chairs and then borrowed most of the other things from friends.  We also went with another family that have been camping many times so were lucky enough to have use of their cooking equipment.  The benefit of going with seasoned campers is they can also help set up your tent.

2. Buy a bigger tent than you think you will need

A four man tent may sound perfect but when you add blow up beds, bags of clothes, food etc it doesn’t leave much space.  You should opt for a tent that’s bigger than strictly necessary.  A head height lounge area is also great so you are not always bent over.  We went for the 5 man Vango Farnham Tunnel Tent which gave enough space at the back for the 4 of us to sleep and a lounge area at the front for all of our things.

My top 10 tips for first time campers, first time camping tips

3. Choose your campsite wisely

Its worth doing your research, ask friends for recommendations and read online reviews before booking a campsite.  Think about which facilities are important to you and your family.  Do you want a lively park with lots of activities or a quiet back to nature campsite.  Make a list of what is important, whether that be a swimming pool, an on-site restaurant, walkable to a pub, you can then use this as a check list when searching the internet.

My top 10 tips for first time campers, first time camping tips

4. Become familiar with your camping gear

If possible before you go try setting up your tent and other equipment in your garden.  This will make life easier (and save a few marriages) when you are there and trying to set up camp.  Putting a tent together for the first time can be stressful especially when the instructions are quite minimal.

5. Plan your meals

During our first camping trip I was pleased we had thought ahead and planned our meals as this made things much easier while we were camping.  This means you know what food you will need which means less wastage.  Its also really nice to have your first meal prepped as you will be hungry after setting up camp.  We took a chilli that I had pre made so it just needed heating up.

My top 10 tips for first time campers, first time camping tips

6. Arrive early

Setting up your tent and camping gear is never straight forward on your first camping trip so its important to arrive at your campsite early.  I would always arrive as soon as possible after check in is available.  Setting up is always going to be easier in the day light.

My top 10 tips for first time campers, first time camping tips

7. Go close to home

For your first time camping I would recommend choosing a campsite that is not too far from home.  This way if you decide camping is not for you or the weather turns nasty you can pack up and head home early.  This is another reason to choose your campsite wisely.

8. Electric hook up

Not everyone will agree but for me choosing a campsite with electric hook up will always be on my must have list.  Having electricity made our trip that bit easier as it gives you the ability to charge phones and we used an electric cool box to keep our food cold.  I use my phone as a camera so I would be lost without it.  We took a Eurohike Mobile Mains Kit which worked a treat.

My top 10 tips for first time campers, first time camping tips

9. Plan for all weathers

Camping in the UK is great and there are some amazing picturesque places to see however you can never count on the English weather.  From our trip I have learnt to always bring suitable clothing for all types of whether.  We were lucky and had lovely warm sunny days during our trip but it did turn chilly in the evenings and we experienced heavy rain the day we were leaving.  Even though you could be sitting in your shorts during the day a wooly hat maybe needed while sitting outside your tent in the evening!

My top 10 tips for first time campers, first time camping tips

10. Entertainment for children

If you are camping with children its always good to think ahead about what they may need to keep them entertained, especially if you are on a quieter campsite.  Bring some games for them to play, a bat and ball, scavenger hunt sheets, a skipping rope all help to keep them busy.  Glow sticks also go down well when it turns dark.

We all really enjoyed our first camping trip and learnt a lot to prepare us for our next trip away.  I hope my first time camping tips help you and make your first trip easier.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.  You may also be interested in reading –

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My top 10 tips for first time campers, first time camping tips

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

A long car journey with kids – my tips on how to survive!

We have done a few long car journeys with our two little ones in the back seats.  It can be stressful and hearing the words ‘are we there yet’ every five minutes can put you off.  I find the key to surviving a long car journey with kids is keeping them occupied.  This can be hard when they are strapped in their car seats and unable to move.  I also like to manage the journeys without their tablets!  Our most recent long car journey was a 4 and a half hour drive to North Wales.  We have also done a couple of 6 hour journeys to the Lake District and North York Moors.  I love exploring and travelling the UK so its definitely worth the journey in the car.  Here are my tips on what to pack to survive a long car journey with kids.

A long car journey with kids

Its all about keeping them busy and distracted.  My two (like most other kids) like new toys and things to play with so I always make a trip to the shops to pick up some cheap activities.

Ideas on what to buy

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

These velvet colouring cards are great.  They can be easily used in the car and a great activity to keep them busy.

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

My two loved these white boards.  They were only £1 and were used loads while we were away on holiday.  They didn’t survive longer than a week but definitely got our monies worth.  Great for playing hang man and practising the time with my daughter.  I would draw a clock face and she would draw on the clock hands for whatever time I said.  We also took these out to restaurants as an activity to keep them amused.

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

You can pick up lots of different colouring activities.  These colouring pencil cases are a perfect example as they get to colour in their masterpiece and have somewhere to store their pens and pencils afterwards.

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

Pipe cleaners are something I always have on hand for long car journeys with the kids.  Again they are cheap and easy to get hold of.  We had competitions on who could bend them and make the best creation (you may find you want to join in too!)

Using things from home

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

I always raid the kids craft draws for colouring books, sticker books and magazines to take.

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

The internet is great for getting hold of lots of printable activities such as word searches, dot to dot and crosswords.  I printed of a few to take with us which were all free.

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

This time I decided to pack some Lego.  I filled up a container with a mixture of different Lego bricks and packed two Lego boards.  These worked well in the car and were also great for taking out to restaurants to give them something to do while waiting for food to arrive.

Playing games

Nothing can beat playing some traditional car games such as I spy (can be done with colours for younger children).  The license plate game where you each choose a letter and see how many cars you can spot with the number plate starting with that letter.  Another great silly game to play with number plates is using the letters on a number plate and seeing who can come up with the silliest thing they could stand for.

How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car

I use a box to keep everything in that fits in between the two children.  All these activities and games meant that the journey went quite quickly for them and was a lot more pleasurable for us.

I hope this helps with your next long car journey with kids.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.  If you would like to find out where we visited in North Wales check out my post 3 Picturesque towns and villages in North Wales you need to visit.

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How to survive a long car journey with kids, what to buy and pack, ideas for entertaining the kids in the car