Choosing the right camping equipment
A camping holiday can be a refreshing and relaxing chance to reconnect with the great outdoors, but if you have the wrong camping equipment it could easily turn into a wet and miserable nightmare.
It is highly recommended that campers do some research before they buy their equipment and make sure they are not letting themselves in for a difficult trip with frustrating or inappropriate gear.
Finding the right tent
Tents come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and each style has its advantages and disadvantages, but there are a few basics to consider when picking the best one for you. First of all, think about how you are getting your tent to the campsite. If you are going to need to carry it for any distance, it is essential to check the weight and size of the tent and consider whether it will be easy to transport on foot. It is also a good idea to have a look at the tent when it has been erected so you can ensure that there will be enough room for everybody to get a decent night’s rest. Furthermore, if you are going to spend a lot of time at the campsite, a larger, better-equipped tent that can be sectioned into a living area and sleeping area may be useful – particularly if there is a high risk of rain while you are away.
Finding the right sleeping bag
Getting the right sleeping bag is crucial to a good night’s rest, and choosing the best product depends on where and when you are travelling. If you are camping in the UK, be ready to face rainfall in all four seasons and a potentially chilly night. A thick and cosy sleeping bag is more likely to suit a British camping holiday, or one taken elsewhere during the winter. However, if you are travelling to a milder climate, you may find your tent warms up surprisingly quickly and maintains its heat during balmy evenings. If you expect hot weather, make sure you find a thinner sleeping bag that will prevent you from overheating and waking up in the night.
Finding the right camping stove
One of the main considerations you need to address when looking for the best camping stove is what kind of fuel you will be using while you are away. Camping stoves can use gas, methylated spirits, petroleum-based fuel and solid fuels. Gas is available in canisters that are easy to use and which can easily be kept away from children. However, if you are going on a long trip, it may not be feasible to take a number of expensive, heavy and bulky gas canisters so it may be better to choose the cheaper option of a petroleum-based camping stove.
Check what facilities are available on site
If you’re staying somewhere remote there are other types of camping equipment that you may also need, such as vessels for drinking water and batteries to provide power. However, many campsites provide water and electricity, so make sure you read up on the facilities before you set off.
Of course, sleeping in a tent isn’t everyone’s idea of fun – even if the campsite does come equipped with all the conveniences that you need. One alternative is to stay at one of the UK’s many holiday parks, where you can enjoy the comforts of a modern caravan while still having the camaraderie and closeness to nature of a camping holiday.
Have a look at what others are saying about particular campsites and holiday parks by searching the Internet for people’s experiences. If you’re thinking about South Devon, for example, this page of Challaborough Bay Holiday Park reviews highlights the facilities available and can help you decide whether that particular park is the right fit for you and your family.
In the end, whether you go for the adventure of a camping trip or the relative luxury of a holiday park, the same rules apply – do your research, buy the right equipment, and make sure that you arrive on site fully prepared for a fantastic time away!
Photo credit: Julie Perron