Do you know what's worse than camping? Going camping and realising that you have forgotten almost everything that you needed to make camping a hell of a lot easier. In this post we're going to be sharing our tips to become a camping pro... (if that's even possible)
As a lot of you may, or may not know, we have just got back from a week long camping trip in Ashbourne in Derbyshire (UK). And although we may feel like we could sleep for days on end, we thought we should share some tips and tricks to make a minimalistic camping trip a little less painful and a lot more enjoyable.
Disclaimer: All of these tips shared are the things that we did NOT do during our trip... so as you can imagine, it was very hard, stressful and overall cost a lot more money once we arrived.
So, just imagine this... it has taken you 4-5 hours to get to your campsite, you're completely shattered but excited to finally be there. You open the tent bag, start putting the tent together to find you have NO PEGS. Instantly, you panic. Now, this example alone is something that can be resolved fairly easy, find someone else on the camp site with spare pegs, go to reception and ask if they have any or better yet...your site has a shop you can buy these essentials from. But now imagine opening your bag to find that one of your tent poles have snapped OR your tent is completely mouldy from the last time you used it. It will cost you a minimum of £25-£100 to replace your 2 man tent, depending on the quality you're after, let alone if it's a family tent. So, if you haven't got the moral of the story by now... ALWAYS check your tent before going away. Even if it's just putting it up in the garden and taking it down straight away, it's one less thing to worry about when you are there.
Now here is the mistake that Jess made... I was working on a late the night before we left, which wasn't a problem for me as Harry was doing the long haul of a drive. I half-packed during the day, and packed the rest when I got home from work. But doing so, I kind of forgot what I packed and what I didn't, and it wasn't until I got there that I realised I completely forgot my towel. Now this may not seem like a massive issue to many people, 'just go and buy a new one' BUT the thing with our location was that there wasn't any shops for miles. And when we did reach a shop, the average price tripled meaning that I had to pay about £20 for a towel which I could've got for about £5 at home. Although £20 doesn't seem like a lot of money, when your on a tight budget of £25 a day to cover EVERYTHING, £5 pretty much leaves you with enough for a pot noodle and a drink for dinner. So, learning from my lesson, I definitely would say that it is ESSENTIAL to make a list, no matter how boring you find it... just learn from my stupid mistake.
(Disclaimer: This list may not be applicable to everyone but it's the list that we have made based upon our mistakes and what we would usually take during our camping trips)
* Tent (Duh)
* Extra tent pegs
* Sleeping Bags
* Camping pillow (Optional)
* Camping mat
* Blow up bed and pump (Optional)
* Cooker (Alternative: Disposable BBQ's BUT they are extremely hard to cook with from many festival experiences)
* Pots and Pans
* Cutlery and Kitchen utensils
* Clothes for ALL types of weather
* Suitable footwear (Waterproof)
* Blanket to sit on outside the tent OR pop up chairs (Optional)
* Camping table (Optional)
* Power bank (Optional)
* First aid kit
* Toilet roll
* Tin can opener
* Wash bag (Soap, Shampoo, Toothbrush and all that jazz)
* Rubbish bags (Littering is BAD)
A problem we encountered on our trip was that we had to drive to almost EVERYTHING. We decided to go camping to have an active holiday, to use the car less and just explore a new area; however we were using the car everyday just to do the activities that we wanted to do. Doing your research is essential, even if it is just camping. We weren't given any maps or advice of local things to do from the site's reception, and it wasn't until the second to last day that they decided to give us maps of the area. These maps had lists of local towns, how you can get there quickly by foot, beautiful walk guides through all the country footpaths... basically all the things that you would expect to receive when you arrive. We have definitely learnt our lesson from this trip, and have found easily accessible campsites at a reasonable walking distance from most attractions for future reference.
We live in a world now where everything pretty much revolves around social media. Whether it's staying in contact with one another through to entertainment, our generation now is the worst for prying people away from their phones. Now, we're definitely not saying we don't do these things, we enjoy taking photos, communicating to our friends and families, and updating our social media accounts (Jess is the biggest culprit of this). We like to keep our followers involved with what we are doing each day and share photos that we have taken, but there comes a point where you have to turn them off. You're in a new place, with the ones you love AND you can go on your phone anytime when you're at home. (Harry is going to think I am such a hypocrite for writing this). Even if you turn your phone off at 5pm and have the rest of the evening just enjoying the time away from reality, that is what really makes a holiday like this fun.
So, there you have it. Camping Essentials 101 from Jess and Harry. Now, this may not seem like a lot, and there are probably a lot more you can add to this list. But these are the things that we find are most essential to really making the most of your camping trip.