Nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit than a long life spent in the same place, which is just one simple reason as to why camping is so important. Yes, camping is one of the easiest ways that you can truly experience the vulnerability of nature and while this can seem quite daunting at first; it is also an opportunity to press the reset button on what can be a very busy life. In fact, there is no adventure as simplistic or rewarding as a camping trip, and this is not something to fear, but rather a journey to embrace.
Here is some advice and tips for first-time campers:
Make sure your tent is secure
You need to make sure your tent is sturdy enough that it won’t budge when subjected to the elements. Not only is it a nightmare trying to reset a tent in the middle of the night, but it also means the possibility of getting yourself and your gear wet, which will only ever have one outcome – a sleepless night.
Use every peg issued with the tent and likewise, make use of the guy lines as these will make all the difference during high winds or stormy weather should the situation arise.
Try to avoid the sides overnight
It may sound a little simple, but depending on the quality of your tent, it is likely dew, frost and dampness will appear on the sides of the tent overnight. This is often inevitable, so the best way to avoid an unpleasant overnight stay is to sleep closer to the middle of the tent.
In this sense, it is always wise to invest in a high-quality tent which will reduce the risk of such an occurrence. However, for the same reason, it is always a good idea to keep your gear away from the tent sides while you go to sleep to ensure everything is dry when you wake the following morning. Choosing the correct tent size is paramount for comfort also. If two people are travelling many beginners look for the best two man tent but do not take into consideration the space needed for their gear. Depending on the amount of equipment you have a better option might be to opt for a good 3 man tent or even a 4 man tent.
Keep the cooking simple
Many first time campers confuse a camping trip with a test of survival and take far too much food with them. In a similar way, it’s just as easy to complicate the cooking process by trying to be too fancy. Keep it simple. Scrambled eggs and beans are an easy one-pot breakfast while a simple barbecue with salad ensures you can spend more time enjoying the view and waiting for the meat to cook, rather than creating some unnecessary masterpiece.
Choose carefully where you pitch the tent
Pitching your tent on top or at the bottom of a hill is a risky decision as exposure to strong winds can make for an uncomfortable night up high while sleeping at the bottom of a hill will leave you susceptible to flooding if it rains.
Instead, take shelter from the elements by pitching your tent next to a windbreaker and try to camp on the higher ground without being too close to the peak. It is also wise to keep an eye out for areas infested with insects or ants, and a nice deterrent in this respect is to sprinkle the remnants of your campfire around the tent, as this ash is something ants, in particular, prefer to avoid.
Be Prepared for the Weather
Whatever happens, make sure the season of your sleeping bag is more than sufficient or at the very least, that you take extra blankets just in case. Simply put, you can always do something about feeling too warm, but on the contrary, if you don’t take enough warm clothing, you can easily find yourself in a dreadful situation.
So keep the elements in mind at all times and remember that as long as you prepare the right way and stick to the basics, camping is perfectly safe and a journey to embrace.