7 Essential Tips for Family Camping
Camping with the kids is a great way to get them outdoors for some fresh air, exercise and time together. It can be a challenge, though, which is why we've put together these 7 handy tips to help you prepare and avoid some easy mistakes, so you can enjoy a stress-free family camping trip.
1. First time? Stay local
Most first time campers find that a single night on an organised campsite not too far from home is a safer bet than a long and stressful drive to a remote campsite – leaving you exhausted before your adventure has even begun.
Check out your local campsites first - you may discover a local beauty spot you never knew existed! If you fancy venturing out once you’re there, always have a map of the area to hand.
2. Check the forecast
Forewarned is forearmed, after all. You should always bring the usual waterproofs in case of unexpected showers, but checking the forecast will let you make any additional preparations, or even give you warning to postpone the trip if it's due to be really wet, windy or snowing.
3. Leave plenty of time
Make sure you arrive at the campsite with at least a few hours of daylight to spare – pitching your tent in the dark is never easy, but especially so with kids in tow! If arriving after dark is unavoidable, headtorches will be an absolute essential.
4. Practise pitching
Being able to pitch your tent quickly and efficiently will make the whole procedure on the actual day so much easier. Why not practise in your back garden or in a local park before your trip? Each tent comes with pitching instructions and we’ve got plenty of tent pitching videos on our YouTube channel soto help you get the hang of it before you go. Don’t forget to pack a mallet, spare pegs and guylines - you don’t want to get caught short miles away from a shop that sells camping equipment.
5. Check your guylines
Now you know how to put the tent up, you’ve arrived at the campsite with plenty of daylight to spare, and the weather is fine. What can go wrong? Well, it’s worth ensuring that the tent’s guylines are properly adjusted so that the flysheet is taut, just in case the wind picks up and the heavens open at 2am. The last thing you want is to have to leave the warmth of your sleeping bag to adjust the guylines in the pouring rain.
6. Take earplugs and an eye mask
When there's only canvas between you and the outside world, you can hear everything that's going on around you. Whether it's owls hooting, tents rustling or those early risers having breakfast nearby, ear plugs can come in very handy for blocking out unwanted noises. If you’re camping in summer, an eye mask means you can have a relaxing lie-in when the sun comes up.
7. Don't forget insect repellent
Watching sunrises and sunsets is what camping is all about, but you don’t want to be covered in mosquito bites the next day. Always take an insect repellent and try to keep your inner tent closed to keep those pesky bugs out.
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