Outdoor camping has so many great benefits but with these benefits comes the responsibility in making sure you have everything you need before you set off on your outdoor experience.
This article will help you prepare for your camping trip and to make your time in the great outdoors an enjoyable and refreshing one.
When considering taking a camping holiday whether to get away by yourself for some rest and relaxation or with your family or friends, your first task is to pick a suitable place to visit. The last thing you need is arriving at a place that is not what you expected and having to put up with it until you leave.
You need to be aware of the travel times to the places you are considering to stay at before making any final decision, especially if you only have a few days off. You do not want your camping time shortened unnecessarily by long travel times.
Even if you have enough time off to travel longer distances, it is still a good idea not be on the road for too long if you do not have to be, especially if you have a family and it is your first camping trip. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of having a break. By keeping your travel time down to a minimum, will allow you to get the most out of your time away.
Length of Stay
If you are new to camping and have never experienced the outdoors then I would suggest you do not make your first stay too long, as it pays to have a few camping trips under your belt first. These few initial camps will allow you to get the hang of things before tackling a longer stay, as there is always something to learn from each camping trip, especially when you are just starting out.
An important factor that is often overlooked is arriving at your campsite with little or no daylight time left to set-up camp. There is nothing worse than trying to set-up camp in the dark, especially if the weather has turned bad.
Being wet and hungry is not the way you want to start your camping holiday, so the key is to leave as early as you can so you can arrive in plenty of time to set-up.
You will need to do a little bit of research on the camping park you are considering to stay at, either by checking out their website (if they have one) or making phone contact. If looking online, see if you can find any reviews of the camping park in question or if you are making your inquiries by phone then have your questions noted down beforehand.
What is the arrival and departure time, deposit, cancellation fee, special conditions and restrictions, additional costs, etc. Your questions will be based on the type of camping park you are considering to stay at.
For example, it could just have basic amenities, no amenities or everything you need, like a cook-house, washroom, showers, toilets, etc. The type of camping park you decide on will dictate what additional camping items you will need to take.
I would recommend your first outdoor camping adventure be at a well-serviced camping park that has the main amenities available.
Planning and Preparation
Planning allows for good preparation and this is so important when it comes to outdoor camping. For example, by just forgetting a small item like a can opener can be a real pain when you have to try to open a can with a penknife. Creating a checklist is a must and you will need to go over it a few times to make sure you have not forgotten anything.
Check your map to see if the camping park has any alternative routes in the case of any traffic or road issues occurring on your day of departure, especially if you are traveling in the holiday season. Also, check the weather and road conditions on the day before leaving so you know what to expect and plan accordingly.
Book your vehicle in for a service and safety check-up at least a month before your planned camping trip as this will allow for any repairs (if any) to be completed before your leave. Having your vehicle road worthy for holiday travel is very important as a breakdown (that could have been avoided), could ruin the whole trip.
Always make sure you have the right clothing for the right season as this can have a very negative impact on your camping experience.
Another important part of your camping kit is to have the right protective footwear for what you are intending to do while camping.
If you have purchased a new tent and are not sure how to set it up then I recommend you try setting it up a few times well before your camping trip. The reason for this is that it is a lot easier to know what you are doing beforehand than trying to figure it out on the day of your arrival, especially if you are running out of daylight time.
The first thing you should do after you have unloaded your vehicle is to set-up your tent so if the weather turns for the worst, you will at least have somewhere to shelter.
Portable Toilet and Privacy Tent
When purchasing a portable toilet, it is always a good idea to purchase a large capacity portable unit that will not require to emptied as often as a smaller capacity unit does.
Always check with the park officials beforehand to find out if portable toilets are allowed and inquire where the closest portable toilet dumping station is so if you need to empty your toilet before your camping holiday is over you can plan an early morning trip accordingly without impacting on your holiday.
Your privacy tent size will be dependent upon the size of the portable toilet and needs to be of a strong and durable material with easy access and setup.
Security & Safety
Always let someone know where you are going to stay and what time you will be arriving back. Leave them your contact details, contact them on your arrival at the camping park and when you are leaving. If you are going away for any length of time, arrange for someone to clear your mail and keep an eye on your house or better still, if possible, get them to go in and turn a few lights on and off at night, open and close a few curtains, walk around the yard, etc.