Camping Tips You Should Know

outdoor camping tent

Camping Tips

From a “macro” perspective, the general principles of camping are relatively simple. More than anything else, it’s a matter of adaptation and acclimation to living outdoors rather than within four walls. Regardless, there are a multitude of tips and tricks to help make that transition easier, and allow your time spent camping to be more relaxing and enjoyable.

General Outdoor Tips

The tent is one of the most essential thing, and we have a range of to select . If you’re a beginning camper, there are a couple of different tent tips to remember. First and foremost, practice pitching your tent before you head to the campsite. Being able to do it quickly and effectively is extremely valuable. When looking for a place to set up, always look for a “natural bed” of soft, flat soil – but avoid the bottom of hills or valleys. Finally, always set up a tarp below your tent to avoid potential damage or water-logging.
automatic instant tent

Campers can also benefit from a few non-specific outdoor principles. Rule number one, no matter the time of year, is to dress in (or at least carry) layers. It’s the easiest and most effective way to control your body temperature. Secondly, learn how to use a GPS or map and compass. No matter how familiar you are with a certain wooded area, getting lost among acres of similar-looking trees is very easy. Finally, practice basic outdoor skills such using and sharpening a utility knife, tying various knots, and building a fire. It’s this knowledge that separates the amateurs from the seasoned campers.

What to Bring on a Camping Trip

With any luck, each camping trip proves to be a unique experience. There are many wonderful things that nature has to offer. But, no matter where you’re headed, a few things should always come with you. Below is the “short list” of camping essentials that should always be packed.

A Tent, Tarp, and Sleeping Bag
A pot, pan, dishes, utensils, and fire-starting materials (preferably waterproof matches or a butane lighter)
A utility knife and length of rope
Plenty of water (get gallon sizes for cooking and cleaning)
Energy rich, easily prepared foods and snacks (think items like pasta, beans, ground beef, peanut butter, chicken, trail mix, and oatmeal)
Plenty of clothing (a good rule of thumb in temperate areas is enough for two to three layers daily)
A tight-closing cooler to store your food items in
Hand sanitizer and soap
Optionally, outdoor gear like fishing poles and hiking equipment

How to Budget for a Camping Trip

Like most anything else, budgeting for a camping trip is easiest when you start big and work your way down. First, decide upon an amount you can afford, and make a resolution not to exceed it. Then, begin to factor in the larger expenses – things like food, gas, necessary equipment, and campsite fees. From there, work your way down to smaller items until you come close to the spending limit.

As that line is tested, you’ll have to make the nitpicky decisions that ultimately determine your trip’s bottom line. For instance, you could eliminate that traditional fast food stop on the way there in favor of pre-prepared sandwiches. Little decisions such as these tend to add up in the grand scheme of financial matters, especially when it comes to discretionary spending.

Now that you know the basics of camping, what to bring, and how to squeeze outdoor adventure into your budget, nothing is left to keep you from hitting the woods! If you’re interested in more detailed information, take a look at the links below for some specific advice on the more nuanced aspects of camping.

Camp life is made easier by gaining experience and learning the tricks. Here are some great camping tips and advice to help make your camping adventures more enjoyable.

How to choose good camping lights

When planning your next summer camping trip, you should always have a quality headlamp, flashlight, and lantern on your packing list. The right battery lights will keep you safe and comfortable throughout your journey through the wilderness.

Here are some essential qualities you should look for in a good camping light:

1. Battery Operated. As nostalgic as those old kerosene lamps may be, battery operated lights are much more practical. You can turn them on and off whenever you need to, and they require much less paraphernalia. During bad weather, they’re a lot safer to have in your tent. Make sure to find one with a long battery life, or one with a recharge crank so you’ll have light until you choose to return to civilization.

2. Small. When you’re lugging your belongings up a mountain, an extra pound or two makes the biggest difference. You want something light, compact, and easy to carry.

3. Bright. Your light may need to be small, but its impact should be big. When rummaging through your knapsack, cooking your food, or scoping out a campsite, your lanterns, flashlights, and headlamps need to emit a massive number of lumens. This will keep you organized and out of danger. You may also find it helpful to invest in a light with several different brightness settings. That way you can set up your camp and read yourself to sleep with just one light.

4. Hands-Free. If you only bring a flashlight, you’ll have a difficult time performing any tasks after dark. You’ll definitely want a headlamp to illuminate whatever is directly in front of you, helping you see when hiking, gathering firewood, or pitching your tent. A lantern that’s freestanding, magnetic, or hang-able is also a good idea when creating a well-lit campsite.

5. Weatherproof. This one’s really a no-brainer when it comes to spending the night in the wilderness. Odds are all your camping equipment will be in harsh conditions at some point on a trip. You need a light that won’t wimp out if it gets a little damp or cold. Look for a hearty, weatherproof or waterproof light, that can hold up under extreme temperatures.

6. Emergency Signals. For extra safety on camping trips, you want a light that has the ability to signal for help. The best lights will have this feature built right in, activated by a special button or switch. If you get lost or run into trouble, this is one of the best ways to get help fast, especially after dark. We even found a crank-chargeable flashlight that can power your cellphone in a pinch!

7. LED. As a general rule, LEDs make the best camping lights, because they offer all the qualities already listed here, and more. They’re light, bright, compact, long-lasting, and very durable – able to withstand cold temperatures and jarring vibrations better than any other light source. Plus, they don’t attract bugs, because they don’t emit UV rays like other kinds of lights.

For more information, check out our camping lights page here.

Go green and relieve the stresses of work

It’s easy to get laden down with work these days, with modern day pressures to finance our busy lives ever prominent; we’re racking up those hours. An average of 92,120 hours are spent at work over the course of a lifetime.

Our recent research has also found that more than a quarter of British people are unhappy in their current jobs.

So how do we stay motivated and bring a little stress relief to our lives?

Research shows that surrounding yourself with some ‘green’ provides a boost in motivation and also that a glimpse of the colour green can spark creativity. Spending as little as five minutes outside can also reduce stress levels and increase brain activity.

Nature expert and TV personality Chris Packham, who is ever supportive of our bid to get people into the great outdoors said: “I’m lucky because my job takes me outdoors a lot, so I get to spend time away from the city and experience the fantastic sights and sounds of nature, but it seems so many of us get bogged down in the daily grind of urban life.

“Not only is greenery great to help us unwind, but it’s also beautiful. If we don’t take time to get away from it all, we’re missing the wonderful smells, sounds and sights that surround us in the British countryside. No matter what job you do, I think we’d all enjoy having a bit more of this free-spirited approach to life”

In the same research we also found that (80%) of people aren’t doing the job they aspired to do as a child. When it comes to age, those 55+ have strayed furthest from their childhood dream (97%) while almost a third (30%) of the 25 – 34 year old are currently doing their chosen job.

From teachers to superheroes, here are the top ten jobs our survey revealed adults aspired to do as a child:

  1. Teacher
  2. Vet
  3. Policeman/woman
  4. Dancer
  5. Actor
  6. Fireman
  7. Archaeologist
  8. Superhero
  9. Astronaut
  10. Athlete

Although your journey to becoming a superhero has been side-lined for now, don’t let yourself get too weighed down by work. We can all do something to enhance our lives, and stepping outdoors is easy. The Japanese who have the world’s longest working week even make time for getting outdoors in a practice now known as ‘forest bathing’ which comes from the Japanese ‘shinrin-yoku’, meaning to take in the forest atmosphere.

Studies in Japan have found that forest bathing can reduce stress, lower blood sugar, improve concentration, diminish pain and improve immunity. So let the forest be your super power and join us on one of our 16 campsites for a multitude of benefits.

5 Health benefits of camping

Most people go on camping trips to get away from reality and to spend time with friends and family. Some go just because they want an adventure! Camping gives you the chance to take yourself away from any distractions that may occur in your every day life. But what you might not realise is camping can help you live a longer, healthier life.
If you regularly go camping, you may be aware of these 5 health benefits of camping

1. THE FRESH AIR
When you spend time near a lot of trees, you take in more oxygen. That feeling of happiness that you get when you take your first breath of air at the campground isn’t all in your head–well, technically it is, but it’s a release of serotonin from the extra oxygen. Your body can function with less strain when there’s plenty of oxygen. However that is not the only benefit of fresh air. Studies show that regularly spending time in the outdoors can improve your blood pressure, improve digestion and help your immune system. So even if you’re not camping, get out in the fresh air and away from the city pollutants.

2. IMPROVED MOODS
You may notice when people come back from a camping trip they often seem happy, this is no coincidence! Spending time outdoors and in the sunlight can even out the melatonin levels in the brain. Melatonin is a chemical in the brain that makes you feel tired and can sometimes induce the feelings of depression. So from going camping you will feel better during and after your trip!

3. LESS STRESS
Camping gives you the chance to take a breather and live a slower paced lifestyle, which is great if you are affected by stress. Stress can negatively affect your health in every way possible, so spending time on a stress-free campsite away from reality will rapidly reduce stress.
The reduction in stress can come from fresh air as mentioned above and by doing something you enjoy it’s often harder to get annoyed or angry!

4. EXERCISE
A common health benefit in any outdoor activity is exercise and camping is certainly no different. Whether you’re walking, hiking, biking or fishing, these activities will burn more calories than if you were sat in an office. Even moving the camping equipment from the car and setting up the tent will burn more calories than you’d think. Exercise releases a hormone in the body that stimulates happiness which is a very positive effect on one’s health.

5. SUNSHINE
As well as being dangerous if over exposed, sunlight can have a huge positive impact on your health. UV rays are packed full of vitamin D, which is an essential vitamin! However too much sun can lead to skin problems later in life, so make sure your using a good sunscreen and limiting your time in the sun. On a camping trip it’s possible to spend 10 – 14 hours of the day outdoors, whereas in a normal day most people only get around 2 hours. Camping is good for your health!