This guest post was written by Callum Pragnell of LeisureKings.co.uk, a camping equipment store in the UK.
If you’re thinking about escaping to the great outdoors with the family or friends sometime in the near future, any tips and advice to pick up before you go is great – especially if it’s your first time! Camping is a great way to have fun in the outdoors whilst also enjoying quality time with your nearest and dearest; but make sure you know what you’re doing. Make it a trip to remember – not a trip to forget!
One of the first things most people encounter when going camping is setting up their tent, this can be quite complicated and to make sure you don’t have any problems with this on your trip, it is worth following these 5 key steps before you leave!
1. Choose your tent wisely. You need to acquire a tent that best suits your specific needs, such as the size (if a lot of people are going then you obviously need to look into purchasing a larger tent), material and style. It’s no good buying a tent and then realising that isn’t going to be suitable enough for your needs when it’s too late! If you’re unsure of which one is best for you, then ask the sales assistant in the shop that you are looking in to help. Many outfitters have tents set up for display, and otherwise will let you take a tent out to see how big it will be.
2. Set your tent up in your garden before you leave. It’s always best to do a trial run before you set off – this will ensure that setting up the tent at your chosen camping spot will go off without a hitch. If it’s left until you’re actually out there and you have no idea how to construct your chosen tent then you’ll be kicking yourself when the night falls and the weather sets in!
3. Bring extra tent poles. Doing this will make sure that you are not left in the lurch if one of your existing tent poles unexpectedly breaks.
4. Pack an old shower curtain to place over your tent; this will mean you remain dry if the heavens do decide to open! Most tents come with a canopy or tarp but a shower curtain can provide additional protection from precipitation. The last thing you want is to be cold and damp with no dry clothes to put on, knowing that this could have been prevented by using a cheap shower curtain.
5. Always pitch your tent before it gets dark. It is incredibly important to construct your tent before the sun goes down, it will be easier for you to see and therefore put your tent up quicker. It is also safer to do it in daylight as there is always a potential risk of injury should you do it in the dark. Logs, tree roots and rocks, rope and packaging could all get in the way and potentially cause an injury.
If you follow these simple steps then your camping trip should be one to remember. Happy Camping!
Have more tent pitching tips? Please share them in the comments!
I don’t think people think too much when choosing where to pitch. But I for one feel as its one of the most important factors when camping. A good picth will lead to a good nights sleep.
But aswell as choosing a pitch. Choosing a tent also ranks high on the list. We at World of Camping supply at massive range of quality tents at affordable prices. Aswell as selling tents we also sell all the accessories that go with it. Sleeping bags, airbeds, roll mats, chairs, torches.
Our Website – http://www.worldofcamping.co.uk/tents
I really enjoyed your tent article. I have always wanted to enjoy the outdoors in a camping tent. I wouldn’t even no where to start to be honest. I do not know the difference between a backpacking tent, dome tent, or instant tents. I have been reading a blog post about tent camping and never knew there was so much involved in pitching a tent. http://blog.originalshelters.com/2014/01/20/tent-camping-tents-and-advice/
Thanks for posting!
Hey, Great post. I’ve never been to the States, all my camping has been in the UK and France but I am hoping to visit next summer so I will be getting some ideas form your blog.
Great advice on Setting up the Tent! So many people are trying to experience the “outdoors” without going fully prepared.
I like Callum’s tip about making use of old shower curtains to assist with waterproofing your tent. Your beginner camping gear does not have to be costly, but it is important to keep yourself protected from inclement weather.
The shower curtain will do for the roof of your tent, but don’t forget about the floor. Also take along a sheet of plastic, or poly tarp that goes under your tent.
Remember to tuck the edges neatly underneath the tent to prevent water pooling between the tarp and the flooring material.
A dry camper is a happy camper.
Good point about the tarp, Leon. Just to be clear, tuck the edges of the tarp *under* itself and the tent so that and bit of water rolls off the tarp rather than getting trapped like in a bowl.
Hi Eric: Yeah, that’s what I meant. Thanks for making it clear to your readers. 🙂
I would also add this: before you pitch your tent, walk at least fifty feet in every direction outward from the site to be sure you are not pitching close to a drop-off or (God forbid!) a predator den or kill. Every year a few campers kill themselves in the mountains by simply stepping off a cliff in the middle of the night, and I once discovered the remains of a recent cougar kill near the spot I was considering stopping in. Knowing that cougars revisit their kills, I skedaddled out of there pretty quickly.
Good points Pamela. Especially in places known for canyons and gorges, the tip to check for cliffs and dropoffs is a good one. Almost every year there is a story about a camper falling to his or her death in Red River Gorge – one of my favorite places, often at night to go to the bathroom.