Beginners Guide To Camping In The UK And Europe
Beginners Guide To Camping In The UK And Europe
Camping is an excellent activity, but it is easy to see why some people feel overwhelmed at the thought of going on their first camping trip.
Depending on the time of year, weather conditions and where you camp, camping can be dangerous.
However, even the most experienced and confident campers started somewhere, and as with every activity, every camper had a first trip. If you want to start camping, but want to feel more confident before you do, we are here to assist you.
Get ready for camping
Here is our beginners guide to camping in the UK and Europe.
Where are you going to camp?
When you settle on a destination and book your trip, the whole process becomes real. Therefore, there is a lot to think about, and if you get this decision right, you will look forward to many years of fun and experience.
However, if you get this decision wrong, it might put you off the idea of camping for life.
So, you must get it right, and while the right campsite for you might not be suitable for someone else, it is best to start with the basics for your first campsite.
Choosing somewhere local is helpful, as this will remove a lot of the stress over the journey. If you are already worried about getting the camping right, you don’t want to worry about a lot of travelling too.
Also, for your first trip, you should avoid going too rustic or being at one with nature. Choosing a campsite that is close to civilisation, or at least has plenty of power points to allow you to stay connected with your electronic devices makes sense.
Once you develop a feel for camping, you can go off-grid and truly enjoy the great outdoors, but for starters, choose a well-run and popular campsite where help is never too far away.
A handy tip for your first camping trip is choosing a site where you can arrive in daylight hours. If this is your first time pitching a tent in public, you don’t want to make the process too difficult.
What tent is right for you?
You might not need a tent, you might opt for a campsite that provides you with a tent set-up, or you could be camping in a motorhome. It might even be the case you have booked a yurt or tippi. These are all good options, but you will have people who tell you this isn’t traditional camping.
So, if you are looking to buy a tent, you need to think about the key factors.
How warm do you need the tent to be, and what sort of conditions are you likely to expose it to? How big do you need the tenant to be, and this will depend on how many people intend to use the tent, and how much space they take up.
You need your tent to be large enough for all the people using it, and the belongings you need with you, but you don’t want it to be that much bigger. If your tent is too large, it can be problematic to put up, fold down, and it will be difficult to heat and maintain a good temperature.
While online shopping is becoming extremely popular (and essential during lockdown times), if you want to feel confident about buying a tent, you need to see it in person. You should seek advice from experts, and if you can size up and feel the tent for yourself, you will be happier with the purchase.
By all means take this knowledge and buy it online at a later date, but you need to know what tent is going to live up to expectations, and the challenges you face.
Prepare for your camping site
Once you have booked your trip and made all arrangements, you should prepare yourself.
One of the most obvious tips is to practice pitching your tent before you go. Doing this at home, without strangers watching on, will boost your confidence and help you tackle the task quicker when you do it for real.
If you find there are bits of the process where you struggle, you can work on these, or you can get help. There is a lot of support on YouTube, and if you know people who camp a lot, you can ask them for advice.
Also, make sure you practice packing away your tent. At the end of a long trip, the last thing you need is to be stuck spending hours trying to deconstruct your tent, and then pack it away.
Take the time to practice this process, and familiarise yourself with your tent, and equipment.
Also, make sure you have the items you need for the trip. Food and drink are essential, as are a change of clothing. You should pack a first aid kit with you, and if you plan on any activities during the getaway, make sure you have the right equipment with you.
Each checklist will be different for each camping trip and people going away, so make sure you know what you need, and make sure you have it.
What you do on arrival will depend on the campsite you are using. If you are camping in nature, you are free to do what you like. Try to find a dry and level-ish surface for your tent, one that is away from running water or items which might blow over in the wind.
If you are staying at an official campsite, check in, and they will go through the process with you.
It makes sense to get your tent set up first, as once this is done, you can relax and get on with more important matters.
How and what are you cooking?
Cooking is an essential component of the camping experience, and if this is your first-time camping, you might find the process a little daunting.
If you are using a campsite stove, you will need gas. Some sites provide this, at other times, you need to bring your own, so make sure what you need before you get started.
There is a wide range of camping cooking equipment, and packaged food, to make the process simple. You can opt for a rustic approach, lighting a fire yourself, but if you want to ease into the camping process, it might be better to seek help as and when you can.
You’ll also find bringing prepared food that can be eaten quickly and with no preparation work will be of benefit. This can save time, but also, if you struggle with the cooking equipment, you will ensure you won’t go hungry.
While camping is a serious activity, and it is important you prepare yourself thoroughly, you should also have fun. Many people love camping, and it is the ideal antidote in getting away from the stress and pressure of everyday life. Make sure you are set up for a great trip by familiarising yourself with the basics of camping before you go.
What campsites should I consider in the UK?
As said above, there are many factors to consider when choosing a campsite. Location, what is on offer, what sort of activities and the general atmosphere are worth taking into consideration before you book.
If you are looking for a starting point of well-regarded campsites in the UK, the following list is of benefit.
A leading UK campsite website named Grooby's Pit, Lincolnshire as their national winner of UK campsites.
The site also listed the following sites as being of interest:
- Barcdy Caravan and Camping Park, Gwynedd
- Beeston Regis Holiday Park, Norfolk
- Bishops Green Farm Camping, Berkshire
- Blair Drummond Caravan Park, Stirling and Forth Valley
- Concierge Camping, West Sussex
- Crossfell Caravan Park, Cumbria
- Delph Bank, Lincolnshire
- Elm Cottage Touring Park, Cheshire
- Hele Valley Holiday Park, Devon
- King's Lynn Caravan and Camping Park, Norfolk
- Linwater Caravan Park, Edinburgh and the Lothians
- Longnor Wood Holiday Park, Derbyshire
- Newberry Valley Park, Devon
- Otterington Park, North Yorkshire
- Penrhyn Bay Caravan Park, Anglesey
- Somers Wood Caravan Park, Warwickshire
- Studley House Farm, North Yorkshire
- Sunny Oak Caravan Park, Shropshire
What campsites should I consider in Europe?
The same factors should be considered when choosing a campsite in Europe. If you are looking for a starting point in choosing a European campsite, the following list will be of interest.
The Guardian provided a list of 20 campsites you should consider using in Europe:
- Camp 9 Nature Campground, Silesia, Poland
- Camp Liza, Bovec, Slovenia
- Camp Vala, Mokalo, Croatia
- Camping Camino de Santiago, Burgos, Spain
- Camping Carso, Trieste, Italy
- Camping de la Cascade, Coo, Belgium
- Camping La Pointe, Brittany, France
- Camping Lindenhof, Bern, Switzerland
- Camping Mexico, Bregenz, Austria
- Camping Val d’Or, Enscherange, Luxembourg
- Campsite Nature Ferie, Hals, Denmark
- Campsite Port Massaluca, Catalonia, Spain
- D’Olde Kamp, Ansen, Netherlands
- Fyrvapplingen Fiskecamp, Uppsala, Sweden
- Landgoed de Barendonk, Beers, Netherlands
- Le Chant-hibou, Auvergne, France
- Le Clos du Lac, Provence, France
- Quinta dos Moinhos, Braga, Portugal
- Tartaruga Camping, Zakynthos, Greece
- Zur Mühle, Black Forest, Germany
If you are a new camper, we wish you all the best in your new adventures, and we hope you have many great camping ahead of you. If these tips have been of use to you, let us know.
Also, if you are an experienced camper, what tips or experiences made you fall in love with camping at the start of your adventures. We would love to hear from you, and we would like to share these thoughts with our audience.