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Back to Basics: Camping for the first time

camping for the first time - tips & adviceClearly we love camping (technically we’re camping 24/7!) whether it’s in a tent with some luxuries or under a simple tarp in the woods with only basic equipment.

Over the years we’ve had some great nights sleep - and we’ve had some terrible nights sleep - so today we share a few tips to help you start your relationship with the outdoors on the right foot:


Start small. We don’t recommend booking 2 weeks for your first trip, try a single night or a long weekend. Do bear in mind though it can take a few nights to get your head into camping mode with all the extra sensory load (sounds, smells, temperature difference etc) so if you don’t sleep well the first night don’t write the whole activity off yet...

 ear plugs - 20 pairs

Ear plugs really help quiet down the extra nature sounds you’ll be hearing that you’re not used to, or the guy snoring in the next tent! At less than £4 for a whopping 20 pairs you can keep everyone happy.


Go with friends or start somewhere with a strong community focus so you can get a bit of help and advice if you need it. It’s also nice to have people to connect with and talk to in the evening if you haven’t yet figured out what to do with yourself without a TV to stare at...


Camp from the car before you hike anywhere to do so. Not in the car (though it’s nice to have the option in case things get really bad!) but with a car full of luxuries to ease you into the idea of camping – you’ll soon realise what was unnecessary and be happy to leave it behind in the future.


Coleman extra long air mattress - see offers...Invest in a decent camping mattress / air bed (and don’t forget the pump!). Sleeping on the ground takes some getting used to and if you’ve only ever enjoyed the loving support of a quality sprung mattress a roll mat is likely to be torture for your first night away! When we’re tenting (if weight is not an issue) we sleep on this luxurious extra long Coleman air bed with dual chambers so you don’t throw your partner off the bed by getting on or off!


Bring WAY more clothes than you think you need - if you realise that you’re cold during the night at least you can put on an extra layer. Better than shivering for the night and the rest of the weekend! After you’ve done it a few times and in different weather you’ll have a better idea of what you personally need for future trips.


Don’t forget the torch! You might need to make some adjustments to the tent during the night, do some reading or find something in your bag. There’s also the trips to the toilet/shower blocks to make in the dark and a whole field of tent lines to navigate.waterproof rechargeable head torch with motion sensor - Amazon

This waterproof head torch allows you to keep your hands free and will survive the worst the British weather has to throw at you! It also comes with a nice little bag and is rechargeable via USB so no need to remember the right batteries – just charge however you charge your phone.


Finally bring some duct tape and a multi-tool! Things break but they can be fixed! It’s one of the things about camping that we like the most, not the actual breaking of things but the feeling that comes with resolving a problem with what you have with you.


We hope you find these tips helpful, we'd love to hear from you so make sure to come back and let us know how you got on + add any tips of your own for other readers in the comments below! 

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Sarah is a UK artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more

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