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What are the types of camping?
Camping can be any kind of overnight outdoor pursuit, but there are different types for different capabilities.
This is the most common form of camping. Campsite camping requires campers to occupy a hired pitch to setup your camping equipment on for a specific amount of time. There will be many neighbouring pitches with other friends, families and groups also camping nearby. Campsites provide amenities - either as part of a package of through and additional fee – to campers. These amenities include anything from food and drink, and washing facilities to activities and entertainment.
This type of camping shares a lot of similarities to campsite camping. Here, you again must pay for the privilege of being able to camp onsite and to use the amenities. The big, obvious difference is that you are paying to enjoy the attached festival, primarily. Festival camping typically lasts over the period of a weekend marrying the raucous fun of a festival with the practicality of a short-term camping trip.
Camping in its simplest form comes with backpack camping. Backpackers are nomadic in nature moving from site to site with a lightweight cache of camping equipment. Often, like wild campers, backpackers will end up camping on non-sanctioned makeshift campsites. Because backpackers are constantly on the move, they only take the essentials.
Glamping is rapidly growing in popularity amongst a demographic who aren’t so good at the “roughing it” part of camping. Glampers want to get closer to nature but in a more luxurious way than typical campers. Accommodation is often provided by the site in the form of kitted yurts, tipis and futuristic geodesic glass domes. Though glamping is seen as a highly eco-friendly type of camping, many have argued glampers do not get close enough to nature. This is mainly because glamping encourages attendees to stay in their accommodations with plush features that can include TVs, computers and Jacuzzis.
The benefits of camping
You may have never been on a camping outing in your life. Or you may have been once, but it wasn’t a memorable experience for whatever reason. Still, there are many benefits to camping that make it an enjoyable and educational getaway for campers.
Camping gets you active
Nowadays, we all spend far too much time sedentary. As we work at desks all day, we become physically lazier and unhealthier. With camping, this is not an option. Camping is the essence of becoming active by exploring your environment. Everything from packing your camping equipment to scrubbing the cookware before you return home requires physical exertion.
Camping is entertaining
Some people feel like, if you take away their tech for a weekend, there’s nothing to do. In reality, camping is not only a great stress reliever, it is also thoroughly enjoyable. Whether you’re going with your family, friends of just a pet, nature throws up different ways of keeping busy. While camping, you can do activities such as hiking, cycling or kayaking. Or you can stay locally to your pitch and play some games like cards, I Spy or charades. There is a seemingly endless range of activities to be enjoyed if you’re smart and resourceful.
Camping is stress-relieving
There’s no better way to get rid of the stress of everyday life than to just disappear off the grid. Getting back to nature where things take a simpler time allows campers to relax and gather their thoughts.
Camping saves money
Rather than spending all your hard-earned money on an expensive holiday abroad, spend a smaller budget on a camping trip. Pitches are cheap and much of the camping equipment you’ll need can be found around the average household.
Camping is great for bonding
Even tightknit families learn so much more about their family unit whilst camping. During a camping trip, families rely heavily on each other for support in many capacities. This can be anything like pitching the tent, preparing the food or navigating campsites. While this is happening, it’s natural to talk and interact with one another in new ways to get the job done, and done well. By the time you leave, you’ll have learnt at least one new thing about the capabilities of the members of the group.
Planning a camping trip
It’s never a good idea to just rock up to a grassy patch and set up your tent. In fact, it’s nigh on impossible to do that and guarantee a pleasurable outing. Before heading out on a camping trip, carefully plan all aspects of your journey.
Where are you going?
Before anything, it helps to have a decent idea of where you will be camping. In order to help you decide where that will be, think about location, parking, amenities and your budget. All of these factors will help you to create a shortlist of suitable campsites to suit you and accompanying your group.
When are you going?
When you decide to go on your camping trip is vitally important. Picking an ideal time will helps you decide where to go, how you’ll get there, the camping accessories you’ll need, and much more. Of course, the ideal scenario would be to go during a public holiday in mild to warm weather. But, though these factors allow less camping equipment and a more pleasant environment, it also means campsites charging higher fees.
Who are you going with?
Are you going alone are will you be attending with others? Camping is great when it’s done in manageable groups. Knowing how many people will be in attendance allows you to plan accordingly.
Will you need transport?
Figure out what kind of transport is suitable for yourself and your camping equipment, firstly. Many campsites have parking areas should you need to travel up with a motor vehicle. Make any adjustments depending on the number of attendees and the location of the campsite.
What is your budget?
Try not to make any wild plans before knowing what your budget is. Account for camping equipment, campsite fees (including activities), food, transport and additional costs. Fortunately, it’s not massively expensive to plan a camping trip. Set aside a budget and make your decisions within your means.
Camping Equipment Checklist
From the large tents to the last little baby wipe, it all counts towards ensuring a worry-free camping experience. A checklist of camping equipment is like a shopping list of necessary products to ensure that this happens. No two checklists are the same, but here’s ours to help you compile yours:
- Sleeping apparatus (sleeping bag, air bed, camping mat)
- Cooker or stove
- Bottled fuel/gas for cooker or stove
- Cooking utensils
- Pots, pans and cutlery
- Cooling box
- Food storage containers
- Thermos flask
- Bin bags
- Kitchen foil
- Kitchen tissue
- Washing basin and soap
- Tea towels
- Food and drink (include non-perishables)
- Tin opener
- Base layers
- Mid layes (jumper, fleece, gilet)
- Cool clothes
- Boots/walking shoes
- Accessories (hat, woollen hat, gloves)
Sanitation and first aid
- Wet wipes
- Soap and shampoo
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Toilet paper
- First aid kit (including antiseptic, antihistamines and pain relief)
- Camping furniture (folding chairs and tables)
- A map of the campsite
- Mobile phone
- Entertainment for children (toys, books, games, cds/dvds and cd/dvd players, radio
- Batteries (various sizes)
- Tools (screwdriver, hammer, duct tape, etc)
- Spare rope, spare tarp
Useful tips for caring for your camping equipment
Maintaining all camping equipment and camping accessories ensures the longevity of them. If you’re someone who wants to make a habit of these outings, caring for your camping equipment could save you money and headaches.
Clean your camping equipment
Make cleaning all of your camping gear a regular occurrence. Don’t go over the top though as too much cleaning can inadvertently damage the quality of the product. Different items require different kinds of solutions. For example, tents should be hand washed using non-detergent soap, whilst sleeping bags and insulated clothes can be machine-washed. Check the labels of each product to find out the most effective method of cleaning them.
Dry your camping equipment
Ensuring that all of your camping stuff is completely dry is crucial. Equipment that is still damp encourages the growth of bacteria that could either damage fabric or infect humans. Items such as tents and sleeping bags can be left outside to be sundried. Other items with smoother surfaces like plastic cookware and cutlery can be dabbed dry with a tea towel.
Fix any broken camping equipment
Provided they can be fixed, any items that are damaged should be fixed immediately. If you leave the damage alone, it could worse either during the trip or transporting. Purchase any necessary spare parts or camping accessories to patch up tears in fabric or malfunctioning appliances accordingly.
Store your camping equipment away securely
You can’t just throw camping equipment away anywhere and expect it to perform at its optimum level a year later. Storing camping equipment away takes careful consideration to keep it secure and strong without becoming an obstruction. Ideally, most camping gear should be stored in room temperature away from harsh contact of other items. Heat and moisture weakens fabric making it susceptible to damage. So resist the urge to store camping equipment in places like the garage or garden shed unless you can protect it from the elements.