Camping tips for families and first timers

6 Jul

Hi Guys

Thought Id pop a quick post on here with some camping tips for those going on their first camping trip (or perhaps you haven’t been in a while, it all floods back I promise)

I wanted to also try and factor in any ways to keep the costs down and save money, as many families try camping to provide the family with an affordable holiday.

This is aimed at those camping with a car, Id love to be able to help with backpacking but I’m yet to jump in that ship yet x

So here’s a few tips I’ve picked up and also some tips from fellow members of UNDER CANVAS

Green monster


For the tent itself

  • Check out your local selling sites for anyone selling a tent if your budget wont allow for a brand new one.
  • Join groups on facebook like the one featured above and others to gain valuable knowledge about tents and their quality and whether or not they are suited to your needs.
  • If you can, visit a tent specialist such as Go outdoors or Winfields and take a look at tents on display.
  • Dont just look at the tent itself but also check out the pack size and the types of poles. Air tents are the newest on the market but if you are limited to space they may not be your best option as the pack size tends to big above the average pack.
  • Steel, fibreglass or Air? Again each has its merit Steel for stability and wind , Air for overall speed and also the wind stability (but both weigh considerably more , or fibreglass for lightweight packs and overall use.
  • Lastly take a look at the suggested user size. Our tent is a 6 berth and we very comfortably fit 4 in with extra space. most campers will tell you to deduct 2 from whatever the manufacturer suggest to get a true size, but then Im sure we could fit 6 in ours if we really wanted to.

What gear should we take?

  • Sleeping bags should be of good quality, try and go with the best you can afford. I say this because there’s nothing worse then being cold in the middle of the night it will make you hate camping very quickly. You can always layer up with extra blankets if you need to.
  • Insulate yourself from the ground. Camping Sims are the most current for sleeping on but most will take an airbed. So remember to bring some foil blankets or those cheap picnic rugs with backing to provide the bed insulation from the cold air.
  • Something to cook on such as a an electric hot plate or gas cooker. We use Electric purely because its what we have. But I have used a single gas burner before but you must use outside the tent x
  • A washing up bowl, it sounds simple but its good for carrying all your pots to the sink, you can fill it with cold water to use as a cooler for bottles of juice etc.
  • Something to see with, so either a lantern or torch. Mid night walks to the toilet blocks WILL happen.
  • If you have little ones, you may want to consider a bucket or toilet if night trips are out of the question.
  • Don’t buy the mess tins. A tip another camper gave me was to just use your regular non stick pans because they are so much easier to clean then the mess tins. Saves on the time spent washing up.
  • Use the travel bottles to take small portions of washing up liquid, shower gel etc to save on space
  • A small first aid kit with the simple basics such as plasters, wipes, painkillers or liquid calpol sachets.
  • Flip flops or sandals for trips to the shower room, easy on and off and not so uncomfortable to get on when your feet are still a bit damp.
  • Baby wipes, please enlighten me with what they cant clean.
  • Duct tape, for just in case rips or repairs on the tent.

For the kids

  • Toys, books and a few crayons that are small and suitable to play inside the tent for those sudden changes in weather (because its the UK and it will happen)
  • My local pound shop sells kits for, yep you guessed it, a pound. A child with a kite will be happy for hours. At least my lad always was.
  • Create a foraging list or scavenger hunt.
  • Get the kids to fetch the water, it sounds silly but I have fond memories of waiting to go fetch more water from the pump.
  • Playing cards for older kids or UNO for those a bit younger. We love a game of UNO and have played it many times.
  • Comfort toy or blanket to help settle them away from home.
  • Older kiddos could be aloud a bit more freedom on the site with the help of a cheap mobile phone or walkie talkie. Allows them to explore the site and make new friends while still being contactable.

I hope these tips help. The list really can go on forever, with more and more items available to make your trip more like a home away from home.