Within the last two years we’ve seen a massive rise in the number of people going camping, so we’ve created a blog with some tips for those who are new to camping.
Types of camping
There are a variety of ways that you can go camping and they are all quite different so if you’re a first time camper in any of these categories, you may have to do things slightly differently depending on the type of camping you want to experience.
Campsite Camping – Campsite Camping is the most common type of camping. You pay for a pitch at a campsite of your choosing for a set amount of time. Campsite camping allows you to have your own space for you to pitch up your tent and, if the campsite allows, your campervan and awning as well. Make sure to check out all of the campsite rules that you are staying at before you book so that you know you’re happy with the campsite.
There are also a range of campsites that might better suit your needs, such as campsites that allow pets, have facilities for you to use, are EHU compatible for on-site electricity, as well as some family-friendly campsites that have playgrounds and on-site entertainment to keep your kids occupied.
Festival Camping – Festival camping is incredibly popular across Europe and if you’re starting out as a festival camper, there are some things you will need to know. Most festival campsites don’t allow you to book a specific pitch, instead you can book a specific area at a festival where you would like to set your tent up, but you might run the risk of having a pretty small space so make sure you arrive early to get the best location.
Don’t forget, you will most likely have to carry all of your camping gear from your car to your chosen campsite, which can be quite a distance to travel. We would recommend ensuring that there is a large number of you carrying your kit, or to invest in a trolley which you can use to load up and transport your kit safely.
It’s important to consider the size of the tent you are buying as well when you are going festival camping. If you’re going to a festival as a group of 3 or less, you could get away with a pretty small tent to stay in that is relatively cheap to buy and set up. However, it’s important to consider the size of your group before you invest in your tent, as you may be able to get a larger, good quality tent which you can split the cost on. Make sure to check the festival’s camping rules first to ensure that the size of your tent is in line with what you are allowed to have.
Wild Camping – Wild camping sounds pretty straight forward, it is essentially pitching up your tent in the wild. However, wild camping isn’t as simple as it seems. You need to make sure that if you’re going wild camping you check to see if the area you would like to go allows this and whether you need permission. A lot of areas in the UK do not allow wild campers so it is important that you find out where you can go.
Wild camping is a great experience but you should also be aware of how to be safe when wild camping. We know that a lot of our customers like to go solo wild camping, so it is important for you to make sure that you have equipment to ensure your safety. We recommend a first aid kit, compass, map and anything that might be able to signal a loud noise in case you are stuck somewhere and you cannot get phone service.
Wild camping is known as ‘back to the basics’ due to having to carry everything you can take with you. Make sure that you pack only the essential items with you to ensure you’re carrying the lightest load possible. A massive part of wild camping is leaving no trace behind, you should always leave your pitch exactly as you found it to protect the environment and area.
Glamping – Glamping has changed its meaning over the years, it used to be classed as campervans and caravans, however in recent years it has moved to a more luxurious side of camping such as booking into pre-pitched sites or camping in Yurts and Teepees. Glamping is a great idea for those of you who are new to camping and want a touch of luxury while you slowly immerse yourself into the camping experience.
Choosing your destination
Choosing your camping destination is quite a tricky thing to do, mainly because there are so many amazing destinations to choose from!
If you’re thinking of camping at a festival, it’s a matter of picking the best festival for you! This will heavily depend on the type of line up at the festivals you’re interested in. After choosing the festival you would like to attend there may be different types of campsites at that festival, so make sure to choose the type of campsite that best suits your wants and needs.
If you’re interested in campsite camping, a lot of campsites are registered on camping directories such as Trip Advisor where you can check out images and reviews of the campsites and compare them to others. Of course you can always go directly to the campsite’s website where you can look at what they offer in greater detail.
If you’re going wild camping, you need to consider the rules and regulations of where you can and can’t go. In the UK for example, the only legal area to go wild camping is Scotland. However, you may be able to ask land owners at other destinations if you can wild camp on their land. As we said previously, wild camping is all about leaving no trace behind, so you need to ensure that where you choose to wild camp is suitable for this as well as adhering to rules.
Choosing your Tent
Choosing your tent can be incredibly overwhelming especially if you have no idea what a lot of the camping terminology means. At OLPRO we’ve devised a camping terminology blog that will help you understand a lot of terminology that you may need to know. We also have made choosing a tent a lot easier for you with our website offering 1-3, 4-6 and 7-8 berth tents to help refine your search.
Picking your tent does rely heavily on the type of camping you are doing. For example if you’re camping at a campsite, we would recommend bigger tents that give you space for sleeping as well as living. If you’re wild camping, you want to invest in a lightweight tent that is easy to pack away. If you’re festival camping, we’d recommend a pop up tent that is quick and easy to put up and down, but still has room for sleeping and living.
When choosing your tent you do need to be mindful of the pitch size at your chosen campsite, so make sure to check this when you’re choosing your campsite as you want to ensure you choose the best sized tent for you that will fit your campsite pitch.
Packing for Camping
We know how hard it can be packing for any trip away as most people tend to overpack with things that they ‘might’ need but they never do. At OLPRO we’ve put together our own camping equipment checklist to help you limit down the amount of equipment and other items that you may take away with you.
What to do before you go away
Now you may have thought that you were done with the preparation for your camping trip, however, we have some tips for you to do before you go away:
- Check your Tent or Awning – if you can pitch up your Tent or Awning before going away it is advised. We say this because it’s always good to check your equipment works well ahead of going away in case there are any faults. We also advise this because it will save you time when pitching up when you get to your campsite. It also gives you a chance to familiarise yourself with your kit so you can have an easy set up on arrival.
- Check in to your campsite (online or by phone) and check with the campsite if there is anything you need to know upon arrival such as parking or any events/entertainment that may be going on whilst you’re there.
- Learn about the local area – We would recommend learning the local area so that you can gather your bearings and plan your trip with things you’d like to do. We would advise checking in with your campsite about any hiking trails or picturesque locations that they recommend you visit.
- Plan your meals – Planning your meals is a great thing to do before you go away. It gives you the time to prep any food you want to take with you as well as letting you prepare for what you might need to buy whilst away. If you’re stuck on what food to cook whilst away, we have a camping cookbook which is available for purchase on Amazon Kindle for just €3.00.
What to do when you are camping
- The first thing to do when you go away camping is to set up your Tent or Awning. Make sure that your Tent and Awning are set up properly following the instructions.
- Take a walk around your campsite and its facilities to familiarise yourself with where you’re staying.
- Go to the campsite information centre if there is one to get any leaflets on activities locally, as well as for any information you should know about whilst you are staying.
- Finally, relax and enjoy your camping trip!
What to do when you leave
When you leave your campsite, no matter what type of camping you are doing, you should:
- Pack up your Tent or Awning properly. If you’re festival camping and you do not want to keep your tent, there are tent recycling points at certain festivals. Ensure that you look into this so that you can recycle your tent, or take it home with you and recycle it appropriately. It’s important to leave no trace when camping to maintain and protect the environment.