Camping for beginners: common mistakes camping newbies can avoid
Camping for the first time this year? This post is for you camping newbies who are keen to dip a toe in the world of outdoor holidays but don’t want to make classic bo bos. I’ve been doing camping holidays since day dot, so here’s my guide to camping for beginners to help you avoid common mistakes.
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Buying a tent that’s too small
Unless you are camping in Europe, and even if you are, there’s no guarantee of sunshine. Make sure you have indoor living space as well as sleeping space.
We usually go for a tent that sleeps two more people than will use it.
When you are camping with kids it’s also a good idea to get a tent with a black out sleeping area.
Camping can be a chilly business at night, even in the summer. Layered clothing is a must.
Get three season sleeping bags. Mummy-style sleeping bags will keep kids snug.
Also bear in mind that SIMs and camping beds will keep you warmer than air beds.
Cooking on a disposable BBQ
Aside from being bad for the environment and a cause of countryside fires, disposable barbecues burn food really easily.
Get a small gas camping stove for less than £20 or, even better, get something like the CampinGaz Party Grill which will boil a kettle, cook a pizza and barbecue.
Using basic pegs
The pegs that come with new tents are not much use unless you are pitching on soft ground.
Buy rock pegs too so you are prepared for all kinds of pitches.
Want to look like a pro when you pitch up for the first time. Read more of my guides to camping for beginners.
Not checking your tent
If you’ve bought a new tent, put it up at home if you have the space to check it has come with all the poles. If you can’t put it up at least unpack it to check for all the parts.
If you have bought a secondhand tent this also gives you the opportunity to re-waterproof it. Even if it was only used last season it may need a treatment. It’s best to do it before your first trip.
We use Fabsil*.
Turning up without a booking
In 2020 in particular you need to book your campsite in advance.
Reduced capacity and stricter rules on social distancing means sites that may have taken people on spec in previous years will need to watch their numbers.
Plus with the number of people taking a staycation rather than flying abroad pitches will be even more limited.
Here’s what to expect on UK campsites this season.
More camping for beginners tips
For all my camping packing lists, tips and recommended sites take a look at my big guide to camping with kids.
If you are thinking of camping for the first time this year I have event more posts you might like to read for tips, advice and packing lists:
- What to pack for a family camping holiday
- Caravan equipment checklist
- Our full guide to caravanning with kids
- Caravan beds for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers
- What to pack for caravan holidays with babies
- Essentials for caravanning with a toddler
- Tips for first time caravanners
- Camping games
- What’s the difference between a caravan and camper van?
- Why get a camping trailer?
- Top tips for buying a camper van
- How do you find a camper van to convert
- What to pack for a camper van holiday
- Glamping packing list
- Packing list for a mobile home holiday
If you are new to camping let me know if you have any questions not answered here. And if you are a pro, what would you add to this guide to camping for beginners?
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links marked with *. If you click on one of these and make a purchase I may earn some commission. This does not affect the price you pay.
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