How to Start Camping


Camping is an ideal way to have a low cost holiday, a weekend break, or an essential part of an adventure. Camping for beginners can be a lot of fun but it’s best to get prepared before your first trip to ensure maximum enjoyment.

When choosing a tent:-

  • Make sure it’s big enough for your needs including keeping your equipment dry.
  • Make sure it’s simple to erect
  • Have a few practice runs erecting the tent before going away.

Where to go Camping?

There are several different types of camping, the most popular being campsite camping, due to ease and accessibility. This is where you pay for a pitch (piece of land) and stay for the period of time you paid for. Basic campsites usually offer onsite facilities such as showers and toilets.  The better equipped may offer shared kitchens or BBQ’s.

It is worth noting that all campsites have rules with regards to group sizes or pets, so it is probably worth checking the rules in advance. 

Wild camping is when you are out on an adventure and you stop and pitch your tent for the night. With this in mind, you may only travel with lightweight gear and bare essentials, as everything will need to be carried.

BE AWARE wild camping is quite restricted in the UK, so it is worth checking with the national parks before heading out to ensure you aren't breaking any laws.

If you are in Wales, Snowdonia allows wild camping provided you have sought the land owner’s permission. The land owner may also suggest a good location.

To find the best camping spots in the UK click here.

Etiquette

  • If camping on a campsite, the site will have its own list of rules which you should read and obey.
  • As for wild camping it is up to you to be responsible and follow the Wild Camping Code (see below).

Wild Camping Code (Basic Rules)  

  • Always seek the landowner’s permission first, if asked to move on, do so quickly with no fuss.
  • Avoid staying in one location for too long (2 nights maximum)
  • Keep the party numbers small.
  • Pick a spot away from buildings, roads, paths and livestock.
  • Your equipment should blend into the landscape. 
  • Do not move rocks or boulders or dig drainage ditches.
  • All toilet waste (including urination) should be at least 100 feet away from any water sources.
  • Bury your waste.
  • Sanitary pads and tampons should be treated as normal rubbish and taken away with you.
  • Alcohol Gels should be used instead of soaps and shampoos.
  • Pitch as late as possible and leave early.
  • Use a cooking stove instead of a fire. Fires are banned in some locations.
  • If you must use a fire keep it small and away from trees and vegetation. There should be no trace after you leave.
  • Never leave any rubbish or equipment behind. If someone else has left something then take it with you.
  • Be quiet and respectful of your surroundings.

What do you need for camping?

There isn’t really any easy way around this, whether you are camping at a campsite or wild camping you need all the essentials to keep you warm dry and fed. It is worth writing a camping checklist or camping packing list to ensure you remember to take everything you need, If you are with your family you can even do a family camping checklist. The list can be a long one but here we will cover the essential items.

  • Tent 
  • Lantern (with fuel or spare batteries)
  • Gaffer tape
  • Sleeping bag (optional liners)
  • Air mattress or sleeping pads
  • Multi tool or knife
  • Water Container
  • Stove or BBQ
  • Gas or charcoal
  • Pots pans
  • Matches or Lighter
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Plates and bowls
  • Cutlery
  • Basin
  • Tin opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Cool box
  • First Aid Kit
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Insect repellant
  • Toiletries, whatever you need but should include, hand sanitizer, wet wipes and toilet roll etc
  • All Equipment needed for your chosen sport e.g Mountain bikes, Snowboards

What to wear?

It is a lot more fun if you manage to stay warm and dry and be prepared for temperatures dipping during the night. The following list is not exhaustive but gives a good indication of what you may need on you camping adventure.

  • Moisture wicking T-shirts and underwear
  • Quick drying pants
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Swimming Costume for showering or you may fancy some wild swimming.
  • Sleepwear
  • Insulated Jackets and Pants
  • Rain proof clothing
  • In camp sandals or booties

Once you have mastered camping you can now fit it around other outdoor activities you love, like mountain bikes or snowboarding!