Whether you’re a novice camper or you’ve pitched a tent more times than you’ve had hot dinners, adding some nifty camping hacks to your know-how will make your camping trip as sweet as your marshmallow-covered fingers.
Get the right gear
- Get the right sized tent
If you weren’t already aware, a 2-person tent does not sleep two adults unless you have zero gear with you. Get a tent that is at least one size up. Two is better.
- Get a good air mattress
If you have room, a smart move is to take a high-quality air mattress. It makes for a much, much better night’s sleep. Some mattresses have a handy built-in pump.
- Take a foldable water carrier
To save running back and forth to the nearest water source, get yourself a collapsible container that holds a good few litres of water.
- Stay warm with a good sleeping bag
A good sleeping bag should keep you snuggly warm all night. 2-season to 4-season sleeping bags are best in the UK, depending on what time of year you decide to camp.
- Practice pitching your tent in advance
Know how to pitch your tent when you arrive so you can avoid rookie errors like realising you need an extra pair of hands, or that the poles are missing.
And even if you’ve put up your tent hundreds of times, it’s worth doing a practice pitch to make sure there is no damage and that it doesn’t need re-waterproofing. A leaking roof is going to make sleeping out in nature much less appealing…
- Get there early and put your tent up and get your bed ready first
When you arrive at your campsite, it can be tempting to head off on a walk (if you’re really wholesome), or to the pub (if you’re really thirsty)! This is asking for at least some minor trouble when you get back and you still have to pitch your tent. Possibly in the dark.
Get the pitching out of the way before you play!
- Bring earplugs
Ahhhh, the sound of the countryside. So quiet! Except for the cows. And insects. And roosters. And person snoring like a jackhammer in the next tent… You get the picture. Bring some earplugs.
- Bring a torch
Campsites. They’re dark. We know you know that. And we know that you know you need a torch. Is this a camping hack? Probably not. But having spent a camping trip fumbling around with a dying phone’s torch, we thought it would be nice to remind you.
- Always make sure you put your tent away clean and dry
After you get back from a camping trip, the last thing you want to do is set your tent up again and clean it. It’s not fun. But it’s more fun than unpacking a mouldy tent before your next camping trip. (See #1!)
- Pick your destination so you don’t arrive late and, in the dark,
Driving from Birmingham to Pembrokeshire on a Friday night might seem like a marvellous plan. We’ll get the most out of the weekend, you exclaim! But do you really want to fumble around in the dark trying to set your tent up in the middle of the night after a long journey? Probably not. So, it’s worth taking that into consideration before you plan your trip.
Pick the right spot to pitch
- Camp on high ground to avoid puddles
Waking up in a puddle is not the best way to start the day. (Well, duh). Don’t head for the sheltered looking spot at the bottom of a hill unless you want to risk getting very soggy!
If you want some shelter from the wind, try pitching up near some hedges. Avoid trees because they’re a lightning risk. And they’re likely to drip on you too.
- Camp on flat ground if you can
Unless you happen to enjoy spending all night sliding down your tent.
Deck out your tent and your campsite
- Pick up foam floor tiles to make a neat and comfy floor
And for bonus points, they make you feel smug for being such a luxurious camper.
- Get some hanging organisers to keep your clothes and cooking stuff organised
- Mark your guy ropes so you don’t trip over them
You can buy neon guy ropes if your tent doesn’t have them. Glow-in-the-dark ropes exist but they aren’t great for overcast days. Which means, sadly, they are not Wales-proof!
You can also use ‘pool noodles’ by slitting them down the middle and slotting them over the top of their ropes.
- Put solar lights around the tent
Another way to stop you faceplanting the floor in the night if you have the space.
- Keep a shoe box in the door to stop you dragging dirt all around the tent
Very handy if you don’t have a roomy porch on your tent.
- Take a microfibre towel
Microfibre towels are compact, fast-drying and lightweight, making them the perfect towel to camp with.
- Harness the warmth of USB
USB-waistcoats, socks and gloves are a thing! (We live in the future). They can be plugged into power banks to keep you nice and toasty. Just remember not to fall asleep in them or get them wet.
Food and Drink
- Store spices in old tic tac boxes
This is another great way of keeping your camping grub interesting without making a big smelly mess!
Entertain the kids
- Give kids a scavenger hunt
If you want some peace or you need to get your tent up, giving kids a scavenger hunt is a good way to keep them occupied and let them explore the land around you.
Once you camp-hack, you won’t go back! Have you tried any of these? Do you have any other camping hacks?
If you fancy camping somewhere a bit different, we have spaces available for (semi) wild camping in our alpaca field at Sweet Home Alpaca. The alpacas may not be able to help you put your tent up, but they make for a special sight when you open your tent door in a morning!
Get in touch to find out more!