Poor planning and a lack of appropriate equipment will often lead to unenjoyable camping experiences. However, making simple changes can really turn things around. We want everyone to enjoy camping as much as we do, so to help you out, we've highlighted some of the most common camping mistakes, along with tips for avoiding them.
1. Choosing the wrong size tent
Despite the name, a 3-person tent can be a bit tight for 3 adults by the time you've got all your kit in there too. It's usually a good idea to go one size up to give yourself a bit more storage space. Browse our tent range to find the right one for you.
For more deatiled expert advice, take a look at our handy tent buying guide.
2. Failing to pitch your tent beforehand
You should always pitch your tent in the garden at home before setting off on a camping trip. Not only is it good practice for when you arrive at the campsite, but it also gives you a chance to see whether there are any broken or missing parts. You should also use the opportunity to test out new equipment such as stoves or lanterns.
3. Not researching your destination
Knowing what amenities are on offer at your campsite will help you when deciding what to pack. If you're not staying at a campsite, you should make sure that your pitch location is suitable for the time of the year and make a note of nearby facilities. If you're wild camping, you should seek consent from the landowner before pitching up.
4. Arriving at the campsite too late
Pitching a tent in the dark is a nightmare; there's only so much your torches can do to help and frustration can lead to corners being cut. Arriving late will guarantee you end up in the worst spot too - nobody wants to be next to the toilets or at the bottom of a hill!
5. Leaving leftover food uncovered
If you leave discarded food lying around, you can quickly end up with unwanted guests in and around your tent. Keep birds, insects and rodents away by storing your leftovers securely in a cool box or dry bag.
6. Not recognising the importance of comfort
Don't feel that you're diluting the camping expereince by bringing home comforts with with you. Airbeds, sleeping mats and camp beds can be the difference between a full night's sleep and a night of tossing and turning.
7. Choosing the wrong sleeping bag
It can be hard to strike the right balance between hot and cold when you're sleeping in a tent, but maintaining a moderate body temperature is key for getting a good night's sleep. Temperatures will of course vary depending on the time of year, which is why manufacturers rate their sleeping bags based on the number of seasons they are suitable for. In the UK (where night-time temperatures are generally quite low), it's probably wise to go with a 4-season bag. However, you may also benefit from a 2 or 3-season version in the summer months if it's particularly warm inside your tent.
More information regarding the different types of sleeping bag available can be found in our sleeping bag buying guide.
8. Insufficient lighting
You'll need more than just a small torch.
Camping lanterns are a great way to light up your whole tent and often double-up as torches which is handy if you need to make your way to the toilet in the middle of the night.
Head torches are the best tool for navigating the darkness though because they illuminate your natural line of sight while allowing you to keep both hands free. Find the right one for you with the help of our comprehensive head torch buying guide.
One thing that you should definitely avoid is relying on your phone's torch function - it's not particularly effective or easy to use and will drain the battery in no time.
12. Cooking on a campfire
For many, the campfire is a quintessential component of camping. The problem is they can take a while to get going and won't always build up the kind of heat required for cooking anything other than marshmallows. Don't risk becoming ill from undercooked food, get yourself a campng stove.
If you do plan on having a campfire, check with your campsite first as not all of them permit them and those that do may have specific rules.
13. Forgetting to take entertainment
Even the most action-packed trips require some downtime. Books, magazines and travel games are all great ways to the pass the time, especially if it's raining outside.
If you're going camping with the kids, check out our dedicated blog for helpful tips for keeping them entertained.
14. Forgetting to relax and have fun!
Don't get bogged down in the chores of your trip. Make sure you take time to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself. Things can (and probably will) go wrong, but that's what makes camping exciting!
You can get everything you need for your next camping trip right here at Millets. Shop our range today for great deals on fantastic products!