We want everyone to love camping just as much as we do! That's why we don't want you to make any little mistakes that can make a huge impact on your experience. We admit that it's easy for things to go wrong, so we've compiled this list of common camping mistakes to avoid so your trip can go off without a hitch.
Choosing the wrong size tent
Despite the name, a 3 man tent can be a bit tight for 3 adults once you've got all your kit in there too. It can usually be wise to go at least 1 man up if you value your comfort. View our tents here.
Failing to pitch your tent beforehand
You should always pitch your tent in the garden at home before taking it away. Not only is it good practice for when you come to pitch it at the campsite, but it also gives you a chance to notice whether there are any broken or missing parts. You should also test any new equipment at home first, e.g. lights, stoves etc.
Not researching your location
Knowing which amenities the campsite offers can help you when it comes to packing. If you're not camping at a campsite you should make sure the destination you intend to pitch up at is suitable at that time of the year and check what kind of facilities they offer.
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. Arriving late will also guarantee you end up in the worst spot too; nobody wants to be next to the toilets or at the bottom of a hill.! Pitching near a lake can also cause issues - it may be picturesque but all the bugs and wildlife gather near water. Also, be careful of setting up under a tree, tree sap can stain and ruin your tent.
Don't keep leftover food uncovered
Recognising that comfort is important
A big mistake made by first time campers is going too basic. Forget the notion that camping in comfort doesn't make you a proper camper. Airbeds or camping beds can be the difference between a full night's sleep or a night of tossing and turning. View our sleeping essentials guide here.
Not choosing the right sleeping bag
A good night's sleep can make a difference in whether you have the time of your life camping under the stars. When selecting the right sleeping bag there are a few things to consider. To start with, have a think about the time of year you are camping, the temperature and the climate. For more details see our guide for tips when choosing the right sleeping bag.
Taking insufficient lighting
Just a small torch won't suffice. Camping lanterns are a great way to light up your whole tent. Whilst head torches are also ideal as they keep your hands free. Relying on your phone's light is very inadvisable as it will drain the battery in no time.
Relying on a campfire
A campfire is the quintessential component of camping for many folks. But they can take a while and be difficult to build up, which is bad news for hungry campers waiting to roast their sausages. We recommend using a camping stove for cooking. Also, a number of local authorities prohibit the lighting of campfires in certain areas and campsites, so check before you go.
Cooking in your tent
A surprisingly common mistake when it should be common sense that this is a bad idea! At best you'll ruin your tent with the condensation, at worst it can cause serious illness and even death! There have been some tragic cases where people have asphyxiated themselves using a stove inside tents for cooking or warmth.
Forgetting to take entertainment
And we're not just talking about entertainment for kids. Even the most action packed trips require some downtime and books and magazines are great for passing the time. Travel games are also a great way to spend time with the family. You should be careful when taking electronic devices such as tablets as they are prone to being sat on and susceptible to water damage in the rain.
Forgetting to have fun!
Don't get bogged down in the chores of your trip. Make sure you often take time to sit back and relax. Things can (and probably will) go wrong, but that's what makes them adventures. Camping trips rarely go off without a hitch, and that's part of the reason we love them!