As a kid, me and my family went camping all over Europe. And I still love it, although usually we now book a hotel or Airbnb when we travel. Which is a shame, because camping for me is such a great way to enjoy the outdoors and really slow down a bit. I strongly believe that camping is healthy for you, because you’re breathing in fresh air, don’t sit behind a desk all day and have a chance to get back in touch with nature.
Today, I’d like to share some of my best camping tips with you, and also show the non-camping lovers some glamorous ways to still go out into nature without having to crawl into a tent and fiddle around with an air mattress and sleeping bag. I promise you will change your mind about camping afterwards!
What we'll cover in this article
CAMPING TIPS AND TRICKS
Why You Should Go Camping
If you’ve never camped before, you’re probably wondering why you should even consider it. Is camping fun? What do I need to camp? Let me share some of my own experience first, before I give you my best camping tips for beginners.
1. Camping, first of all, is far cheaper than any other way of celebrating your holiday. If you don’t need a powered site, you pay even less. Making your own dinner on top of that, can really half the budget that you would normally spend in the same time! Most camping equipment can be bought for a good prices as well these days and if you go to a proper outdoor shop, you’ll get solid advice and quality products that will last you for years.
2. By camping you can be smack in the middle of nature. In Australia, for example, we drove right up to the beach with our car. And the next day, we parked in a quiet spot right in the forest. Perfect! This is not always something that hotels or other types of accommodation can offer.
3. I wrote an article before on the importance of silent places, which might be one of the reasons why I love camping so much as well. It is really quite healthy for you! For example, while I’m usually cold all the time at home, whenever I camp I seem to adjust to the weather very quickly and have no problem with cold at all. My whole body seems to react positively when I’m out and about and not closed in by brick walls and LED screens.
If you’re wondering how to camp and don’t know where to start, keep reading for my top 5 camping tips.
Driving right up to the beach to camp in Western Australia (read the blog)
Top 5 Camping Tips
If you don’t really know if camping is something for you, here are some of my best camping tips that will hopefully help you make the decision a bit easier for you:
1. Think about your own needs first – What is the reason you want to go camping? Do you want to make a road trip and stop wherever you feel like? Are you bringing the entire family and do you need specific facilities like entertainment and pools? Are you going camping on a hike to push your limits? Do you want to pitch a tent and stay somewhere for a few days, or set it up every day in a new spot? There really isn’t one ‘right way to camp’, so look at what your own preferences are and build the camping holiday that fits with your own travel style.
2. Pitch your tent wisely – Usually, you’ll get an assigned spot on a camp site, but it’s still wise to consider for a bit what way you’re facing your tent on that pitch. Think about where the wind comes from (you want that in the back of the tent, look around what other tents are facing), which part of the pitch is most level and soft, look up to see if there is nothing that could probably fall on your tent (from trees, etc.), if you want to make a fire (if that is allowed) you want to move the tent at least 10 meter away from that, etc.
3. Practice pitching your tent – There is no shame in practicing pitching your tent in advance of your camping trip, actually that is really quite smart. Not only will you look like a pro on the camp site (there are always people bringing out chairs and drinks to watch you, haha), you can check if there is anything missing right away as well. You don’t want to arrive and realize you have no tent pegs or poles with you!
4. Bring the right camping gear – Coming from a camping family, I grew up knowing the importance of bringing the right gear with you, but also to get creative and make your own camping hacks when there is some problem to fix. I will never leave without superglue, a sewing kit and duct-tape, for example :) Thinking about the 3 key elements of a successful camping trip when shopping: Sleeping, Cooking and Storage.
5. Visit a knowledgeable outdoor shop – Especially if you are camping for the first time and you’re not quite sure what to bring or do, having the advice from and expert can save you money and a lot of frustration. Whenever I buy expensive things, like tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and shoes, I go to an outdoor shop to ask for advice and to make sure I don’t end up with cheap products that will break halfway through my trip.
Glamping in a Vintage Airstream in Wales last year (read the blog)
From Camping… to Glamping!
Still not convinced camping is for you? No worries! In the last years, luxury camping, or often called “glamping” is the new trend! No matter if you’re travelling alone, as a couple or with family and/or friends, glamping provides you with an unusual accommodation with comfort, while you’re still able to enjoy a real outdoor vacation!
We’ve partnered up with the people over at Yelloh! Village, because they provide travellers with incredible camp-villages that are both in nature and comfortable to stay at. They offer 4 and 5 star campsites in their extensive network and are THE luxury outdoor hotels reference in France, Spain and Portugal.
Make sure to check out their website: www.yellohvillage.co.uk (their site is also available in French, Spanish, German, Italian and Dutch, scroll all the way to the bottom of the site to switch to your local website).
Some of their glamping options include:
Travelling to France, Spain and Portugal and looking for glamping options? Here is a fun selection from Yelloh! Village:
The Yelloh! Village glamping accommodation range from air-conditioned cottages to furnished and perfectly decorated tents, tree cabins, mobile homes for couples or all the family. Each campsite is unique, due to their settings as well as to their aquatic areas and the activities available.
With their glamping camp sites, you can combine the benefits of an authentic stay in the heart of the countryside, without the disadvantages, and with the comfort and luxury of a quality hotel. Sounds great, right? Have you been glamping before? Let me know!
Essential Camping Equipment
If you’ve decided that camping is something for you, the next step is to think about what to bring camping with you. And you have to be selective in how many camping supplies you’re going to bring, especially if you’re just travelling with a backpack and have to carry everything yourself.
When you have a car, it’s tempting to just throw everything and the kitchen sink into it as well, but think about the space you need to sitting in your car and tent comfortably as well.
Here are some items that I recommend bringing at all times:
- A Quality Tent
This is one of the most important buys for your camping trip, so you want to think it over well. Start by thinking exactly for what type of camping holiday you want to use it, what to weather conditions in your destination are and how many people you need to fit in it.
Consider the shape, material, poles and pegs you will need: tunnel tents are usually easier to pitch, geodesic tents are better for heavy wind conditions, soggy ground requires and extra groundsheet. Cotton tents are sturdy but heavy, polyester is light, but can become quite hot due to condensation, simple skewer pegs are weak but cheap, metal stakes are gripping better, but heavy and need a hammer, and so on and so forth.
Getting advice from an expert at your local outdoor shop is the best way to start!
Road Tripping and Camping with Family in East Australia (read the blog)
- A Good Sleeping Bag
Just like having a good tent, you really don’t want to cut yourself short on buying a quality sleeping bag. Being cold at night in a tent is the worst! There is a wide range of sleeping bags available these days, suited for every body type and climate. Check ratings, insulation material, lining fabric and the shape of the sleeping bag.
The ratings of a sleeping bag will tell you how the bag should perform in certain weather conditions, so that is a good start to look at. Of course, how colder the weather, the thicker and heavier the sleeping bag will get.
As you probably know, there are sleeping bags in various shapes, from envelope to mummy-style. This affects the bags ability to trap heat. I’m always a fan of the mummy bags, as you can put your pillow into it and really close it off around your head and be warmer, but not everyone will like this. Again, get advice on what is the best for your situation.
- A Pair of Flip Flops
I never, ever, travel without flip flops. Even if the destination isn’t even hot. I use them mostly when taking a shower in the public bathhouses. With some many happy campers walking around there, I don’t want to risk any germs or molds sticking to my feet, so I flip flop happily around the camp site. And it’s always easier to put these on after a damp shower than socks, anyways.
- A Cooler Box
This was our life-saver during Nick and my camping road trip through Australia. We filled it up with ice every time we had the chance, keeping our meat and dairy nice and fresh. It doesn’t have to be massive, but if you are travelling with a car, I would definitely bring at least one of about 25+ liter.
If you’re just backpacking, I suggest to see if you can buy a smaller, portable cooler bag. They come in many different sizes! I always had a small cooler bag the size of a lunchbox with me when I was solo backpacking around the world, just enough for on a long bus journey.
Download Your FREE Camping Checklist
No more asking yourself: ‘What do I need for camping?’. Here is the easy answer.
Download my Camping Checklist and make sure not to forget the most important things on your next camping trip.
Are you a fan of camping – or does it make you shiver just thinking about it alone? Let me know either way :) And if you’ve used the checklist, I’d love to hear it as well!
More Camping Tips & Survival Skills
Can’t get enough of camping? Here are some in-depth guides on brushing up your survival skills and tips on how to get the most out of your next camping trip:
Camping Cooking Tips
Not a chef in real-life and wondering how you’re going to feed yourself and your family while camping with limited resources? Here are some great resources for you:
- Backpacking Chef
- The Blog of Trail Cooking
- Dutch Oven Mania
- Dutch Oven Madness!
- Epicurious Camping Recipes
- One Sweet Appetite Camping Recipes
- Backpacking Recipes
Here are some great songs you can listen, or even better: sing along to, during your next camping trip:
- The 50 greatest campfire songs of all time (matadornetwork.com)
Camping Pinterest Boards
Here are some great camping-related Pinterest boards & accounts that I found:
- Yelloh! Village
- The Touring Camper
- Camping Guide
- Camp Chef
- Camping Gear
- Camping with Style
- Camping World
- Thrifty Outdoors Man
- Let’s Camp S’more
- Survival Camping World
- Hiker Track
- Inspired Camping
- The Camp Gal
- Glamping Getaway
- Millie’s Guide to Glamping
- Glamping Hub
Disclaimer: This post was created in collaboration with Yelloh! Village. All words and opinions are 100% our own, as always!