There’s something so quintessentially British about packing up the car and hitting the open road for a weekend in the countryside.
Sure, the not-so-great British weather might try to put a dampener on things, but with some handy hacks and clever how-tos you can make sure you keep everyone a happy camper.
No one expects tents to be the lap of luxury, but there’s no need to spend sleepless nights on cold ground with a rock in your back. You can forego pricey camping mats by using interlocking foam mats or even yoga mats for a bit of extra padding and insulation.
Even on dry days, shoes in the tent is a no-no; remember, you’ll be sleeping on whatever you walk in! Take off your shoes at the door and pop them into a plastic shower cap; this way you’ll keep your shoes free of the morning dew, and the tent floor clean and dry!
It doesn’t have to be lights on when the sun goes down. Make a lantern out of a plastic milk carton and head torch by simply filling the carton with water and wrap your head torch around it, pointing inwards.
A clothes line is a useful piece of kit to keep in your camping arsenal, whatever the weather. String can double up as a clothes line or if you want to bypass the pegs, pick up a pegless one!
There’s an adage that says ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing’, and this can be extended to kit as well. There’s no telling what weather might do from day to day, so prepare for the worst, and hope for the best!
No matter how warm the day is, there’ll likely be a nip in the air at night and a chilly dew first thing in the morning.
If you need a little extra help warming up, simply fill your plastic water bottle with hot water, and pop it inside a sock; you’ll have your own DIY hot water bottle! Put it in your sleeping bag to heat it up before getting in.
To ease the transition from your toasty sleeping bag to your next day clothes, if you’ve got room, keep the clothes inside the sleeping bag with you.
A tarp (or two) is a must-have if there’s a chance of rain on the horizon. Cheap, light, and easy to pack, tarps can be laid in front of your tent so you can kick off your shoes without getting your feet wet or trudging dirt into the tent, or strung up between trees to create a canopy if it does start raining, perfect for keeping you dry whilst cooking!
One of the best things about camping is cooking on a barbeque. Arrive at the campsite with the ultimate ready-meal by doing your veg-chopping and meat-marinating before you leave the house, meaning all you need to do is stoke up the fire!
And don’t forget about breakfast! With a little preparation, you can rustle up a hearty breakfast with zero effort, and no worrying about how to pack the eggs!
For scrambled eggs, before you hit the road mix together the amount you want in a bowl, add your seasoning, then pour into an empty plastic bottle. In the morning, give the bottle a shake then empty out into a sizzling pan with a knob of butter and cook until fluffy. Just add bacon, sausage and beans for a new take on ‘cooked breakfast’!
Pack your food in separate tupperware tubs, and store in a cool box. If you’re going away for a couple of days, freeze large bottles of water and add them to your cool box - it will keep the contents cool for longer and you can drink the water when the melts!
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