First time camping checklist

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First time camping checklist

Camping is one of the most enjoyable activities that a family can take part in and getting more popular due to the cost of foreign holidays.   It can bring a family closer together to nature where children can learn important things about the environment and outdoors. 
 
If you decide that camping is for you, you will need to consider a few things before jumping in the car and heading to the nearest campsite.
 
If you’ve never been camping before and have no equipment, it may be worth seeing if you can borrow the basic equipment to test before jumping in with a large purchase of a tent etc as a new set up can be expensive.  This way, you can try before you buy and get experience of what items are necessary.
 
To get you started, I have created my camping checklist of things you need to consider taking with you or buying:
 
·         Tent – research the tents available before buying as there are so many different styles on the market including different poles to materials, styles and berths.  I choose to buy a larger berth than we needed to give us more space,
·         Tent Accessories – you can buy many extras for your tent including awning (to give you an extra living space and could be a cheaper alternative than a larger tent), porch (to give you an under cover outdoor space), pods (extra rooms for some tents), footprint (essential to protect you tent underneath), carpet (for warmth and comfort)
·         Accessories – extra tent pegs, mallet, strong tape (for emergency repairs), lighting (this can be as basic as torches or battery operated lanterns or special tent lighting with electric hook up).
·         Sleeping – consider what you will sleep on for a comfortable night.  This can be camp bed, airbed, self inflating mats, having something underneath your bed will help keep you war,.  You will also need covers, whether it is a sleeping bag or duvet and pillow.  Also consider sleepwear, night time can get cold so take something to keep you warm, including socks and a hat if necessary.st
·         Furniture – this is not a necessary as you can sit on the floor, but if you wish, you can buy camping chairs, inflatable furniture and tables for comfort.
·         Toilet – a camping toilet should be considered if you have children as its not fun trekking to the camp toilet in the middle of the night. 
·         Cooking – if you are wanting to stay on budget, you may take your own food and cook each day.  You need to consider if the weather is poor, do you have somewhere undercover to cook?  You can purchase small portable cookers that don’t take up too much room but consider if you are camping/cooking for a large family, you may need to consider a larger cooker ie 2 rings or more.  A good tip is to prepare as much before you go, pack into Tupperware tubs and store in a cool box.  You’ll have less cooking time and save on gas.  You can also choose to cook everything on a BBQ but bear in mind you will need to buy coals or wood.  Would portable BBQs be cheaper?  If you are cooking, you’ll need pots, pans, kettle, cups, plates and crockery. 
·         Black bags / carry bags – very useful for rubbish or putting dirty pots into.
·         Wet wipes/ baby wipes – great for cleaning hands and tables, spillages.

Finally, enjoy the fresh air of the outdoors.

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