Tent reviews will help with your buying decision but follow these camping tips to ensure fun times in the great outdoors
Have you had a trial run with your new camping tent?
Modern family size tents, like the Swiss Gear Montreaux, are designed to make your camping experience stress free.
If you are a novice, or want a present to give a young inexperienced camper, check out my look at this cheap easy set up tent for beginners.
But things can go wrong during manufacture or packaging, so first things first, and check to see you have received what you paid for.
- Unpack your purchase and make sure that all the components, like the poles and zippers are included.
- You have probably been made aware that re-packing a tent into its carry bag is going to be difficult the first time.
- So don’t get tempted to take your neatly packed tent to the campsite just to save a little inconvenience.
- This is tempting fate and could lead to a miserable first camping experience.
- Please give the tent a test run in your backyard, or that of a friend if you live in an apartment. No excuses!
- Most family camping tents are easy to set up, just take the time to read the instructions when you are chilled out.
- It’s a good idea to have a camp out in the yard overnight. The kids will love it.
- Then practise taking it down and stowing it away.
- This way you can also test out your accessories, like sleeping bags, lanterns, air beds etc.
A good camping tip for beginners is to be conservative when choosing your first camping destination
Take care of yourself and don’t rub shoulders with the wildlife on your first family camping adventure.
- My advice would be to set up camp fairly close to home in an established camping ground. If the first trip turns out to be a disaster because of your inexperience, a quick trip home might be necessary to retrieve some equipment you forgot.
- Being close to home might calm the nerves of children who are anxious being away from the comforts of home for the first time.
- It also is wise to choose a camping ground which has ready access for vehicles.
- These sites are very popular, so phone ahead to see if there are vacancies. Play it safe and make a reservation.
- Clarify the camping ground’s fees and charges.
- Ask about restrictions. Can you bring a pet? Are you allowed to light a campfire?
- Arrive on site well before dark and give yourself plenty of time to explore the campsite.
- Locate all the available facilities and avoid a blind rush to find the toilets at night.
- Similarly, take note of any hazards that might bring some grief after dark. Look out for trip ups such as tree roots, low branches, rocks or a neighbor’s guy ropes and tent pegs.
Foremost among all the camping tips and tricks is taking time to plan your tent position.
Where you decide to set up your tent is very important and could make or
break your first camping experience.
- If possible, erect your camping tent on a high, rather than lowest section of ground available.
- Or allow for sufficient drainage by pitching on a slight slope. Sleep with your feet in the downhill position.
- Allow for enough room to build a fire or set up other types of cooking equipment sufficiently clear of the tent. This way you avoid damage to your new tent from sparks or radiant heat.
- For your sleeping comfort, make sure the area is clear of stones, exposed tree roots and sharp objects.
- Another good camping guide is to invest in a tarpaulin to put under your tent for added protection and comfort.
- Before piching your tent, take the trouble to find out the direction of the prevailing wind. Then ensure the entry faces away from the wind.
- Don’t hesitate to ask other campers if you are unsure of the wind situation. You benefit from their experience and might make new friends.
- Check the long range weather forecast before committing to your first camping trip. Cancel your plans if the weather is likely to turn nasty.
- Remember to avoid pitching the tent directly under trees. At worst, falling branches are a hazard and, at best, tree sap a nuisance.
- This might sound obvious, but don’t pitch your tent on an ant nest. I’ve done it when pitching in the dark and suffered the consequences.
Thanks to Örlygur for the great image
Camping tips and tricks for securely setting up your tent.
You should have gained some experience when you pitched your tent in the backyard. At the very least, ensure to bring along the set up instructions.
- The tent zippers are crucial to keeping out the elements (and stray critters). Go easy on them and never use force.
- When pegging your tent, keep all the zips closed. Cross peg doorway zips to reduce stress on the teeth.
- Hammer the pegs into the earth on an angle.
- Make sure you bring an adequate hammer
- Don’t over do it when tightening the guy ropes.
- Peg the ropes in line with the seams where practical to do so.
- Ensure that the fly of your tent is pegged out tight enough. This might make a big difference if you encounter some heavy rain.
- Don’t let the tarp, or groundsheet poke out from under the tent. Otherwise water could puddle under the tent.
- If the manufacturer has not sealed the seams, do it yourself before you strike wet weather.
- Always include extra tent pegs, preferably sturdier and longer ones than those included with your tent purchase. They are not expensive.
A camping guide for keeping comfortable inside the tent.
You have probably invested in quality sleeping bags and mattresses, but it’s the small things that matter.
- Without being obsessive, avoid contact with the tent material with your body or gear stored within the tent. This could cause water seepage through material.
- Reduce the incidence of condensation inside the tent. This is not leakage, but the result of warm air coming into contact with the cooler air outside the tent material.
- Avoid cooking inside and you reduce the chance of those annoying drops forming on the tent wall or ceiling.
- Resist eating, or even snacking in the tent. This will encourage insects and even entice rodents or other scavenging animals to share your space.
- If you need to store food inside the tent, ensure it is in sealed containers.
- Use your vehicle as a storeroom, rather than the tent. You will appreciate the room to move.
- Don’t wear your shoes in the sleeping section of the tent. Saves a lot of cleaning later.
- Take a broom with you. You’ll need it.
- Keep a good quality lantern, or torch inside with an adequate supply of fresh batteries. Nothing worse than late night drama with the family reduced to crawling around in the dark.
- Stick to the most popular tents when buying your first tent. Check some out at this link, tent reviews and buying guide.
Look after your health and safety.
Campfires and unexpected encounters with wildlife and noxious plants are high on the list of hazards for the beginner camper.
- Nothing beats sitting around the campfire at night, but remain cautious, especially if there are children
around. Keep an eye on flying embers.
- Never leave a fire unattended and ensure that there is sufficient water available to douse escaping embers.
- A shovel to access sandy soil will also help in an emergency.
- Supervise children who are eating campfire cooking for the first time. It will be very hot hot straight off the fire.
- Ensure proper insulation from the ground when sleeping. Don’t just rely on the sleeping bag, but invest in a foam or self-inflating mattress.
- Always check your shoes before putting them back on in the morning.
- Pack at least a basic first aid kit.
- Take your own safe supply of drinking water.
- Pack warm clothes even if you are expecting conditions to stay pleasant. Things can change.
- Ensure that new footwear, particularly hiking boots, are worn in before setting off on your camping trip.
- Don’t forget the toilet paper.
Thanks to Mintyboy for the fire pic
As you can see from the list, most camping tips and tricks come down to plain common sense.
Common courtesy goes a long way too. Remember when you pack up to leave, ensure to leave the scene as you found it.
Put out the campfire and dispose of your trash responsibly.
If your tent and sleeping bags have become wet, delay your departure long enought to let them dry.
Spread them out to dry properly when you are home to avoid mould or mildew.
Make a check-list and invite someone with experience to join you before heading out for the first time.
Come up with your own ideas of what to take in the way of food and cutlery.
For example, you could pre-cook and pack ahead of your trip or rely on canned and dehydrated food.
These lists could get endless, so concentrate first on the basics.
Thanks Zenilorac for the wet look pic.
If you’re ready for the great outdoors, www.tentreviewshq.org will guide you to the most suitable, easy to set up tent to buy. But you will enjoy your new purchase a whole lot more by building up a handy list of camping tips and tricks to put on your checklist.
Filed under: Camping Guide
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