Top tips for your family camping trip from Cotswold Outdoor
25% of people enjoy camping because it allows them to spend more quality time with their family. Half also say they can create longer lasting memories with a camping trip than on a beach holiday or city break.
Not only is camping a cheaper alternative to traditional holidays abroad but it’s also a great activity for the whole family to enjoy this summer.
Helen Glover MBE, Cotswold Outdoor Ambassador and Double-Olympic Champion, said: “A weekend of camping with my family is the ultimate getaway for me. It really allows us to re-connect with nature and get away from all the distractions that modern-day life can bring.
“I also love the fact that you don’t have to go far to get to some of the most beautiful destinations the UK has to offer. Our best and most exciting adventures have been close to home. Reducing travel is not only better for the environment but it also develops a renewed appreciation for what’s right on our doorstep.”
That’s why Cotswold Outdoor are sharing tips and advice on how to have a successful family camping trip this summer. One of their in-store experts, Mark Skelton, explains:
Plan your stay:
To start you need to think about where you’re going. The good news is there are loads of family-friendly camping spots across the UK. Before you set off, make sure you check the weather forecast so you can plan what kit you’ll need and aim to arrive at your campsite before dark, as that will make setting up a lot easier.
Get the right kit:
Next you need to look at what kit and equipment you need to take.
The most important piece of your camping kit is your tent. The first thing you need to think about how much space you’ll need. If you’re a family of four, a four-man tent might seem like the obvious option, but bear in mind that this size tent is only designed for four people, not four people and all their kit. Opting for a slightly larger tent might ensure you have a more comfortable stay.
It is also a good idea to practice setting up your tent in your garden beforehand, so you feel confident pitching it when you arrive at the campsite.
Another camping kit staple is the sleeping bag. When choosing the right sleeping bag, think about the season, the temperature and conditions you’ll be camping in and whether you want to go for down or synthetic. Down sleeping bags tend to be slightly warmer and pack down smaller, but lose all their insulating properties if they get wet. So, if you think there’s a chance that your sleeping bag might get wet during your trip, a synthetic one may be a better option.
A sleeping mat or airbed can make all the difference in ensuring a good night’s sleep too.
Having somewhere to sit down and eat or spend time as a family can also make for a more enjoyable camping trip. You could go all out and bring a table and chairs or opt for a picnic mat. When it comes to camping furniture, it’s a matter of personal preference.
You will also need to think about how you’ll be cooking. A camping stove is a fantastic option to consider, just look for a stove that is large enough for your needs and make sure you pack enough fuel for your trip. A portable BBQ is another great option, although a stove is a lot more versatile and family-friendly.
Once you’ve figured out how you’re going to cook, you then need to ensure you have all the utensils, cutlery, plates, bowls and cups you need (one set per person should be enough), as well as any saucepans or frying pans. A coolbox is perfect for storing your food and drinks – and don’t forget a washing-up bowl and a sponge.
If you’re looking for some camping meal inspiration, the experts at Cotswold Outdoor have shared their favourite recipes.
The beauty of camping is that you can escape the everyday and truly switch off – but that does mean that you’ll need to bring your own lighting. Having a torch or headtorch to take with you for a night time toilet dash is a must, and lanterns that you can hang up inside your tent are also useful.
Other things to consider
As well as water-resistant jackets, boots and clothing, some other things to consider are sun cream, insect repellent, charging banks and a first aid kit.
The important thing to remember is to also take care of your kit to ensure that it continues to last for all your adventures to come.
Think about your activities:
Camping is a great way to get the family outdoors, off their screens and spending time with each other.
Children can often get restless, so pack plenty of games and activities for them – frisbees, balls and cards can often go down well.
Make the most of your time somewhere new and explore your surroundings – mountain treks, woodland walks, and seaside escapes can be particularly exciting.
Mark added: “Camping is such a fantastic way to connect to nature and those around us, it is a team activity that can really bring everyone closer.
“If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to planning your trip or are unsure on what equipment you need, you can always pop into your local Cotswold Outdoor store, where one of our experts will be on hand to help you find the best products suited to your needs.”
Cotswold Outdoor are passionate about helping everyone pursue lasting adventures outdoors. That’s why their in-store experts are on hand to offer tips and advice for all levels of campers, so that everyone gets the right kit for their needs and knows how to use it.
For more information and expert advice or to find your nearest Cotswold Outdoor store, visit www.cotswoldoutdoor.com