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FAMILY CAMPING ESSENTIAL TIPS

By Cotswold Outdoor
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These are our top tips for camping with kids (and some easy mistakes to avoid) for ensuring you have the family camping trip you’ve always dreamed of this summer.

FIRST TIME? FIND SOMEWHERE LOCAL

Most first time campers find that a single night out on an organised campsite not too far from home is a safer bet than a long and stressful drive to a remote campsite – leaving you tired before your adventure has even begun.

Check out your local campsites first, you never know you might discover a local beauty spot you never knew existed! If you fancy venturing out once you’re there its worth having a map of the area to hand.

CHECK THE FORECAST

Whether you’re a complete beginner or well-seasoned family campers, we’d advise checking the weather forecast so you can pack accordingly. If you are a complete beginner and the forecast suggests anything other than perfect weather, you may want to consider postponing your trip.

However, if you feeling adventurous and want to brave the best of the British weather then our top tips on Camping In Wet Weather may come in handy.

LEAVE PLENTY OF TIME

Make sure you arrive at the campsite with at least a few hours of daylight to spare – pitching your tent in the dark particularly with kids is neither fun, nor easy! (Always worth packing a head torch if you know you’re arriving after dark).

Shop Headtorches & Lanterns »

PRACTISE PITCHING BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Being able to pitch your tent quickly and efficiently will make the whole procedure on the actual day so much easier. Why not practise in your back garden or in a local park before your trip? Each tent comes with pitching instructions and we’ve got plenty of tent pitching videos on our YouTube channel so you can get the gist of it before you go. Don’t forget to pack a mallet, spare pegs and guylines, you don’t want to get caught short miles away from a shop that sells camping equipment.

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CHECK YOUR GUYLINES

Now, you know how to put the tent up, you’ve arrived at the campsite with plenty of daylight to spare, and the weather is fine. What can go wrong? Well, it’s worth ensuring that the tent’s guylines are properly adjusted so that the flysheet is taut, just in case the wind picks up and the heavens open at 2am. The last thing you want is to have to leave the warmth of your sleeping bag to adjust the guylines in the pouring rain.

HAVE WATER READY

Prepare for your morning tea and coffee by keeping water close by – then you can put a brew on in the morning without having to plod over to the taps.

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LIGHT SLEEPERS - TAKE EARPLUGS AND AN EYE MASK

Don't forget your ear plugs!

When there is only a canvas between you and the outside world, you can hear everything that is going on around you. Whether it is owls hooting, tents rustling or those early risers having breakfast nearby, ear plugs can come in very handy for blocking out those unwanted noises. If you’re camping in summer, an eye mask means you can have a relaxing lie-in when the sun comes up.

DON’T FORGET INSECT REPELLENT

Sitting out in the evening sun and watching the sunrise is what camping is all about, but you don’t want to be covered in mosquito bites the next day. Always take an insect repellent and try to keep your inner tent closed to keep those pesky bugs out.

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