Top tips for packing when going camping
Posted on 29 May 2009
CAREFUL planning is required before you start packing for your next camping trip.
Make camping easier
Packing is the first hurdle that you have to cross if you want to enjoy a stress-free holiday and, happily, it is one that can be easily cleared.
Follow our series of top camping tips to make sure your next trip goes without a hitch…
Read all about camping in the monthly Camping magazine. Click here to find out more...
- Pack a coolbox with everything you need for a decent meal and cold drinks en route and your first meal on site – it saves time, money and aggravation. A meal that has defrosted slowly in the coolbox during the day – keeping the drinks cool in the process – is a relief to heat up and enjoy by the time you have arrived, organised your camp and collapsed after the long drive.
- Take the stress out of in-car route finding with satellite navigation. Plan, plot and relax with no more furious arguments about fault and blame for wrong turns and missed exits.
- Obviously, it depends on how far you have to travel, but try to make the journey part of the holiday rather than an evil to be endured. Picnics beat motorway services any day of the week.
- A solar shower gives you warm water for freshening up after picnics, playtime or fixing car problems. The black bag absorbs the sun’s rays, warming up the water for your convenience.
- Tough collapsible storage options will keep car and tent neat and tidy. Cardboard boxes fall apart, get in the way and lack durability.
- Instead of a bulky washbag, use a lightweight travellers’ bag. They take up little space and are far handier to carry, hang up and use when you head off to the shower block.
- The easiest way to keep tabs on documents, credit card and money is to use a document wallet that you can hang around your neck or waist. When you are constantly in and out of tent, car, water and so on it is easy to mislay important stuff.
- Keeping it all together focuses the mind on not losing it.
- Travelling down through France? If you have a picnic packed, then stopping at one of the many aires – a play area, picnic places and loos – for a break is far less hassle than negotiating busy service areas.
- Try to resist the temptation to pack your transport to the limit. You probably will not use much of the stuff you carry and it just creates more work and hassle.
- Travel insurance makes real sense if you are traveling abroad – but shop around for a good family deal. Annual cover is often a cost-effective option rather than fourteen days at a time. Do not forget to get a European Health Insurance Card for everybody in your party – apply on-line at nhs.uk.
- Tempting though it is to squeeze in gear around passengers, do not do it. All that kit will be converted into missiles in the event of an accident and the lack of space in which you can move can apparently lead to deep vein thrombosis.
- Avoid all the ‘Who forgot the tin opener/bottle opener/airbed pump?’ shouts with handy checklists. Once made, they can be adapted to suit specific changes. Checklists really do reduce stress and conflict – exhaustive personal research has proved this beyond doubt.
- Suitcases can be a nightmare when you are packing the car for a family camping holiday. Soft luggage is much easier to pack away and takes up little space on site.
- When you need some form of breakdown assistance, you really need it. That annual charge always seems like a bargain if you do not have it and the car breaks down loaded with family and gear at the start of a holiday. Bite the bullet and get the cover before you need it – especially if you are heading abroad.
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