Top 10 Camping New Year Resolutions
The new year is upon us, and as well as reflecting on what has passed this is the time when many of us like to set some goals for the year ahead.
Of course most get abandoned after a few weeks. It can be difficult to come up with achievable targets so we've shared our resolutions to give you a start.
So now’s your chance to sit down and prepare your own list of camping resolutions, and help make this your best camping year ever.
1 GO CAMPING MORE OFTEN
It’s the obvious one, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Try and get yourself and your family out in a tent as much as you can - it’s easy to get out of the habit but if you set yourself a challenge you might find it a little easier. Make it something achievable – say 15 nights under canvas over the year or visit five new sites you’ve never been to before.
2. TAKE UP A HOBBY
Tempting as it is to sit spend all your time sitting outside the tent, glass-in-hand, there’s lots you can do in or around a campsite that will enhance your camping trips. Birdwatching, mountain biking, surfing and kayaking are all relatively inexpensive, easy to master and good fun for all the family. Most importantly campsites make a great base for all of them. And if that all sounds like too much effort, take up hiking. All you need is a map, a decent pair of boots or shoes and a waterproof jacket and you’re away.
3. VISIT NEW PLACES
We’ve all got places we like to go back to time-and-time again but it’s a big world out there so why not make this year the one you discover somewhere completely new with your tent? Stick a pin in a map and wherever it lands make that your next destination.
4. FIND YOURSELF A NEW FAVOURITE SITE
Having said that, exploring new places is great but there’s lots to be said for having a favourite campsite that you keep returning to time after time. Ideally it would be somewhere close to home that you can head off to at the drop of a hat. Decide what’s important to you – Coastal? Kids’ play area? Peace and quiet? Entertainment facilities – and find somewhere that ticks all the boxes. Of course you’ll probably have to visit a few sites before you finally decide on The One, and that will help you achieve the first resolution!
5. GO CAMPING IN WINTER
Camping is a great summer activity but it’s something that can be enjoyed all year round and taking your tent out in winter can be a thrilling new experience. You don’t have to camp in a snowstorm to enjoy the change in environment, climate and wildlife. Just make sure you have the right kit and you’ll be perfectly comfortable when the temperature drops.
6. SORT OUT YOUR KIT
If you’re like us you’ve probably got camping equipment scattered around the house – some in the garage, some in the loft, some in the kitchen cupboard etc. The trouble with this is that you can spend hours looking for something or head off without some essential piece of kit (usually a bottle opener, but occasionally a tent). It makes life an awful lot easier if you know where everything is before you start packing for a trip so take the chance to organise your gear. Repair or dump stuff that doesn’t work and clean anything that needs spruced up.
7. BUY A NEW TENT
We know you love that old tent that’s been with you forever. You’ve been through loads together over the years and seen countless adventures. From festivals in your student years, through romantic holidays as a couple, to your first family camping trip, every dodgy stain, every repaired tear holds a memory. But frankly it’s starting to get a little bit whiffy inside, and to be honest it’s time for an upgrade. So treat yourself. Take a look at our tent buying guide, decide what suits your needs best and get out there and find a replacement. The new tents will be in the shops in a couple of months, but if you want to bag a bargain, now is the time to go shopping.
8. TRY WILD CAMPING
Campsites are all very well, with their luxuries like toilets and running water, but wild camping gives you something else. It reconnects us with the outdoors and reminds us of the art of having fun. Wild camping is allowed in most of Scotland and on Dartmoor in Devon but is technically illegal elsewhere in England and Wales without the landowner's consent. Once you’ve got that permission, simply make sure you are as far away as possible from roads and buildings, find a discreet place hidden from general view pitch your tent. Leave as early as you can next morning and make sure you leave nothing behind. Once you’ve tried it once, we guarantee you’ll be back for more.
9. RECRUIT A NEW CAMPER
For those of us who love camping, it’s difficult to comprehend, but it appears some people are actually reluctant to go camping. I know, hard to believe, right? For some it’s down to a terrible camping memory from their childhood, while others simply don’t understand how a week, in a field, with basic facilities and an “unpredictable” UK climate, would ever be tempting. As campers it’s down to us to explain exactly what they’re missing. Make it your goal to persuade at least one reluctant camper to join you under canvas this year.
10. LEARN HOW TO LIGHT A FIRE
We blame Bear Grylls and Ray Mears. Up until a few years ago, most campers were quite happy to just get by with their Campingaz stove and a box of matches. But thanks to the bushcraft boom sparked by the television survivalists, these days you apparently can’t call yourself a real camper unless you’ve mastered the art of simultaneously gutting a deer while sharpening your axe and tying an Alpine butterfly loop knot. All this while you are perched at the top of a 50ft high tree. Of course some of the survival skills are useful and the whole camping experience is enhanced if you can light a fire. Find out more here, but unless you have no use for your eyebrows, don’t be tempted to throw on a bit of unleaded to speed things along.