1. Getting the tent size wrong
Don’t, under any circumstances, take the sizing of tents at face value. A two man tent is more suitable for one person, and it’s best if it includes a small porch to leave some of your belongings. If you’re going away with the family think about getting two separate tents – one for you and one for the kids. Try and see the tent in the canvas, as it were, before you buy. Go into a store or to a camping show to get a good idea of the space available before you purchase.
2. Not testing equipment
This may seem unnecessary, but it really is best to check that everything is present and correct before you go away – after all, you don’t want to get to your campsite and find that there are tent pegs missing or that the camping stove that worked so well last year has given up the ghost. Leave yourself plenty of time to get replacements if you find something is amiss.
3. Arriving late at the campsite
Pitching a tent in the dark is no fun at all, so get to the campsite in plenty of time to select a good location and get the tent up. Look for a flat patch of dry grass and try to avoid overhanging branches. You’ll also want to arrive in time to have a quick explore of the campsite to find out where all the amenities are.
4. Relying on a barbecue for cooking
Barbecues are great for that summertime feel, but don’t expect to cook for a whole week on one. Not only will it be a pain if you’re simply looking to boil water, it’ll burn through your resources quite quickly. Bear in mind that some campsites don’t allow barbecues, or certain types of barbecue, so you may have to stick to a good old fashioned camping stove anyway.
5. Not packing home comforts
Going camping doesn’t mean you’re obliged to rough it. Not taking decent sleeping gear is one mistake you don’t want to make – a week of uncomfortable nights will make you miserable. So make sure you have a good airbed, sleeping bag and pillows. You’ll also need to take plenty to do if the weather’s not great. Games, books and even a tablet to watch movies on is a good idea.
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