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The Tent, the Meals and the Equipment you need to go Camping
Why choose camping?
I have camped for a few years now and I want to share the things you need to consider when choosing a tent, the best camping meals and what equipment you really need, not just the hype.
Due to the low cost, ease of use and low environmental impact, tents are finding a resurgence in popularity. There is a huge choice of campsites in very diverse locations, so there is definitely something for everyone.
In Summary - Choosing Which Tent to Buy
- Shop around for bargains and buy the best quality that you can afford.
- Check the actual size measurements not just the '4 man' tent description.
- The unbuilt tent needs to be compact enough to fit in your car.
- A built in groundsheet is essential.
- Ease of building.
- Have enough space to stand up in.
- Mesh doors are another essential.
- Mesh air vents.
- Separate living and sleeping areas.
Is Camping For You?
Are you thinking of camping or are you already an avid camper?
Choose the Right Equipment
What Tent Should You Buy?
There are so many tents on the market nowadays, that it can be quite confusing at times which one to choose for your camping trip. Budget options exist which will make your initial outlay cheaper, but may not last as long. There are also excellent mid range choices such as Vango and the more expensive brands such as Outwell. Whatever your budget, you will find something for your needs. Shop around, as bargains exist and there is a lot of price matching by camping suppliers.
Remember that your unbuilt tent needs to be compact enough to fit in your car with the rest of your camping equipment.
A five man tent may be fine for a family of four, but might be a tight squeeze for five adults. Check the actual dimensions of the tent before buying, as there is a wide difference in each manufacturer's interpretations of size.
If the groundsheet is not built in, you will have an open door to not only insect guests but also to raindrops creeping in, if the weather is bad.
Simplicity of building is an essential thing to consider. Sometimes the weather can be cruel. When you roll up at the campsite, as the rain pours down, you do not want to be building a complicated tent with multiple poles, when you could have had the two pole tent, which builds up in one third of the time.
Standing room is an essential element as far as I am concerned. If you are away for a week or even a weekend, if you have to stoop the whole time it will somewhat detract from your enjoyment. Check the height and make sure all your camping party can stand tall.
Mesh doors keep out the insects and let in the air. In sunny weather tents get very hot inside. Mesh doors allow cool air to circulate in your tent, but they also keep those pesky bugs out.
Mesh flaps which act as air vents are another essential feature for keeping that vital air circulating.
Separate areas for living and sleeping ensure that you can relax and enjoy the space. For families there are multiple bedrooms, and a lot of tents have canopies which you can purchase separately, which give valuable additional space to keep all your kitchen equipment and muddy shoes in.
Choose the Right Camping Equipment
Remember Your Stove - We Use Two of These Ones
What Equipment Do I Need to Camp?
There are so many gadgets out there for campers, that you could fill your whole car with them and leave no room for the tent!
They are not all essential and you definitely don't need them all. There are core items you need to be safe and comfortable, but anything apart from that, is a personal choice.
Don't Forget the Kettle
What Equipment Do I Need to Camp?
Camping fridge or coolbox
Toast maker (a camping one!)
Pot, pan, kettle
Plates, cups, cutlery
Toilet (Yes, really!)
Skewers (For toasting marshmallows)
Camping mats or airbeds/pump
Drinking water bottle
Washing up basin
There is a huge choice of tents and locations.
Watch the Sun Come Down With Your Firepit
Amazing Scottish Camps
As with other countries, Scotland offers a wealth of amazing camping opportunities. You can camp in the middle of an ancient pine forest in Aviemore, nestle amongst the white sand in Gairloch or as you are in Scotland, you can even wild camp, as long as you follow the applicable rules.
Make sure the campsite you are on gives plenty of space between pitches, before you book. We once camped in Yorkshire and found our neighbour was only one metre away. Not good for safety or privacy. Do check before booking, but most good campsites have a clear area marked out for each pitch.
The views are amazing, the wildlife is plentiful and no amount of money can buy the sense of peace and belonging that will descend upon you, as you watch the sun going down.
The Stunning Scottish Night Skies
Some Great Locations in Scotland
Firepits are Great for Camping
In Summary - Camping Meal Ideas
- One pot meals
- Hot dogs
Easy To Make Camping Meals
Small stoves provide amazingly good cooking facilities for their size. I use two to make sure everything gets ready at the same time. Some firepits allow you to cook on a barbeque grill, then to remove the grill, and burn wood for the rest of the evening.
There are a wide choice of dishes that are possible to cook on your camping equipment. Everything from simple sausages to one pot casseroles. Salads, pasta and rice dishes are easy to make and they give you a great choice of meal options. There are even recipes for non oven pizzas out there on the internet. Don't forget the skewers and the marshmallows for toasting at night.
An Easy Summer Salad
Mushroom and Onion Salad
- Cook some mushrooms and onions with olive oil, then soy sauce.
- Add rocket, cut plum tomatoes and cucumber chunks to some bowls.
- Place the cooked mushrooms and onions on top of the salad.
- Add some dried mixed chillies to the top.
A Quick and Easy Salad
You will need:
- Soy sauce
- Olive oil
- Baby plum tomatoes
- Dried mixed chilies
Relax in the Sunshine
In Summary - Check the Reviews and the Weather
- Check the campsite reviews on an impartial site.
- Check the weather forecast.
Have you Ever Camped in Scotland?
Have you ever camped in Scotland?
Campsite Reviews and the Weather Forecast
Before you set off with your new tent and equipment, there are just a couple of more things to check.
There are different websites which give fair and unbiased customer reviews of campsites. These reviews are definitely worth reading, they give you the information you won't glean from the campsite's webpage. The cleanliness of the facilities, the noise levels at night and the attitude of the staff.
Check the weather report. If possible avoid heavy rain, thunder and lightning. You cannot stay in your tent if there is lightning, as it is not safe. Some campsites experience flooding in heavy rain and gale force winds may tear your tent down. Luckily, there are plenty of sunny days each year to camp on.
Don't Forget the Kettle!
Time For Your Holidays
You now know everything you need to know, to embark upon your first trip. Now you can confidently choose the right tent, and the best equipment for your needs. Then check out the reviews and weather forecast, pack up your kit and head off to your chosen destination.
Pitch up and enjoy a tasty meal cooked in the sunshine, and then watch the sun go down at your firepit. Relax and enjoy your beautiful surroundings and breathe in that fresh, clean air.
Thank you for reading and enjoy your trip.
Stunning Scottish Scenery
© 2014 Anna Haven