Camping is ideal for a short stay in the summer, but this popular activity can quickly become a stressful experience if you are not properly prepared. From getting caught in bad weather to battling a broken tent, there’s plenty that can go wrong and ruin your time outdoors. express.co.uk spoke with David Scotland, owner of camping equipment retailer, Outdoor World Direct and Giorgos Mouratidis, marketing lead for Stasher.comto find out how to get your bank holiday camping trip on schedule this weekend.
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Check your equipment
While camping in the UK is a welcome break from airport queues and luggage restrictions, packing for a trip away from home can be difficult.
Making sure you have everything you need is one thing, but David Scotland, owner of camping equipment store Outdoor World Direct, said it’s not the only thing you need to worry about.
Speaking exclusively with express.co.ukhe said: “If you originally bought your camping gear a few years ago, check to see if your gear still works today.
“You don’t want to arrive at your campsite only to find out that your tent has a crack, it’s better to get the repair done before you leave or replace equipment as needed.”
Mr Mouratidis added: “The ring/pin system on the four corners of your tent (assuming you have a standard igloo) is by far the least durable part and the easiest to tear, especially if your tent is on the cheaper side. .
“You can prevent damage by not putting too much stress on the posts through the loops, but even if the ring breaks, all is not lost.
“You can survive a few nights by clamping the end of the pole in the outer fabric. The tent should hold up just fine, just enough not to ruin your holiday.”
Duct tape can be incredibly useful for holding broken posts together and temporarily covering tears when all else fails.
Always stock up on water
While most campsites have good access to nearby services and amenities, a dead car battery or an unexpected problem can prevent you from going further than the campsite.
For this reason, it is important to be prepared with food and drink in case you run short in bad weather or at night.
Giorgos warned, “This one is especially for people who go wild camping, but never, never, under no circumstances forget to have at least a few bottles of water with you.”
Respect camping etiquette
Camping in nature can be liberating, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stick to some ground rules.
To avoid annoying collisions with fellow campers or campsite owners, it is crucial to keep your space clean and tidy.
Giorgos explained that wherever you are, leaving rubbish behind is unacceptable and generally proves that you are “not suited” for this type of holiday.
He added: “Another mistake is to do your business in nature and not dig a cat hole before.
“Fecal matter takes a long time to decompose above ground, so be sure to always bury it and provide food for nearby trees.”
Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly
Changeable weather can be expected in the UK. But if there’s a weather warning, you have to respect it, David said.
He explained: “We often get customers who say their tent has been damaged by stormy winds – camping in those conditions is dangerous and even the most robust tents will struggle.”
Polycotton tents are your “best choice” in warm weather, as they offer much better protection against the dreaded condensation that can leave you feeling sticky in the morning.
According to Giorgos, the removable flysheet should also be used to cool you down during sunny, hot spells – but be warned, you’ll be exposed to light by removing it.
He said: “Most mid-tier awning tents have a removable flysheet. In August in Greece I have never not slept comfortably by removing this part and leaving only the mesh.’
Another thing to look out for in “regular tents” are blackout bedrooms.
David said: “Many of the newer models have this feature that keeps the bedrooms darker and cooler for a better night’s sleep, especially if the sun is up early now.
“Also check your sleeping bag rating, if the nights get mild, opt for a one or two season sleeping bag to keep cool.”