If you are looking to go camping in England, there’s no shortage of gorgeous campgrounds, whether along the beach or nestled into the woods. A quick search will bring up everyone’s favourite destinations from the north to south. You can choose to go camping in the Yorkshire Dales and go hiking and waterfall hunting, or head south for some spectacular beaches and coastlines.
Whatever your destination, there’s a few tips to use to have the best camping holiday in England, which can also be transferred to camping elsewhere;
- Weather can be unpredictable. It will be raining one minute, and glorious sunshine the next. You can’t always rely on the weather reports, so to stay in high spirits make sure you bring waterproof clothing, and plenty of extra layers for when your wet ones need to dry out. If you have room, bring spare pairs of shoes as well, wellies in case it rains, trainers for hiking.
- Choose the right sized tent. If there are only two people and you don’t have a lot of gear, a small tent will save you space and keep the heat in at night. Alternatively, if you have a lot of gear, you might want to look at purchasing a tent with a separate section to store your equipment so that it’s not in your way when sleeping. If you aren’t backpacking and have access to a car, always size up your tent to ensure you’ve got plenty of room. For two people choose a three or four person tent. Make sure you enforce a strict ‘no shoes in the tent’ rule as well, you’ll be thankful when it comes time to sleep and you aren’t in muddy or sandy sleeping bags.
- Try to arrive early to your campsite. Make a note at what time the sun is going to set, and aim to be there at least an hour before hand if possible. Depending on where your campsite is located, as the night rolls in it not only gets colder, but can often times get windier as well and make setting up your camp a lot harder. Not to mention it’s always easier to set up a tent while it’s light so you can see what you’re doing! As a side-make sure you pack enough lighting, to get to and from your tent as well as to sit around outside so you aren’t in total darkness, unless of course you want to me!
- Plan out your daily meals, allowing for snacks. There’s nothing worse than getting to your destination and going hungry. If you don’t want to carry a lot of cooking equipment with you, our boil in the bag meals are great to add to your food stash. Pack ziplock bags of nuts and dried fruit, or small energy bars to tide you over if you get peckish between meals. As appealing as a campfire meal can be, not all places have space for a fire pit to cook over, or if the weather is wet you may not be able to easily start a fire. Bring small portable stoves to ensure you can at least cook the basics.
By taking a little bit of time for preparation and to ensure you pack the right equipment can ensure that your camping holiday is a fun and relaxing one.
Setting off on a camping trip can be exciting, but keeping these tips in mind could be the difference to a stressful weekend or enjoying your time away from home.
Make a checklist. You’ll thank yourself when you’re not missing an extra pair of shoes or run out of food on your trip. Take time to pack your bag. A good rule of thumb for most backpacks is to pack your heaviest items in the middle close to your back. Pillows, sleeping bags and light clothing items going on the bottom, followed by heavier items such as food. Make sure any liquids are in zip-lock bags so if they leak the rest of the items in your pack don’t get wet. If you are going with a group talk to each other ahead of time about what you are planning on packing so that you don’t double up unnecessarily.
Pack only the essentials, do you really need 3 jackets ‘just in case’ when you are only going to be gone a couple days? Take a rain coat and a couple long sleeve tops so that you can layer up but take up less space in your pack. This way you can fit in more items like extra pairs of socks to be comfortable in if it rains.
Take food items that are both filling and will sustain your energy. Before going to bed when camping, eat high-fat content foods such as nuts to keep warm through the night. Make sure to have a couple extra snacks that you don’t think you’ll need. You’ll work up an appetite hiking and it’s important to keep your energy levels up. Our self-heating meals are great to take along for a hot meal, especially when it’s cooler. Not to mention you won’t have to take extra pots and pans to cook with as everything is contained in the bag, and will be ready in about 10 minutes.
If you’ve bought a new tent, have a trial run at setting it up at home. This way you won’t be struggling through any adverse weather conditions or darkness on your next camping trip. When setting up your tent, if it’s really windy make sure your tent entrance is facing away from the wind and stake down the side facing the wind first. That way you aren’t working against it. If it’s not possible to find a level camping site and have to set up on a small incline, ensure that your head is facing uphill when you are sleeping so the blood doesn’t rush to your head.
Don’t have room for pillows? Use your sleeping bags carry case and stuff some soft clothes in it. Instant pillow! Alternatively there are blow up pillows on the market that can be folded down when not in use and take up little space.
Camping is supposed to be fun! Take a book, some cards or other games to enjoy when you’re not hiking or enjoying your surroundings. Take two forms of fire starters, such as a pack of strike matches and a lighter, in case one fails. Bring a length of rope to stretch between trees to help dry any wet clothes or air out your sleeping bag. Pack a couple extra small lights or lanterns to light your campsite so that your flashlight or headlamp won’t be the only light around. You’ll also have spares if anything goes wrong with your main light source.
What else would you suggest to help everyone camp smarter?
Whether it’s a short day hike or a multi-day trek, being prepared for your hike can ease your mind and ensure you have a great time.
- Create a packing list & assess it after each hike. See what you did and did not use, and cross off unneeded or duplicated items. This ensures you take only what you need.
- Layers Layers Layers. Make sure to pack an extra layer of clothes in your bag in case you get cold or wet and need to change.
- Try to go with the lightest equipment possible. Most of the time the lightest equipment is also the most expensive, so try to prioritise and replace your heaviest items with lighter alternatives.
- Ditch the heavy food. Freeze dried meals are a great alternative to carrying around heavy food items. Add in lighter snacks such as granola bars, dried fruit and nuts for in-between meals.
- Have a first aid kit. Don’t leave the first aid kit at home in favour of more space in your pack. Bandaids, savlon, bug repellant and sunscreen are great staples to have if you don’t want to carry a lot.
Going on a long hike or expedition for a few days and not sure what camping food packs are best to take? We take the guesswork out of it and have compiled several options for you to choose from based on your diet and needs. With both meat and vegetarian options available, you can choose a pack based on how long you will be adventuring for and your dietary needs.
Our two-day mountain marathon packs are great for weekend hiking. With all our packs being super lightweight, you can ensure you get the fuel your body needs without carrying a load of extra weight on your hike.
For the more extreme adventurers we have our day pack summit range, all 3,600kcal to ensure you have the energy to get you through harsh conditions such as extreme cold, watersports, relief efforts or just for those bigger eaters. With nine different menu options to choose from, there is something for everyone.
Take a look at our full 24-hour ration pack range here.
An essential skill for expeditions and camping is tying knots, and it’s surprising how many of us struggle with even simple knots. Does the granny knot really apply to every situattion, probably knot!
Spotted this article the other day which will help
There also are some great pictures and simple instructions on how to achieve it, and best of all some ideas about when to use each type of knot
Boil in the Bag meals for camping or hiking are easy, nutritious, and they make clean up a snap. Here are two tips to get the most out boiling those bags.
- Complete submersion of the bag is not necessary. Cover about half the bag with water, boil for half the stated time and then flip the bag over so the other side is submerged.
- One of the great things about using a boil in a bag meal is that once the meal is cooked you can use the hot water to make coffee, tea, etc.
Nuts are one of the best snack foods you can take hiking or camping. They are packed with nutrition and can be eaten alone or added to packaged items such as oatmeal or boil in bag expedition meals for flavour and crunch. Each nut and seed is unique in the type of nutrients they provide:
- Almonds and sunflower seeds – high in vitamin E (antioxidant and immunity booster)
- Brazil nuts – provide high levels of selenium (cellular health and good for thyroid) limit brazil nut intake to two a day due to the high level of selenium
- Cashews, pecans and sesame seeds – high in copper (iron utilization, thyroid health, & melanin production) and manganese (good for bones)
- Chia seeds – calcium (good for bones and helps blood clot) and manganese
- Pumpkin seeds – manganese, arginine, and magnesium (helps relax muscles, keeps bones strong)
- Peanuts – niacin or vitamin B3 (brain health and blood flow)
- Pistachios – great source of vitamin B6 (supports nervous system & helps body digest sugars and starch), copper, and manganese
- Walnuts – high in ALA Omega-3 fat (cardiovascular health, reduces bodily inflammation, and lowers LDL triglycerides)
If you like to hike and camp, and you have toddlers, you will soon discover that planning ahead can mean the difference between a great family outing and disaster. The first step is to realize that little kids won’t care about where they are going…they are more interested in what is in front of their nose.
Make sure to adjust your expectations, slow down…and well smell the roses. Or jump up on that cool log, or watch the fish zip through the water. You get the idea!
Toddlers and young children will ping pong between spurts of energy, wanting to be picked up and carried, and needing a nap, or at least a rest and a snack. Take a small, light-weight blanket or piece of ground cloth for those resting times.
Dress them in several layers, take extra clothing (Especially if there is any type of water along the hike!), and even if you aren’t cold (or hot) realize that they will be and they won’t be happy about it.
Make sure you encourage children to drink along their hike. Even little ones can carry their own water bottle or canteen, especially if they have a kid-sized backpack. If they don’t get enough water it can make them grumpy and cause dehydration.
Stop often for rest and energy breaks. Food and water can be a great reviver and motivator. Take lots of little snack packets with nutritious items like dried fruit, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and small amounts of things they snack on at home. Many freeze dried meals like this high protein porridge with strawberries, tastes great and there is enough for you to share with your toddler. These types of hiking meals are light, easy and fast, and provide great nutrition and energy for your little one.
Just remember that hiking with your toddler is more about exploring along the way than in reaching any point on a map. Make sure to enjoy this journey and help them find their love for the outdoors!
No matter whether you are camping for one night or hiking in for several weeks you can really boost the flavour of any meal eaten outdoors with just a few added spices.
Spices don’t weigh much and are easy to throw in a very small plastic container (Hint: repurpose a breath mint or gum container). They can be used on dehydrated food, MRE’s, and for any dish hot or cold. Great camping spice choices include:
• Pepper and salt
• Cayenne pepper
• Lemon pepper
• Garlic powder or salt
• Any personal favourite
If you are camping or hiking in the cold weather keep any ready-to-eat items inside your jacket and close to your body. This way they won’t be frozen solid when you need a snack! Its important to note that during the winter you will need to eat more often and consume more calories to keep up your energy level.