Carrying bikes with your hitch rack
With forethought and a little imagination your camping trip can be very enjoyable and a bit of an adventure. Before I go off on holiday I always have a practice in my garden and make sure I can remember how to put my tent up. When my tent is erected this also gives me the chance to check that all the pieces are there and in good working order and I can also make sure my tent is waterproof.
If I have bought a new tent then this will give me the chance to familiarise myself with it before I venture out. Just think how embarrassed I would feel if I arrived at my beautiful destination and didn’t know how to assemble my holiday accommodation!
When I have chosen my destination and found my camping site I think facilities, do I want to have them readily available or do I want to ‘rough it’. If I were a happy hiker and carrying my tent and equipment in a rucksack then depending on where I stopped for the night I may have to forgo some of life’s little creature comforts. I would also be limited to how much I can physically carry so I would have to remember to take this into account when packing.
If I were travelling by car or van then obviously I can take more equipment and can travel further afield. There are many organised camping sites available world-wide. They vary from basic sites with water and toilet facilities to ones that also include a swimming pool, shops, restaurants and entertainment. Costs will vary immensely so I always weigh up my options before I decide. Do I want peace and quiet and open spaces, basic facilities or a more sociable and busy holiday full of entertainment, the choice is mine.
I really do think it is a good idea to make a list before I embark on any trip. For camping you really do need to remember the basics. A drinking vessel, water, plate, cutlery, pot for cooking and heating water in, a torch and of course a warm sleeping bag are a definite must as is the one thing most people forget – a can opener! On a personal level, I always think it is also a good idea to take along my own toilet roll. A camping bed or blow up bed are also a must so that I can hopefully have a good nights sleep off the lumpy ground. I also take warm clothes even if I am travelling in the summer as night time can be decidedly chilly in a tent.
Normally when camping I cater for myself so I obviously will need some sort of cooker. I could by a small gas or petrol stove and can choose between single ringed stoves or larger double ringed cookers. It may take skill and ingenuity to cook a three course meal on them but they will do the job of heating or cooking my basic food. Opting for nostalgia and lighting a fire is always a last resort as my surroundings might be dry and a spark could easily set dry undergrowth alight. Apart from the safety aspect fuel would have to be collected for the fire, not easy if there are no old branches or pieces of wood in the near vicinity.
Careful thought goes into what food to take. If I only have one cooking ring then there is no point in taking food which needs to be oven cooked! Unless I can buy fresh food daily then tinned food is ideal as I won’t have a fridge to keep perishable food in.
Most importantly remember to do as I do and leave my camping site as I would wish to find it, clean and tidy, I remove all my rubbish and leave it looking as if I was never there.