It’s that time of year when you get the call of the wild – camping season is nearly upon us! Time to make your way to the back of the garage fighting your way through the cobwebs, in a vain attempt to get to the pile of muddy junk, abandoned in the corner, fondly known as your camping gear!
Photo licensed under the Creative Commons, created by John
If there is one piece of advice I would give you before even leaving the driveway to venture to pastures greener, it’s check your camping kit thoroughly beforehand. I have too often just thrown everything I thought I needed into the back of the car and whisked off only to have a few nasty surprises when I reached the camp site. So here’s my top 10 hints and tips – not be ignored!
- Take out and check your tent and groundsheet – time consuming but worth it. Chances are you packed it away in the rain at the end of last season and the ground sheet will be covered in mud. Make sure all the ropes, poles, pegs are there and don’t forget the rubber mallet.
- Gas canisters for the stove – make sure you have full ones not a bag of empty or half full ones. If you go early in the season it will probably be cold on an evening so if you have plenty of gas you can at least light the stove and huddle round it.
- Check your pots, pans and kitchen equipment. There was probably the temptation to just take it home dirty after the last breakfast with the intention of washing it all up at home. Best intentions rarely happen so you’ll probably find the frying pan with layer of fat nicely growing mould.
- Your sleeping bags should have been stored indoor over winter, but if you were foolish enough to leave them in the garage I would unroll them and make sure a family of mice hasn’t taken up residence in the cosy comfort of you sleeping bag and left you a few little surprises.
- Give the BBQ a quick check as the grill bit you put your food in probably has remnants of last year’s burger and sausage still attached. Make sure you remember to take new briquettes too as last year’s could be damp.
- Always make sure you check the essential items are still in the camping kit and they haven’t been removed i.e. bottle opener/corkscrew, tin opener, box of matches, kettle.
- Take the time to blow actually blow up any inflatable beds before you leave. There’s nothing worse than waking up on the floor the first morning as your bed has perished and you have a slow puncture. If you have one of those battery operated bed inflators remember to check the batteries are still ok too otherwise you’ll be purple in the face and very out of puff!
- Remember the lighting – candles or rechargeable light / torch. Rechargeable doesn’t mean it will be magically rechargeable either – you do have to actually charge it before you leave!
- Open up and sniff inside the water carrier. If you have left it wet from last year it may be mouldy and very smelly.
- Toilet paper – always take a spare few rolls as we all know campsite facilities are hit and miss and you don’t want to be caught short so take you own!
Maria is what they like to call a later in life convert to camping, and while she embraces the great outdoors, she does enjoy a little pampering when she gets home!
Category: Travel Tips