It is sad but your holiday will have to end at some point. When the time comes to pack up your camp and go home, it's really worth taking the time to put your gear and equipment away properly. That way it'll be ready to go into storage when you get back - and easy to get ready the next time you go away!.

Packing up your gear

Start by packing up everything from inside your tent. Separating dirty clothes and sheets will save time when you get home. Remember to open the valve on any inflatable mattresses and slowly roll the air out. Make sure your stove is cool to the touch before packing it away.

Unpeg your tent methodically and be sure to remember to collect all your pegs - they have a habit of gradually going missing! Once your tent is empty, shake it out and brush it down before packing it away properly - take the time to fold it and put it away in the correct bags.

When it's raining

If it's raining or your gear is wet from the night before, take down your outer tent last and do everything you can from the inside first, including the inner fly tent. You need to shake off as much moisture as you can from your equipment and then store it loosely for the journey. It is very important that you don't forget to take it back out and dry it out when you get home before putting it into storage.

Gather your rubbish

Throw away any food waste from your cooler and make sure to gather up and dispose of all your rubbish. You need to leave your pitch spotless. Check for and repair any damage you might have caused to the site.

Final check

Once everything is all packed up, walk around your car and your camping area and check you haven't forgotten anything.

Checking out

Remember to return any items you borrowed from other campers and exchange contact details with any new friends. Don't forget to check out and pay any outstanding balances you owe the campsite.

Storing your gear

Before you put your camping equipment into storage when you get home, make sure everything is bone dry, particularly your tent. Storing a tent damp will cause mould and mildew. Remove the batteries from your gadgets and store them separately to avoid any possibility of corrosion. Many a fine torch has been ruined in this way!

Until next time...

Hopefully you will have had a brilliant first camping trip and will be already planning the next one! It is worth jotting down any thoughts about what to take or leave behind next time, and any gear you noticed you needed but didn't have. When the time comes for the next trip, you'll be well on your way to becoming a seasoned camper!