How to plan a camping trip
- Why go camping?
- Camping statistics
- How to plan a camping trip
- Equipment and gear: what to take camping
- How to choose a campsite
- Camping etiquette and campsite rules
- Choosing a pitch and setting up camp
- Breaking camp
- How to keep warm when camping
- How to avoid midges, wasps and other insects while camping
- Beware carbon monoxide poisoning
- Camping with campfires
Before you set out on your camping holiday, there are a few things to consider. First you need to think about what kind of trip you would like to take. This will be defined by where and when you want to go, what accommodation you fancy (it isn't all just tents), who with and what you take with you.
You'll also need to think about your budget. Lodge and glamping holidays will generally cost more than static caravans, and those significantly more than a basic caravan or tent pitch.
In this article we will go through a few of the things to consider when planning your trip.
Where to go
One of the joys of camping is that you can camp almost anywhere: there are campsites wherever you go in every part of the country. Think about the kind of holiday you would like to have and what you would like to do when you get there. Do you fancy a family beach holiday? An active outdoors holiday? Or perhaps you would prefer some laid back culture and history?
Don't travel too far for your first camping trip, that way you won't feel it has taken ages to get there and you can come home easily if you forget something or if the weather turns bad. There will be great campsites just a short drive from wherever you live. You can read all about how to choose a campsite and what to expect when you get there later in this guide.
When to go
You can camp all year round, but winter camping requires extra effort to combat the cold. The best time of year for camping in the UK is from May to September, when temperatures are more favourable.
July and August are the most popular months for camping. This is high season so campsites will be busy and you will probably need to book ahead to make sure you can get a spot at the campsite of your choice. You will also find campsite fees are more expensive at this time of year.
Who to go with
Everyone can go camping, so you can take anyone you like with you and it's is also fun on your own. Kids love camping and it's a really good way to get them outside and teach them some self-sufficiency. Another great thing about camping is that you can often bring your pets.
Figure out your budget and stick to it. As we have already mentioned in this guide, it is possible to take a family of 4 camping for 2 weeks for under £250 all in if you are very careful with your money.
What you need to budget for:
- Transport (petrol or public transport fees)
- Campsite fees
- Any gear and equipment you need that you are not going to borrow
- Any extra activities, day trips, going out, etc.
- Unexpected costs - try to allow a small buffer for unexpected costs
How are you going to get there? This will determine how much you can bring. If you are walking, cycling or using public transport, you can only take as much as you can carry. If you are taking your car, how many people will be in it and how much room will you have for everything you need? You might want to consider a roof rack or a roof box.
There are all different sorts of camping styles, ranging from luxury set ups to hardcore lightweight minimalism. You should think about what you want to do on your holiday and what you want to leave behind. Do you want access to wifi or do you really want to get away from it all and leave your phone and laptop at home? Are you looking forward to a lack of facilities or can you not bear to be parted from your hair straighteners? There is no right or wrong, it's your holiday and you decide.
Our advice is to go with whatever appeals to you the most. The more you camp the more you will learn what camping style you prefer.