Camping for beginners

Apr 07, 2015
You know you’d love to pitch your tent for a week or two, surrounded by nature’s very best treats, but you’re not quite sure on how to go about it.

How can you be sure you’ll be able to cook everything? Will the children enjoy it? What if you forget something vital? And how do you even pitch a tent anyway? Should the poles really bend like that?

Fortunately you’ve come to the right page. We’ve gathered some of the best and most effective tips and guides for first-time campers. Read on for more information and links to common issues, guides to buying camping equipment, checklists and more.

Like with anything, preparation is the key. Don’t you dare be put off, we say, camping is just too good.

The tent

First and foremost: the tent.

Buying a tent

If you haven’t purchased a tent yet, or are looking to upgrade, take a look at our guide to buying a tent, which will get you off to the right start on your first camping purchase.


Pitching your tent doesn’t have to be complicated. It goes without saying that you should read the instructions provided, and it is most definitely recommended that you try pitching your tent in advance of your holiday.

Beyond that, there are a few more tips and things to consider when it comes to pitching a tent, and we’ve rounded up some of the best pointers here.

Camping Equipment

Next to fill your perfectly pitched tent. It makes sense to split this into sections which cover the key areas of sleeping, cooking and storage.

Sleeping equipment for camping

Even in the warmest of summers temperatures can dip quickly overnight, so the key to sleeping equipment is in making sure that it insulates you adequately for your expected camping conditions.

If you’re unfamiliar with the mechanisms behind heat loss, take a look at this explanation of the methods of heat loss, which very quickly explains how we lose heat to our surroundings.

Sleeping mats

The first thing to consider is what you’ll be sleeping on. The ground will absorb all of your heat given the chance, so make sure you put the right gear between you and it. This guide to sleeping mats should tell you everything you need to know.

Sleeping bags

Insulation and comfort are the most important factors when choosing a sleeping bag. Too cold and you’ll shiver yourself into next week, too hot and, well, just unzip a little.

There are many forms of insulation, each with their own pros and cons, and likewise with inner and outer fabrics. Find out about them all here and be on your way to picking the sleeping bag that’s right for you.

Extra sleeping tips

There are a few other things to consider when sleeping in a tent, and most people wish they’d been told them at the start of their camping (mis)adventures. Fortunately for you we’ve covered them here.

Your final camping checklist

There is a lot more, but more than we can cover in this short guide. Come back to check for the latest updates and finally, for when you’re packing the car, take a copy of this comprehensive camping checklist to make sure nothing gets left behind.

You can get your regular camping fill by following our blog, which keeps you up-to-date on the latest camping gadgets and news, as well as some helpful tips and generally interesting articles!

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