Camping Tips For Non Campers

I do not camp! I once camped in my friends back garden when I was 15 and we only made it till 2am. That is the full extent of my camping expertise. I was offered a camping trip this year and I declined.

However when it came up in conversation a couple of weeks later, Chris and Joe were fuming. It appears they want to camp! And I with my need for luxury and electricity am holding them back! I suppose it takes all sorts.

So in my endeavour to not hold my family back I plan to maybe do a glamping trip next year. Small steps people.But when Halfords showed me their fab camping guide I thought, yes I can do this.

But I honestly have no idea where to start. So have asked a few friends who LOVE camping to help me out with their tops tips on not only surviving camping but how to have a blooming good time and keep proceeding looking as organised and pretty as humanly possible.

My Sunday Photo The Pendle Pub Walk

And starting with practical camping tips

Sam at North East Family Fun says; Take hot water bottles. Fill them up and pop them in your sleeping bags. It’s always cold at night, even in august! 

I quite fancy myself cooking in the open countryside, it would feel a bit like a swanky cooking show and the lovely Nell from Pigeon Pair And Me recommends; taking a lightweight foldaway picnic table which makes camping seem so much more civilised! And beats crouching on a blanket to eat.

Claire from Tin Box Traveller told me; Not to forget your kitchen sink (she knows me well) but alas means a washing up bowl for transporting all your dirty crockery to the washing up area. Great tip and one I would have never have thought of on a first trip.

Laura from Side Street Style offers the lifesaving( remember we are traveling with teenagers) tip of; always pack a few power banks to charge phones (unless you want to go phone free) and always pack a small first aid kit especially if you’re travelling with kids & one that has mosquito spray and bite cream.

Lisa from Travel Loving Family warns; it is wise to always put the tent up in the garden before a first camping trip of the summer (as we’ve been caught out before and arrived at a campsite in the middle of nowhere with no tent pegs!)

Camping tips for the novice

Camping is a state of mind

Jane from Take 5 gave me the genius tip of; embracing the lack of facilities but if you are a bit of a reluctant camper, look for a site with a good old pub nearby as backup!

Laura from Have Kids Can Travel encourages you to;  Let go of normal standards – half the fun of camping is being a bit wild, so chill out if the kids start looking rumpled and grubby. It’s sort of the point – and you’ll drive yourself mad trying to keep them looking neat and clean in a tent.

Home comforts when camping

Karen from Mini Travellers advises that;  Campsites exist that have showers with warm water and heated floors. Still covered in grass naturally but you need to get back to nature a little.

Helen who blogs over at Actually Mummy urged me to; take proper camping mats if you can, rather than air beds. They’re much warmer. The air in an air bed gets cold at night and makes you feel like you’re lying on ice!

Guide to luxury camping

Camping tips for the novice camper

How to keep stylish when camping

For a little home style, Penny from ParentShaped advised me to; take a jam jar and collect some wild flowers, immediately makes camping feel more homely and stylish! I Love this tip!

Donna from Like Love Do is a girl after my own heart and says; For easy one all in one face make up, waterproof mascara and a slick of gloss is about all you need. For faces grab a pot of vaseline and glitter for instant glam. (an amazing  tip, I never go out without make-up and no tent is going to come between me and my make-up bag)

So there you have it with the help of my friends and their incredible tips I now know where to start. Because trust me I had no idea. And actually I can see my little family and I sat out watching the sunset. Me with a glass of wine in hand thinking, hmm this is a bit of an adventure and that is what life is all about right?

All I need to do is kit myself out! Gosh that’s a whole other blog post!

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Camping tips for first time with the family and teens with tips by experienced campers and travel bloggers


Author of Extraordinary Chaos a family lifestyle and travel blog from a 40+ mum of teenage boys, sharing our family travels, recipes, reviews and country living. Also the co editor of Cruising With Kids Family Cruise Blog

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  1. 7th September 2017 / 12:07 pm

    This is hilarious! Love it! There is camping in you yet! I love the flowers tip! Xxx

  2. 7th September 2017 / 12:12 pm

    Don’t trust them, Sarah. They’re all lying to you. No good can come from camping and no tip can convince me that home or a hotel is not where I belong.

    • 11th September 2017 / 3:08 pm

      Hahahaha yep…this!!!! I just can’t get my head round the idea of camping at all…unless it’s got a proper plumbed in bathroom, double glazing, central heating and comfy beds. I know, that not really camping then 😉

  3. 7th September 2017 / 12:25 pm

    Fab tips Sarah – I still struggle to believe there are people out there who have not camped before as we love it so much.

    There are some fabulous glamping sites out there – definitely check out Glamping at Dundas Castle – they have fires, outdoor heaters and your own loo and shower!

  4. 7th September 2017 / 12:48 pm

    You do realise you have to actually do it now don’t you?! We recently glamped and not only did our amazingly stylish tent at Midleydown in Devon have a shower and flushing loos, we also had our own hottub. Now thats what I call camping!

  5. 11th September 2017 / 9:34 am

    So you’re ready for camping now? I hope so. I absolutely LOVE it! My tip is – if you wake in the night needing a pee, JUST GO PEE! I know it’s an effort getting out of that snuggly warm sleeping bag, but you just won’t get back to sleep otherwise. We always take plastic cups with tealights for a bit of a romantic feel once the boys are asleep and enjoy a good bottle of red (we avoid white wine as it will need to be kept chilled). Looking forward to hearing about your first camping trip! #MondayEscapes

  6. 11th September 2017 / 9:42 am

    Some great tips! Thanks for sharing. I grew up camping (in Spain and France) but I have to say the thought of doing it with two young children (3 and 1) during the wonderful British summer still fills me with dread! Maybe next year I’ll take the plunge….

  7. 11th September 2017 / 10:03 am

    Useful tips! We started camping in mountain campsites near Barcelona and last year we managed to camp some nights of our roadtrip in Portugal. We have our own tent and we love the freedom that camping gives to us. In Namibia this August we travelled during two weeks from campsite to campsite with a roof top tent so now we have a little more experience! 🙂 Of course camping means waiving some comfort but the locations where you sleep and the autonomy that you gain make it worth in our opinion.

  8. 11th September 2017 / 12:44 pm

    These are great tips. I’m not much of a camper, either, but definitely not because I need luxury. I have just never been able to sleep well in a tent. But we took the kids camping this summer for the first time and we all had a lot of fun. It was definitely a challenge getting a 4 and 1 year old to sleep in a tent but it was awesome spending all that time outside. We’ll most likely make this a yearly tradition. #MondayEscapes

  9. 11th September 2017 / 8:59 pm

    This post made me smile – especially the last section. Gotta look good on a camping trip! The weird green light inside a tent does nothing for your complexion, though. Best put on the slap in the fresh air instead! 🙂 x

  10. 12th September 2017 / 9:47 am

    Some great tips here! if you realise after your first trip that it’s still not for you, there are quite a few campsites which have cheat options. Red Shoot in the New Forest has a little chalet with a bedroom and bathroom which you could stay in while the rest of the family camp! #Mondayescapes

  11. 12th September 2017 / 11:56 am

    Loving the range of practical and alternative tips. At the end of the day, camping is never going to be home so it’s definitely about finding a camp site that suits your basic needs as they do vary a great deal. #MondayEscapes

  12. 12th September 2017 / 3:35 pm

    I really hope you get that glamping trip booked in Sarah. I can recommend a couple of places in Devon which I think you’d feel very at home…and not at all chilly 🙂 Thanks for including my tip!

  13. 13th September 2017 / 11:07 am

    Sarah you make me laugh!! Love your comment about not separating you from your makeup bag! You are definitely a lady who enjoys her luxuries

  14. Elizabeth (Wander Mum)
    18th September 2017 / 9:21 pm

    I love these tips! My husband is a reluctant camper as well and seeing as the last time I camped was 15 years ago, I think we’ll be going the glamping route too! #mondayescapes

    • SarahJChristie
      19th September 2017 / 8:11 pm

      Ha ha I do like the idea of glamping Elizabeth x

  15. 20th September 2017 / 8:18 am

    Great tips! There are so many glamping options these days, you don’t have to rough it. As much as I love camping, I can see why others don’t, hopefully this good advice will help some reluctant campers. #MondayEscapes

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