Location: Edale, Derbyshire, England
Yep, for the first weekend of September, and the last weekend I'll probably have to play before the Autumn starts, this city kid embarked on her first ever camping trip. Now strictly speaking, I have "camped out" in a tent before at Leeds Festival, but since I spent the weekend partying and barely anywhere near the actual campsite, plus didn't even help to put the tent up (sorry not sorry), I'd call myself a beginner at this stuff.
I think for my first time I didn't do too badly, so here's a very short and sweet guide for anyone who fancies trading their high-tops for wellies for a couple of nights. And that leads me on to a very good point... what the hell do you pack? The key to most types of travelling, which I have learnt many times (cough the hard way) is to pack lightly, apparently. Now my boyfriend still insists that I can pack too much (it's never too much) but here are the bare essentials I would recommend - and anything else you add to this list just consider that you are the one carrying it!
Luke demonstrating his advice: 'If it doesn't fit in, STRAP IT ON'
The Important Stuff 🏕️
Complete with rods and a mallet to hammer them into the ground with.
We had one that had a hook so you could hang it up inside the tent - so useful!
If couple camping, try zipping two sleeping bags together to make a giant one!
✔️️A Sleeping Mat & Pillow
If stuck for space, take a pillow case and stuff it with a jumper.
Essential Toiletries 🚿
✔️️Toothbrush and toothpaste (preferably travel sized)
✔️️Miniature bottle of shower gel (Lush shower jellies are also great)
✔️️Cotton wool and something that cleanses and removes make-up
✔️️Lip balm - assuming you'll be doing some nice country walks, or maybe even a hike, lips can really dry out and be sore. Don't be silly and take lip gloss - but reach for some Carmex, Vaseline, or whatever you like to rub into your smackers.
✔️️Finally, if you insist on taking make-up, take a minimum amount in a waterproof makeup bag and try to avoid taking your best stuff! No one cares about highlighter in the countryside!
✔️️One Pair Of Trainers/Walking Boots
Good grip and decent for walking in is essential
✔️️One pair of wellies
During a hot summer ankle boots are okay, but if a likely chance of rain or going in the colder months it's best to get knee-highs
✔️️A Couple of Thick Jumpers
Ensure the material isn't itchy however!
✔️️A Few T-Shirts
If the weather is hot, take something lighter because you'll sweat
✔️️Tracksuit Bottoms/Sweat Pants
Avoid tight jeans and thin leggings at all costs.
As well as comfortable underwear. Don't be taking thin cotton trainer socks because they won't do anything for blisters!
✔️️A Waterproof Jacket/Coat With A Hood!
This is the United Kingdom. It's going to rain.
The Extras (But Just As Important) 🎒
✔️️Insect Repellent (trust me)
✔️️Bobbles and a hair brush
✔️️Camera, memory card and spare battery
✔️️A water bottle
✔️️Cash (many places such as campsites, local pubs/shops may not accept card/charge/have minimum spend)
✔️️Plastic bags (for rubbish, wet clothing, protecting shoes etc.)
✔️️Torch for finding your way back to your tent, and going for bathroom visits in the middle of the night!
Before You Go 🕒
A few things you'll need to do before going, besides packing, is first and foremost figure out how you're getting there and book your campsite. If, like us, you don't have a car, book your train or whatever transport as quickly as possible, and find a route from the train station to the camspite that's as quick and easy as possible as you will be carrying a lot of stuff. Having a train station nearby is also something you may want to consider when searching for a campsite - ours was no more than a 15 minute walk away. If driving, check out the best route and ensure there is onsite parking too.
When booking your campsite have a read of the reviews. Like you would a hotel, compare before sticking to one. You generally get what you pay for, but make sure you check out the facilities and benefits before agreeing. Also consider how far the shops are, and how local the local pub is so you can grab a pint if it all gets a bit much!
If staying for a few days, find out what there is to do in the area. Whether it's walking, nature trails, climbing up hills, visiting an activity centre or just going for a pub lunch, it's nice to have an idea of what to do in the daytime. And finally, have fun and embrace the fresh air, the starry nights and the sunny days. It beats the city any day!
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