Whether you’re heading to a festival this summer (lucky you) or simply want to get away from the city, chances are you could be camping out under the stars. While your break may lack in the usual creature comforts, there’s nothing quite like it. Sitting round a camp fire at night, snuggling up in your sleeping bag, getting closer to nature…A camping weekend is a great way to relax and switch off from the restlessness of your busy working life.
Now I’m no expert but my running escapades mean I’ve picked up a few tips on the way. So besides the obvious (tent, sleeping bag etc), here are a few essentials you won’t regret packing on a camping weekend.
1. Decent waterproofs
One minute it’s blistering hot sunshine, the next you’re stuck in a downpour. The weather (especially in the UK) does like to test us. Be prepared and pack some decent waterproofs. This means a jacket, trousers or both that will withstand more than a shower.
You don’t have to spend a fortune, in fact, Mountain Warehouse do a really decent rain jacket from £12 and waterproof trousers that come in a pouch and are also useful for that cycle commute to work. Buy waterproofs to ensure the inclement weather doesn’t put a dampener on your trip.
2. A head torch
There’s nothing worse than heading back to your tent, slightly merry after a few too many, and tripping over the guide ropes (or invisible bits of string) that hold tents in place. Avoid it as best you can by packing a decent head torch. Admittedly, they can be a wee bit antisocial, especially if your careless with your lamp but as anyone who has run a 24-hour race will tell you, they are absolutely essential and useful both on and off the course. You leave your hands free for other bits and bobs. And always take spare batteries. Again Mountain Warehouse or Cotswold Outdoor are a good place to find one at a reasonable price.
3. Plastic bags
When it comes to packing, separate all your gear into plastic bags to keep it dry and protect against any leakage from water bottles, shampoo bottles, liquids in general. There’s nothing worse than opening your bag to find that the hand sanitizer you packed is all over your clothing and you’re stuck in the same outfit throughout the weekend. Have an extra plastic bag or two for rubbish and dirty laundry to keep the small tent space you’re living in tidy and environmentally friendly.
4. Wet wipes
We all like to think that we’ll get up early and be the first in the queue for a shower but when the reality of the festival hits, you’d prefer an extra few minutes kip. Enter the need for wet wipes – moist, easy-to-use and cheap, they are a festival-goers’ or campers’ friend. You can use them to clean your hands, your face or in place of toilet paper. A full pack may weigh a bit but you’ll soon get through them.
5. Anti-bacterial handwash
When you’re outside and enjoying the fresh air, it can be difficult to keep your hands clean. Take all the necessary precautions and you’ll avoid getting a gippy tummy. This includes washing your hands regularly with anti-bacterial handwash. A tiny 50ml bottle lasts forever and can be easily slipped into your rucksack or day bag for the festival. Just think, you’ll probably be using your hand for all sorts during the day so regularly wash them, especially before you eat.