2023 is in full swing already and as we move ever closer towards spring, many of us are already looking ahead to warmer, longer days, excited to start making camping plans for the year.
You might have a camping trip already booked, or perhaps there are a whole heap of places you want to visit this year or you could even be hoping to take on something bigger, like your first multi-day hike or wild camping.
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Whatever you’re looking forward to, now is a great time to plan and get both you, and your gear ready for your first camping trip of the year.
1. Check your camping gear
Make sure you have all the necessary camping basics including a tent, sleeping bag, camp mattress, something to cook on as well as extra warm layers.
Making sure you know what you’ve got now well ahead of your camping trip gives you plenty of time to buy or borrow what you might be missing or to repair old gear and winter is a great time to get a camping bargain before we reach spring.
You’ll want to ensure that your existing tent and camping gear is up to the job and in good repair too. Most tents will benefit from regular re-proofing, something you’ll definitely want to do if you’ve had your tent more than a couple of years. The last thing you want is for your old tent to fail on you at the first hint of rain.
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Check to ensure you didn’t put any of your gear away dirty or damaged at the end of last season, and if you’re using a pole tent, double check none of the poles are damaged and ensure nothing is missing.
2. Think about fitness
If you plan to do any hiking or other physical activities on your trip, start an exercise plan now to help you get into shape.
Building up strength and stamina will really help you make the most of your hiking trip and becomes even more important if you’re planning a big challenge hike or even a shorter multi-day hike that will require you to carry all of your camping gear.
Getting injured early on could bring your plans to a premature end or it could make like really uncomfortable, so putting training in now can significantly help.
3. Plan locations and make bookings
Research the areas you’ll be visiting and if you’ll be on foot or are traveling by public transport or bike, you’ll also need to plan out your route.
Knowing your route and where you’ll be staying will help you to determine what you need to pack and also how to allocate your time ahead of the trip.
Be aware that during busier times of the year, for example at Easter, popular campsites can get booked up fast and if you’re hoping to have the biggest selection of campsites, planning and booking them early in the year will help you avoid disappointment.
Planning in advance will also make it easier to get annual leave logged and approved and things like pet sitters sorted out.
4. Figure out what you’ll need to take
Make a list of everything that you think you’ll need for your trip and if you’re short on space or you’re backpacking, you’ll want to pack as lightly as possible.
Consider too that the weather in spring can be unpredictable, so make sure you pack for a range of conditions. You’ll want to ensure that not only do you have enough layers to stay warm – camping early in the year can lead to nighttime temperatures of close to zero degrees in the UK. Consider too, extra layers in case you get dirty or wet and waterproof layers to help keep you dry.
When thinking about what you’re going to take, now could also be a good time to plug in your rechargeable devices, like power stations, lanterns and head torches.
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