Tips for a stress-free camping trip this summer

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files

CHECK YOUR GEAR BEFORE YOU GO: You won't be pleased if you arrive at your destination and find you forgot the pegs or there is a rip in your tent. Putting in a bit of time before your trip will help avoid nasty surprises. Investing in good-quality dependable gear is important. Equipment easily damaged or not able to provide comfort and protection is no fun.

BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST: Check the forecast and remember it is best to have equipment for all types of conditions. Take plastic shopping and sealable bags to store items in case of rain, along with games to keep everyone entertained if they end up stuck inside. If you are camping in a remote spot, make sure someone knows where you are going and how long you intend to be away.

RESEARCH YOUR CAMPSITE: Check what facilities are available so you will know what you need to take. Is power available and are there additional charges for it? Is there running water and flush toilets? What kind of cooking equipment is available?

CHOOSE YOUR SITE CAREFULLY: There is nothing worse than sleeping on sticks or stones, or finding you're on a slope come bedtime! Pick a site with a bit of shade and some shelter, but not under a tree, if possible, so bird droppings and falling branches aren't a problem. Ensure it is on high ground to avoid any potential flooding in heavy rain.

PITCHING YOUR TENT: Give yourself plenty of time to pitch your tent by arriving at your campsite well before dark. Remember, many hands make light work. When it comes to packing up, ensure the tent is dry to avoid mildew. If the tent can't be packed dry on the day, dry and air it once at home.

LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS: Clear your campsite and take all your rubbish with you. Leave it as you found it. Respecting the environment will ensure the spots you have enjoyed remain special for others, as well as for your next visit.