Camping is a great way of taking a family holiday or a short break to escape the cities hassle and dive into the beauty of the natural world. Camping is usually practiced on campsites or especially adapted areas which are in a close distance from mountains, forests or lakes. They could also be near interesting cities or tourist attractions. Camping is often associated as a recreational activity as it usually is combined with sporting activities such as fishing, climbing, canoeing, mountain biking and other leisure sports. Camping often accompanies music festivals which take a few days in the countryside. There are many campsites around Europe including UK campsites, French campsites and Spanish campsites.
It is common in campsites to find fire rinks to safely set up your campfire, shared toilets and pubs. Some better equipped campsites also provide BBQ grills, children's playground for kids to play around the campsite safely and a bigger choice of entertainment.
There are campers though who would rather go as far as civilization as possible.
If you are visiting a campsite that will not offer some of the facilities there is a wide range of camping accessories to help you with cooking, heating and lighting.
When you go on a camping holiday even if it is for a couple of days, your tent will be your home. So it is really important to choose a tent that will give you the ultimate comfort.
One thing to consider is how many people the tent will have to accommodate. Tents usually come in sizes 2-man, 4-man, 8-man and more. If you are camping with your entire family there are plenty of family tents with separate sleeping areas for two, three or four people.
You will also have to plan what time during the year you will be going camping as different weather has its own demands on the tent. Rain, wind, cold and heath are all weather factors that require specific tent features. These are tent shape, poles, walls, etc. Steady poles are required in windy weather and the best tent shape is geodesic as it reduces the wind effect and its poles arrangements provide great strength.
To keep you from the rain your tent should have a waterproof rain fly made from nylon to stretch all around the tent down to the ground. The floor should also be waterproof coated nylon. It will prevent any water that runs underneath to wet the inside of the tent.
In sunny and hot weather tents are supposed to provide shade and some cool place to hide from the hot. The rain fly can provide shade for the tent. You will also need large windows to keep the air flow through the tent.
If you are camping during winter you will need a mountaineering tent. Otherwise for cold weather it is best to choose a three season tent that has good feature to keep you warm during low temperatures.
Sleeping bags will be your bed while you are camping. So you have to choose your bed carefully. Sleeping bags vary in type, size and material. Manufacturers also assign temperature ratings.
There are two main shapes of bags, rectangular and mummy. The rectangular sleeping bag is more spacious and gives more comfort, but is therefore more suitable for warm weather and if you are not backpacking as its weights is comparatively high. The mummy is supposed to wrap around you and gives more warmth. It is used mostly for camping during colder nights and is really light so it is suitable for backpacking.
What size sleeping bag you will choose depends entirely on personal needs, but it is advisable to choose a bag that is a few inches wider at the bottom and at the top.
The temperature ratings given by manufacturers should be considered as guidelines only as some people sleep warmer or cooler than others. Make sure you choose a bag which is said to be suitable for the weather of when you are planning to camp. Also it is advisable to wear warm clothes if you are camping during colder months even if you have purchased a sleeping bag for low temperatures.
There are two types of material used for insulation by sleeping bag manufacturers. One is made by natural material most commonly by goose down. They last longer and are significantly lighter. However they loose their insulation if they get wet, it is very hard to take care of them and it takes forever to dry. Synthetics are an alternative to goose down. Although it won't last that long and wouldn't give you the real warmth as by goose down, they could be easily washed and stored and they protect from getting wet.
Caravans are a great way to bring your home with you when you go camping. They provide comfortable sleeping area, clean sanitation, cooking facilities, they can keep you warm and dry during cold and rainy weather. Caravans are great for spending some days at holiday parks.
To fully enjoy your time camping you need a proper equipment. From comfortable outdoor clothes to sanitation, you have to consider all your needs before you drive off to the campsite.
If you would like to keep your good hygiene routine there are many portable toilets and bathrooms to choose from.
Lanterns, headlamps and torches will help keep your camp light and comfortable when night falls.
For your cooking needs you can choose from wide variety of camping stoves. They come with one or two burners, depending on how many people you are cooking for. The ultimate option is using a propane stove as they are the easiest to use. All you need to do is turn on the gas and light the burner, with some even featuring electric starter, just like in your own home.
Heating options are available from portable gas heaters to keep your tent warm. However this should be used with caution.
The most enjoyable part of camping is starting up a camp fire. There is nothing like the cosy warmth of the fire, campfires bring people together and nothing tastes as good as fire roasted food. You have to be very careful when starting up your campfire. Make sure you keep it small and set it up in the fire rinks provided. Use wood lying on the ground and don't cut leaves or branches from the trees. Never leave a fire unattended and make sure the ashes are cold before you leave.