6 tips for your first camping trip

Cornwall is a wonderful place for your first camping trip. Our rugged coastline is steeped in Celtic history, and will appeal to the whole family with it’s picturesque fishing villages, seaside towns and long stretches of golden, sandy beaches. Cornwall is home to many wonderful visitor attractions, including gorgeous National Trust properties and gardens to the worlds largest rainforest in captivity, The Eden Project. If you’re looking for an affordable way to visit Cornwall, you can’t go wrong with a camping holiday. Penhalvean Pottery Campsite is situated just outside the villiage of Stithians, in a great spot to travel all over Cornwall. There’s a lot going on in the local area. So what are our top tips for preparing for a successful first camping trip?

1) Don’t let your expectations run away with you
It’s easy to have high expectations for any holiday, but when you are building your own holiday, you want to it run perfectly. Camping does require a small element of work, generally when you arrive and shortly before you leave. Sometimes we have glorious weather and setting up a tent is easy. Sometimes it’s windy and setting up camp can be slightly more challenging! You may forget certain things you need, as with any holiday. Planning and preparation is key to any camping holiday – do what you can before you go, and it’ll be easier for during your stay.

2) Spend time looking for your perfect campsite

Now is the time to think what your top priorities are! There are many campsites around the UK and camping in Cornwall is popular due to our beautiful beaches and countryside. Every campsite varies in what they have to offer, and the prices they charge. If you’re looking for a rural camping experience getting back to nature, look for small campsite with basic facilities that will meet your basic everyday needs. Are you looking for flushing toilets and hot showers? Some campsites have a small kitchen area with microwave, sink, fridge etc for communal use – our kitchen area here at Penhalvean Pottery Campsite is widely used by our campers. Would you like a small non-commercial campsite or are you looking for a bustling commercial campsite? Do you need a dog friendly campsite? Do you have children to entertain? Do you want to be within walking distance of a beach? Take the opportunity to look at the area you have chosen, and see what is on offer. We love a campsite that has a campfire area – our Stone Circle campfire area is a great way to meet your fellow campers on a summer evening.

3) Get to know your tent
Experienced campers will be familiar with how their tent works. However if you are new to camping or have purchased a new tent, you will want to get to know how it works. Setting up your tent in the comfort of your own home will cut out a whole lot of hassle when you arrive at the campsite, as you will know how it works. Check your guide ropes and tent pegs – and take spare tent pegs with you! Check the tent is large enough for everyone camping with you. It can be tempting to buy a small pop up tent for the ease of set up, but remember you will be living in and around this tent and you want a bit of space. Like the rest of the UK, Cornwall experiences rain all year round so check your tent is up to coping with some adverse weather. The other key thing to have in a tent is air vents, check where they are and that they have mesh over them to prevent bugs entering. They will help with any condensation you may experience.

4) Plan your journey
The first thing to find out is when you can check in at the campsite you have booked. Be sure to do this as if you arrive to early you will need to wait until your pitch is ready. If you arrive too late in the day without checking with the campsite, you may not be allowed on site. If you are expecting to arrive late, give the campsite a call and have a chat with them before you make your booking.

5) Check your camping equipment
Spend one night camping in your tent in your garden, if possible. This is your chance to see if you’re comfortable and to check that everything works. If you’re taking an airbed, inflate it before you leave and remember to take a puncture repair kit with you in case of air leaks. If you are using a sleeping bag, give it a test run and see how warm it is. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of a cool British night shivering – the temperature drops a fair bit in the night and you’ll want to keep warm! Keep a spare blanket in the car in case you need a bit of extra warmth during the night. If you are taking cooking equipment with you, check you have enough gas for your stay and that your camping stove works safely. Check your torch or camping light is working and take extra batteries with you. Ensure you have enough plates, cups, cutlery, cooking pans, bowls etc for everyone, and that you have a means of carrying water.

6) Make a list
Organisation goes a long way with camping trips, especially if you are on a family camping trip! Think through your trip in stages, and what you might you will generally do each day.
A quick list might look something like this:- Camping gear including tents, chairs, airbeds, sleeping bags,and lights. Cooking equipment which will include your cooking stove, gas, matches/lighters, cooking pans, cutting boards, cutlery and plates, cups, water bottles, foil, cloths, tea towels. Clothes including day wear, sleep wear, swim wear, walking shoes/wellies, trainers, towels, warm layers. Personal items such as toiletries, toothbrush, toothpaste, suncream, aftersun, first aid kid, medications, antibacterical hand gel. Other items that might be on your list include camera, bikes and maps. We’ll let you think about your own food list, but remember the teabags!

Rural camping in Cornwall with Penhalvean Pottery Campsite can be booked on PitchUp.