The Ultimate Camping Guide 2016 With Halfords

Have you ever been camping? I think most people have at some point and as far as my friends go they are either in the love it or hate it camp. If you haven’t tried it before you should definitely give it go, at least then you will know which side you are on. I’m in the love it camp, having been camping since I was little it is a part of my life. We’ve been all over Scotland, Devon, Cornwall and France thanks to it. I’ve stayed in tents and also caravans when we were older. Attaching the awning to the side for more space we would sometimes camp out in it with friends, or even in a tent next to the caravan. As a teenager and in my early twenties I camped at Festivals and on holiday as a cheaper way of travelling to Newquay and Cornwall with friends. Camping has many benefits but can also have negatives, especially if you go unprepared, which is why I love The Ultimate Camping Guide by Halfords (It’s free). I really want to take the kids camping so they can experience it and as it’s been so long since I’ve done it, the guide is perfect to help me plan and make sure I’m ready to have the best time with them. 

The Ultimate camping guide 2016 by Halfords

I wish I had read the beginners camping tips page from The Ultimate Camping Guide before heading off to Newquay with a friend. Actually maybe I should have got her to read it. I pitched my tent fine after practising in the garden before going, hers wasn’t so easy. Neither of us had any idea how it went up and she almost decided to just sleep in the open air after hours of trying to put it up. Facing it away from the wind and away from toilets are other great tips. When you go to a Festival unless you arrive in plenty of time, finding the perfect spot can be tricky but the Festival tips in the guide will help you to decide on what is best. I especially like the camping away from a walkway, I’ve seen drunk people fall on to tents walking past them and I wouldn’t have been too impressed getting woken up by that. Also all tents look the same after being out in the sun drinking all day. The tip about a flag or tying something to your tent so you can identify it would have been useful to know before I went the first time. 

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Excuse the blurry old photos and I don’t know why I’m so tanned!

I do remember one time when I was camping with friends and they thought it would be really funny to pull out the pegs for my tent and chuck them in the field, which was by the way, pitch black. It was also raining and so I woke up when the tent collapsed on my face. My one big tip would be to take a torch, wellies and a raincoat. Trying to scrabble around in a pitch black camping field, in flip flops and a hoody to put your tent back up after a few drinks is no fun! Even if you aren’t camping with annoying friends having these items will help in finding the toilet blocks in the night, or finding your tent in the fiels and well the wellies and waterproofs because we all know what the lovely British weather is like. 

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Some of the things that I love about camping are the ability to just pack up and go and explore somewhere new. It’s much cheaper once you have the gear than staying in a hotel. You get plenty of fresh air and a good tan with always being outside. You spend more time socialising without tv’s and other amenities. You talk to each other more, cooking together on the BBQ or camp stove, sitting together to eat and having a drink outside the tent in the evening. When I was little it was such an adventure, even using the big sinks to wash up in or walking to the shower blocks. Camping in France I loved the freedom of the campsites. Being able to ride my bike around, the activities I could do, the outdoor swimming pools. We would go to the bakery in the morning for fresh croissants and then sit outside in the sunshine eating them, a day stretching ahead of us filled with fun meaning we would sleep well at night. As a parent now I can see why my parents liked it. Hotel holidays mean you either have the kids up awake with you or you try and quietly tiptoe around the hotel room or whisper outside on the balcony if you have one. You don’t need to do this with camping. You also have much more freedom to do what you like when you like.

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Writing this has brought back so many fond memories. I’m going to leave the camping guide for James to read. Then try and persuade him to try camping as unfortunately he’s in the no chance camp. Although I think he might try glamping. 

Oh and one last favourite tip from The Ultimate Camping Guide is airbeds! I will just leave that one there, you are welcome! 

The Ultimate Camping Guide 2016 by Halfords

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. 

14 Comments

  1. June 24, 2016 / 7:47 am

    I loved camping as a child and I would definitely do it now with my own children. Its definitely an experience you need to have. This post has bought back so many childhood memories, thank you! #picknmix

  2. June 24, 2016 / 10:27 am

    I will admit I am not a fan of camping to be honest! I am so glad you do enjoy camping. I am in the no camping club too, but hubby would certainly enjoy it #picknmix

  3. June 24, 2016 / 12:03 pm

    I used to love our camping trips as a child, my mum hated it! I really want to take our kids camping soon. #picknmix

  4. June 24, 2016 / 12:33 pm

    Ooh no the thought of camping with kids terrifies me Obviously holds lots of lovely memories for you though x We caravan it a couple of times a year but that’s about as much as I can handle #picknmix

  5. June 24, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    I’m also on the love it camp for camping! The kids love it, and they sleep so well in the tent. We are off camping in France for the the first time in August and can’t wait. Your pictures are great, love a throwback. X #PicknMix
    Jo from Organised Jo recently posted…Nailing the school run!My Profile

  6. June 24, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    Got our tent a few years back…it’s a monster but one of the best hols we’ve had!

    Will wait a while before we attempt with new Bubs!!
    #picknmix

  7. June 24, 2016 / 8:35 pm

    I used to love camping when I was younger, back when the responsibility wasn’t my own! Now with four kids I think camping would be more trouble than it’s worth, I doubt I would even sleep for fear that one of them would escape in the night! Maybe when they are older we will give it a go! #picknmix
    laura dove recently posted…Making memories.My Profile

  8. June 25, 2016 / 7:47 pm

    Ohh I’m zoo in the love it camp too, your childhood holidays sounds a lot like mine. We always went camping in France in my parents caravan and then as I got older me and friends would camp in the awning or in a tent close by. I love camping and can’t wait to take Leo, I would just be a bit worried about his escaping from the tent in the night! The camping guide sounds fab, hope you convince James and get to take the kids xx #picknmix
    wendy recently posted…Could my second pregnancy be turning me into a bad Mum?My Profile

  9. June 26, 2016 / 7:13 pm

    I didn’t go camping in tents as a kid but we did go in our caravan. Like you say I can totally see why my parents wanted to do it…it is so much easier with kids than hotel stays. Lovely post and lovely memories #PicknMix xx
    Rachel recently posted…Bedtime Story of the Month – June – Peace At LastMy Profile

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