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1. Preparation Camping Tips - Part 1. Preparation
  • Check your vehicle – batteries tend to fail in cold weather so if your battery is a few years old you should check its capacity to minimise the chance of being stuck with a dead battery; check the oil and water; check tyre pressures and check the condition and pressure of the spare tyre; check your brakes – this is especially important if you will be towing a trailer or caravan; check that headlights, tail lights, brake lights and turn indicators work.
  • If you will be towing a trailer or caravan check the tyre pressures and tyre condition; check the brake and tail lights.

  • Check out the camp site before hand – depending on wind conditions and whether the ground is sand or hard soil you will need to take appropriate tent pegs and possibly extra guy ropes and poles.

  • Check road conditions so you know what to expect and whether your vehicle is suitable for the trip.

  • Check the camp ground rules in advance so you know what is allowed, when you can check-in and check-out; whether pets are allowed etc.

  • Check whether ice is available nearby if you don't have a portable fridge.

  • Check out where the nearest medical facilities are – hopefully you won't need to use them but at least if you know where they are that is on

  • Check your camping gear. If it hasn't been used for a long time it is a good idea to set it up and check it is all there, that there are no holes, tears, etc. Ideally this should be done a few weeks before the trip so you have time to get repairs done if necessary.

  • Check your air mattresses to ensure there are no leaks.

  • Check the expected weather conditions and day and night temperatures so you know what clothing to pack. This is especially important if you have young children or babies.

  • Check that your sleeping bags will be warm enough.

  • Check your cooking equipment. Check the seals and hoses on gas stoves and replace if required.

  • Fill gas bottles.

  • Check your lighting equipment. These days there is a range of portable LED lighting which requires little power and provides a safe, cool light. If you are using gas lights, ensure you have an adequate supply of mantles as these break very easily.

  • Check your First aid kit and ensure you have bandages, antiseptic cream, creams or other lotions for the treatment of insect bites and itches.

  • Check your torch and ensure you have spare batteries for it.

  • If you have a portable fridge turn it on and let it run for at least a few hours. The day before you leave you can turn it on and leave it run for a day so that it is nice and cold when you pack food in it.

  • Plan your meals in advance and choose things which are easy to prepare, don't require lots of cooking time or utensils and use ingredients that can be easily stored and used.

  • Prepare a checklist and tick it off as you pack.

  • If you are on medication ensure you have an adequte supply for your trip or that there is a suitable place to obtain more should it be required.

  • If you have pets at home, arrange for someone to look after them. If you are away for long period and you have potplants or a garden you may need to get someone to water the plants.

  • Brush up on your First Aid treatment for snake bite and spider bite.

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