Camping can be great fun; fresh air, freedom, no telephone ringing or emails to read (as long as you leave your smartphone at home!). You can take some great outdoor things to do; fly a kite, play football or take your binoculars to study the birds and wildlife. It's fun cooking outside; even very simple food tastes great when you cook it on the bank of a river.
Despite all the fun you can have, there are a few simple things you can take with you which will make your trip much more pleasurable and relaxing. Why make it harder than it needs to be? Whether you are camping at a festival, in a campsite or out in the wilds it's worth giving some thought to your packing. Here's a list of the top 3 things you've never thought of taking camping with you.
1) A pillow. Sleeping on the ground may be bearable but without a pillow you will probably end up with neck ache and a sore shoulder. You might also have difficulty getting to sleep with your head on the hard ground. A pillow can take up a lot of space in your rucksack but it can make all the difference; you will enjoy your trip much more if you can sleep well and get some rest. If you really don't have space you could get a compression bag to compress your favorite pillow as much as possible. Alternatively, get an inflatable pillow. A sleeping bag compression sack is a good idea to minimize the volume of your sleeping bag in your packing.
2) Ear plugs. Camping can be really noisy. Other campers coming back late at night, arguing in their tents and tripping over guy ropes will wake you up and ruin your trip. Wind, rain and the local farmer's cockerels can all disturb you and make you tired and grumpy the next day. It's a good idea to get our ZenPlugs Sleeping Ear Plugs which are comfortable when lying on your side. Try them out before your trip to make sure they are comfortable and are good enough to block the sound of snoring from the tent next door.
3) Spices. A small film case with a few teaspoons of curry powder in it goes a long way to livening up meals cooked whilst you are camping. Food can easily end up being overcooked if you are using a camping stove you aren't used to. You can make it more palatable by adding some curry powder or spicy hot sauce. If you are camping for some time your menu might end up becoming repetitive. Boiled pasta with tinned tomatoes can become monotonous after eating it for lunch and dinner 4 days in a row. You could take a few small twists of tin foil or cling film containing dried herbs, dried garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Use them in varying quantities to give your meals some variety.
Hopefully your camping trips will now be a little more enjoyable. Eat some great food and sleep soundly with your pillow and ear plugs.