Ways to make your camping trip easy

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Camping can make a wonderful holiday, but without some preparation it can also be hard work. There are lots of things you can do to make your camping trip easier. From your tent to your food, here are some different ideas to make your next camping trip a little easier.

Time your arrival
Arrive in the day time if possible. If you’ve ever experienced it, you’ll know that putting a tent up in a dark and unfamiliar place isn’t easy or pleasant. Arriving in the day time will make it easier to pick a good spot, and easier to put up your tent.

Practice before you go
It also helps if you know how to put up your tent before you go. It’s much easier to figure out how to do it in your own back garden than when you get to your campsite where there may be more difficult conditions.

Keep warm and cosy
Take a good quality sleeping bag. A night spent shivering will make for a less pleasant trip all round if you’re tired. It’s worth spending a little more to get decent kit to make you more comfortable and to enable you to get a good night’s sleep and enjoy your holiday more.

Easy meals
Make cooking easy with some meals which are specifically designed to be used while camping, with minimal equipment. The easiest of these is self-heating meals which come with a meal in a sealed pouch and a single use heater. Simply put the meal pouch into the heater, add a little water to activate the heater and wait a few minutes for a warm, tasty meal with no fuss and no mess.

A camping holiday should be fun, not a chore, so make best use of these tips to make your holiday a little easier. We hope you have a great holiday wherever you go!

Comfortable camping in cooler months

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Some people only associate camping with a summer holiday, but there’s no reason that with the right prep work you can’t camp into autumn and beyond. Here are some tips to help you make sure your camping trip is just as comfortable as the weather gets cooler.

Tents
Choose a tent that is not too big. You may think the more room, the better, but more space to move around in is more space to keep warm.
Before you pitch your tent, look around to see if you can find a sheltered spot. When the temperature drops at night, a place with a bit of protection from the wind could help you stay warm.

Clothes
It’s easier to stay warm than to get warm, so as soon as the temperature starts dropping, make sure you’re wrapped up to keep the heat in.
Layering your clothes can make it easier to adjust to the correct temperature.

Food
Keep your energy up with filling foods. Staple morning meals like porridge or eggs are quick and will warm you up and get you going. Quick to prepare foods are the best as the longer you’re sat around making your meal, the colder you’ll get. One of the simplest ways to prepare a warm meal is using a self heating meal. We stock a range of different options.

Nature
If you’re planning on camping in the autumn, you might as well enjoy the autumn leaves. Take a little time before you go and find a campsite with stunning autumn views, either at the campsite itself or at hiking and biking spots nearby.
Be prepared for bad weather. Though there is still lots of lovely crisp and clear weather in the autumn, there’s always the chance of rain. Pack waterproofs so you won’t be miserable if the weather does take a turn for the worse.

So, will you join the crew that thinks cold weather camping is even better than warm? Try out these tips and give it a go!

5 autumnal things to enjoy while camping

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As summer fades and winter gets closer, it’s easy to dismiss autumn as a dreary placeholder, but autumn has its own charms. If you take the time to appreciate the glory of the change of the seasons, perhaps autumn will become a new favourite. Here are some of our favourite autumn activities you can enjoy on your next camping trip.

Crisp air and crisp leaves
Bring back a feeling of nostalgia by stepping on the crunchiest leaves and enjoying the crackle. Children love this too, and everyone can enjoy the cool, fresh air on a walk in the countryside.

Hot drinks
Hot drinks seem to take on an extra level of enjoyableness when the weather starts to get cooler. It’s lovely to curl up with a hot drink at the end of a chilly walk or in the morning to warm yourself up before heading out.

Collect sweet chestnuts
Collecting and roasting sweet chestnuts is an activity the whole family can join in with. Just make sure you don’t roast any horse chestnuts – these are poisonous! Use them to play conkers instead.

Wrapping up warm by the fire
The colder nights are a great excuse to get a fire going. Make sure that your campsite allows them before you get started. Wrapping up in cosy jumpers and blankets around a campfire in the evening can be the perfect opportunity to share stories and relax after a busy day.

Autumn leaves
Seeing the normally verdant forest turn into a riot of glorious reds, oranges and golds can create a gorgeous backdrop to any autumn activity. Whether it’s a bike ride, a picnic or a photography trip, the leaves alone can completely change the look of the countryside.

A warm meal is even more appreciated when the weather is cold. Why not make it easy by taking one of our self heating meals with you?
We hope you all enjoy the autumn season, whatever you choose to do.

Why hiking is good for you

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Many people from different walks of life enjoy hiking. Everyone has their own reasons for starting, but if you’re not sure it’s for you, here are some good reasons to give it a go.

Physical Benefits
It’s well known that physical exercise contributes to your overall health. Hiking specifically can be good for many reasons. You can vary the level of activity, for example by choosing an easier trail or setting a faster or slower pace. As hiking is so customisable and varied, you can increase the level of the activity as you get fitter. Being outside with different scenery can keep your motivation up versus being inside with the same four walls to look at each time you exercise.

Mental Benefits
Taking time out and getting away from the distractions of home and work can give you a chance to clear your mind and get a different perspective on things. Truly getting away from things and out into the countryside can give you a genuine break from the stresses of modern life. Many people also feel happier if given the chance to enjoy outdoor, green spaces.

Social Benefits
Conquering a goal together and sharing an experience can help to strengthen or create a bond. You may notice different aspects of your friends’ personalities on show when taken out of their routine and given the chance to try something or go somewhere a bit different. If you don’t have any friends who are interested in hiking, there are also hiking clubs that you can join if you’d like to meet new people who share an interest with you.

Hiking can be very enjoyable, and to make it a bit easier, we have a range of products available. If you need a filling meal to help keep you going on your next hike, why not give one of our self heating meals a go?

Summer camping tips

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There’s nothing like a summer camping trip. The nights are long, the days are warm, and even in England you’re likely to see a bit of sun! It can be a wonderful time of year to go camping, and we hope these tips will make it even more so.

Pack light
You need the essentials, but an overpacked car will feel even hotter on a long trip. Take advantage of modern space saving items designed specifically for camping if you need them, but you don’t need every gadget going. Decide what you really need and are going to use, and stick to it.

Stay safe
It’s not just us enjoying the summer, all sorts of bugs and little critters will no doubt be around too. Pack a first aid kit with this in mind. If you’re not sure what would be best, a little research in advance could be beneficial.

Make the most of the weather
Good weather doesn’t last forever, especially in England. Enjoy the hot spell and get out there, enjoy the great outdoors. But don’t forget the sunscreen!

Keep it cool
It’s important to keep cool on a hot day. Heat exhaustion or heatstroke can ruin your holiday. Take plenty of water and stay out of the sun in the hottest parts of the day if possible. If you have any food which may spoil, be extra careful as on a hot day the deterioration can be accelerated.

Make it easy
You want to enjoy the long, light nights, not make it a chore. If you are more the type who appreciates relaxing in an evening, consider a pre-prepared meal, such as one of our hot pack meals. These are the ultimate in lazy camping food. No pots and pans required, it comes with everything you need to enjoy a hot meal in minutes.

We hope these ideas make your trip a little more pleasant. There are so many options for summer holidays, but camping can create a special memory. We wish you the best time on your summer break this year. Enjoy your trip, wherever you go!

5 hacks for camping with children

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Camping with children can be both rewarding and a cause of stress, but if you want to share your love of the great outdoors it can really be worth it. With a bit of extra planning and preparation you can make sure everyone has a good time. Here are a few ideas to help you along.

Safety first!
There are plenty of potential hazards when camping, even in campsites which are child friendly. You need to make your child aware of dangers such as fires, wildlife and wandering off into the woods/countryside alone. It can help to start a couple of weeks in advance of your trip, especially with younger children who may take a little more time to grasp the concepts. You could spend some time reading books about camping together and discussing the rules for your upcoming holiday.

Get your children involved
As well as keeping them busy, it can be really rewarding to do a job together such as putting the tent up. Younger to middle age children could do something simple like passing you the pegs, or older children could help set up chairs or the sleeping area inside the tent. If you feels its suitableyou’re your child, you could ask them to help out with the cooking too.

Give them their own responsibilities
Small responsibilities such as taking care of their own small backpack for water and snacks can help ensure everyone has enough to eat and drink and you have more space in your pack for other things.

First aid
Make sure your first aid kit is stocked in case you’re in the middle of nowhere when an accident happens. Items like insect repellent, sunscreen and hand sanitiser might be useful depending on the area. A lovely holiday can be ruined by dozens of insect bites or a bad sunburn on the first day.

Teach them a skill
A camping trip is a wonderful chance to bond. Try teaching your child a new skill. It could be something trip related such as map reading, using a compass or something creative like drawing which you can do together.

5 Packing Tips for Hiking

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Packing efficiently for your hike is essential, as no matter how fit you are, that pack that felt so light when you packed it at home will start to feel heavier and heavier as the day goes on. Read on for our top tips to pack efficiently for hiking.

The right pack

Choose the right size pack – even not filling a larger pack will be heavier than completely filling a medium sized one due to the weight of the bag itself. You also want to make sure it’s sturdy and comfortable to carry. Even on a day hike, you will likely be on the move for several hours. There are a great range of backpacks at The Adventure and Outdoor Store, ranging in size from 8-30 litres.

Think about accessibility

Pack with the things you might need soonest on the top or in an easily accessible pocket (while still thinking about weight distribution!). It’s no use having your water bottle buried at the bottom of the bag. A first aid kit is well placed in a side pocket so it can be accessed in an emergency.

Weight distribution

Put your lightest items such as sleeping bag or rain gear into the bag first and heaviest items in the middle/middle top so you can centre them for even weight distribution. If all the heavy things end up on the bottom or one side of the bag you will end up with sore shoulders and a bad back! If you have a sleeping mat, fold this up so it’s along the back part of your bag that will be nearest your back for extra back cushioning.

Make sure you have enough room for the essentials

Sure, it might be nice to bring that comfy blanket to sit on while you have your lunch, or that video camera to capture the view at the top of the mountain, but if you have to sacrifice bringing your lunch, or a first aid kit, is it really worth it? Make a list of the absolute essentials, and only after you have that sorted, should you consider what else you might have space for.

Food

Bring light, energy dense foods. Consider a space saving freeze-dried camping meal or our self-heating meals, which means you don’t need to cart about a stove or other cookware. Simply use the water in the pouch provided to activate the unique heater and you can have a hot meal anywhere you travel to. Each pack also includes a food tray, knife fork and spoon, salt and pepper and a napkin. Bring other small snacks in sealable bags rather than containers to save space. Don’t bring tins! They are heavy and you can get a better weight to nutrients ratio from other items.

Hopefully these tips will give you a few things to think about, and make your next day out or camping trip a little easier. Happy hiking!

Fun ideas for camping with your family

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Taking kids away from the comfort and safety of home to go camping together can be stressful, but it’s also important to remember the fun side of things. Family holidays can be some of the strongest memories we have from our youth, so make your next camping trip one to remember with these fun ideas!

Car activities
Kids can easily become bored on a long journey to a campsite. Older children could enjoy an audio book or playing some car games together such as eye spy can help keep them entertained. A new toy can hold a little one’s attention if they have to be in the car for a while. Breaking up the journey with rest stops to stretch their legs can break up the monotony and help keep everyone happy.

Rainy day options
If you’re camping you probably have lots of plans to be outdoors, but if the weather does turn bad, it’s useful to have a backup plan. You could check out indoor things to do locally, and bring a few colouring books and games they can play with in the tent.

Enjoying nature
Take advantage of your surroundings to enjoy the great outdoors. Nature walks can be exciting for kids, especially if you live in a city. To help keep their interest why not try a scavenger hunt, or a nature bingo card. You could even bring cheap or disposable cameras and see who can snap the best picture. Get a family shot and you’ll have a lovely souvenir of your trip.

Try something new
There are some activities that you might have done as a child but would be a first for your children. Why not try singing campfire songs and toasting marshmallows together?
Have you thought about trying one of our self-heating meals? Kids will enjoy the novelty of a meal which gets ‘magically’ warm by itself, and if you come back tired after a long day of adventures, you might be glad of an easy meal with no preparation or mess, which is ready in 10 minutes!

Things to keep in your car in winter

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When the cold weather descends there are a few extra precautions to take to make sure you and your family stay safe.

Blanket
Make sure you will be warm and comfortable by packing a thick blanket. You probably won’t be able to run the heater for the whole time if you are stopped for a long time, so you’ll need something to keep the warmth in.

Phone battery pack and charging cable
Portable phone charging packs are readily available these days and you can pick one up fairly inexpensively. If charged and in your car, in could mean a lifeline to emergency services in an emergency if your phone’s battery goes flat.

Snow shovel
Especially if you have been at a standstill for a while in heavy snow, a snow shovel may be essential to get you moving again.

Hat and gloves
If you are not in the habit of taking your hat and gloves with you when you go out in the winter, it may be worth keeping a spare pair in the car in case you end up in standing traffic in the cold weather. Keeping your extremities warm can be one of the hardest things when you have to switch your engine off for a long time. You could pop in a spare pair of thick socks too.

High visibility jacket and a torch
If it gets dark and you have to leave your car in order to get help, a high visibility jacket will mean people will be able to see you, and the torch will enable you to see your surroundings.

Emergency rations
Choose food that won’t spoil easily so you won’t have to replace it very often. Things that are nutritious and calorie dense are best in emergency situations. We have a range of long lasting, ready to eat food pouches on our website so you don’t have to worry about quick expiry dates.

Take care during the bad weather, and be prepared.

Winter survival in stuck cars

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When heavy snow hits the UK, hundreds of people can become trapped for hours on snowy roads.

Follow our tips to help you make the best of these situations.

• Consider giving your car a pre-winter check. Make sure everything is in good working order and get any repairs done that you have been putting off.
• Keep an eye on the forecast. Prevention is better than cure as they say. If possible, avoid taking a trip when bad weather is forecast, or delay it until the outlook is better.
• If you are going on a longer journey, make sure you have a full tank of petrol or diesel before setting off. You may use more fuel than expected in the different driving conditions, and may be less able to easily find somewhere to fill up.
• Stock up on essentials in case you do get stuck somewhere in your car. People have had to endure days stuck in their cars in the snow, and while this hopefully won’t be the case for you, a ready to eat packaged meal, some emergency rations and bottles of water can be useful even if you are only stuck for a short time.
• Think about keeping warm in a stopped car. Put a spare set of warm clothing in your car, including gloves to keep your fingers warm. Food will help keep your core temperature up, and a thick blanket will help keep the warmth in.

We hope you will never be in a really dangerous situation trapped in the cold, but with some preparation we hope you can have some peace of mind if the worst case does occur. Preparation is never wasted though. Even if you only got stuck somewhere for an hour or so, a warm blanket and a snack are often appreciated!