Thinking of embarking on a spring camping trip? I read this first
Is it a good idea to camp in the spring? Sure! But you just need to be prepared and make sure you pack the right stuff. In 2020 and 2021 Covid restrictions meant most campsites were closed over Easter, but this year it looks like the campsites are back with a vengeance: Camping and Caravanning Club reports that bookings for its 100 venues are up 33% this year, compared to Easter 2019.
The main thing to keep in mind when packing for a camping trip in the spring is that the weather is even less reliable than in the summer, there are a few key rules to follow if you want your camping trip Easter is a success, rather than a vacation story that made you give up camping altogether. It’s just the thing to pack for your spring camping trip.
1. WARM BEDDING
“If you originally bought all your camping gear for a summer vacation, check the specs of your gear before you go,” says David Scotland, camping expert and owner of a camping gear retailer. Direct outside world .
One really essential thing to check is that their bedding is warm enough; there is nothing worse than being cold at night. “Keep in mind that even though temperatures reach mid-teens during the day, they can still drop below 5°C in the spring at night,” adds David.
Check the rating of your sleeping bag: “one season” is for summer only, “two seasons” should be fine for spring, if the weather is mild enough. Three seasons later and you’re golden no matter what the weather decides to do.
Check that your camping mat is also suitable – some will provide more insulation than others (the R-rating is kind of the part you need to pay attention to – an R-value below 2.0 is for summer use, 2.0 to 4.0 will be suitable for 3 station use). If you’re going camping by car and you have room, opt for a camping bed. These thicker options will keep you away from cold ground.
2. CLOTHING FOR ALL WEATHER
The weather in April can run the gamut from scorching sun to snow. So bring clothes for any eventuality. “If you’re only going camping for a weekend, check the weather forecast and pack accordingly; however, if you’re planning on camping for a week or more, I suggest you pack for different eventualities,” explains David.
In cold, wet weather pack a decent waterproof jacket and maybe even waterproof pants, plus plenty of extra layers, gloves and a hat. In sunny weather, lighter layers, sunscreen and sunglasses.
3. ESSENTIAL ITEMS FOR CAMPING ON RAINY DAYS
If you have a smaller store, consider adding a gazebo to shelter you from a spontaneous downpour; this is especially important if you have to cook outside your tent. And don’t think you can get away with a picnic blanket either; this is for a situation where you want to bring your own camp chairs to stay off the wet ground. David suggests you might even consider a small heater if you have a power connection in your store.
Hay fever season is starting now, so don’t forget your antihistamines and, like any camping trip, pack insect repellent.
4. A GOOD TENT
If you’re potentially going to be stuck indoors for part of your trip, it’s worth investing in the best camping tent you can afford. Indoor space and porches to dry wet clothes and hide muddy boots can make all the difference. Of course, it should also be waterproof: David suggests looking for a waterproof tent of at least 3000mm, to be safe when the skies open.
A word of warning though, even if you have opted for a very sturdy tent, it is probably not designed for harsh weather conditions. “If there’s a weather warning, you have to obey it,” says David. “Customers often call to say their tent has been damaged by hurricane winds, camping in these conditions is dangerous and even the strongest tents will have problems.”
His advice, if a weather warning strikes during your trip, is to accept defeat, pack up your tent, and find stronger shelter. “As daunting as it may seem, if there are flood or wind warnings, I recommend that you reschedule your trip.”