I want to share some of our camping experiences over the years with you focusing on how we started camping and how it evolved from our first camping trip up until how we do it now. I will share with you what worked for us and what not and why not. It is not to say that if it did not work for us it will not work for you, it will depend on your requirements and needs which most probably will be different from ours.
Before you start investing in camping equipment, be it a tent, a trailer, an off-road or conventional caravan, you need to ask yourself the following questions. By doing your homework first you might save yourself a lot of frustration and money. Discuss it with the family and get clarity on the following:
- What is your kind of holiday preference? The sea, game parks, nature reserves, mountains, etc.
- What kind of holiday accommodation would you prefer? Hotel, lodge, chalet or camping
- Do you want to stay at one place and explore the area or do we want to travel?
- How long would you stay at one place at a time?
- If you decide on camping, would it be with a caravan, off-road caravan or a tent?
- Are all the members of the family happy with the choice or are there reservations?
- What facilities would you require at the place where you camp? Ablution Facilities, restaurant, playground for the kids, etc.
- Do you need connectivity for a cell phone, computer, TV, etc.?
- What do you need to prepare meals? Fire, gas cooker, microwave, oven, etc.?
- Is water and electricity essential or will you be self-efficient?
- What other “luxuries” do you consider to be essential?
- If the choice is caravanning or tenting, who will assist you to position the caravan and/or to pitch the tents?
- Is your current vehicle capable of towing the caravan or trailer or will you have to upgrade?
- Will you be comfortable to camp in a campsite with no fence with animals wandering around?
- Are you comfortable to camp in remote areas where there are no other campers in the near vicinity?
Discuss and answer all the questions and concerns that the family members might have. If there still is some unanswered question or any reservations I would suggest that you rent a caravan or tent (depending of what the choice was) and go camping for a long week-end before buying your own. Although hiring is expensive, it is still cheaper than having to sell your caravan or tent and equipment because it had not worked out the way you envisaged it.
Over the weeks to follow we will share with you the experiences from our first camping trip and expand on how it evolved over the years up to where we are today.