CAMPING FOR BEGINNERS
Camping is not for everyone. God knows that it is not for me. I never liked sleeping on the ground where there are creepy crawlies and hard surfaces. You could say that I am a princess, just like my hubby says (hahaha). I like to be in an air-conditioned/heated room with all my amenities to be clean and comfy.
So here is the thing though. My hubby LOVES camping and in the 15 years we have been together we have never been camping and he really does want to go camping. I thought it was time for me to try it out.
I had been well sort of camping before but not in a tent the traditional way. As kids my parents have taken us to the mountains and we have slept under the stars but in the car. Not a tent but a car. It was great fun for us and at least I was clean and comfy enough. However, these trips were usually a one night trip which actually made it alright. Most campsites in Cyprus actually have toilets and showers so it is fairly good.
Now as a first time camper and being the organized person I am, I made a list of things I would need on this camping trip. From what to buy to where to stay!
Here is a detailed guide as to what I did.
1. WHAT GEAR TO BUY / HAVE FOR CAMPING
I made a list of the items I needed to buy for the camping trip. The only thing I had at home was a sleeping bag and torches.
My list was like this:
- Tent ( A tent for either 4 or 6 as we want it to be spacious and maybe fit more people for future use)
- Sleeping pad or an airbed or another sleeping bag (My hubby has his so I needed to get my own. I ended up getting and air bed)
- Insect repellant or Candles
- Stock up my first aid kit with whatever is running low or expired
- Portable shower. We ended up getting the portable bag shower that holds up to 20ltrs of water
- 2 folding chairs / camp chairs
- A Swiss army knife that was a multi-tool
- Cooler to put our food and drinks
- Torches and Lights with extra batteries
- Trash bags
- Toilet paper and tissues
- Wet wipes/ antibacterial gel
- Menstrual supplies
- Food and drinks
- Clothes and shoes
Locating the perfect camp site is hard when there are so many places to go and it gets even harder when it is the prime period for camping and these camp sites are packed.
Some places require booking and cost a small fee. These are usually the ones which are the cleanest and have all the basic amenities.
While others do not have a fee nor do they have any amenities. These are the one which are good for a one night stay only.
What I did is research the campsites around the areas we were travelling to which was Paphos and Paphos mountain areas. Here I found 3 which I liked. I called these 3 places up to see if there were available spots and unfortunately, as I waited till last minute to organize this camping trip, none had any space left.
There for we changed our strategy. We changed our route entirely! We decided to go to the mountains first, camp one night at a nearby village and the next day head out to Paphos city.
This is the most important step. You should practice setting up the tent and making sure you know how to pitch the tent but also how to pack it up once done. This way you will ensure you know how to do this but also make sure it doesn’t take you very long to pitch it but also that there is nothing missing from the gear of your tent.
4. OFF YOU GO!
Now you are ready for camping although a good idea for us newbie campers is to go for a trial run. Some could do this in their back yard or go somewhere in the mountains that is close by to your home. As I live in a flat, there was no chance of doing a practice run so we decided on a one night camp as I mentioned before.
5. SOME TIPS AND DETAILS FROM WHAT I DID AND WHAT I LEARNT
1. Food and Drinks
Now these are the basic items I needed. For the food and drinks section I actually meal planned and prepared food from home to take with us. I made sandwiches and prepared breakfast for the next day by boiling eggs, cooked sausage and lountza, cut up tomatoes and cucumbers and this was all set for the next day’s brekkie.
We had breakfast at home on the day we left and so this was enough until lunch time. We made sure we had enough ice for the cooler so that our food and drinks would hold up.
I also packed fruit and cereal bars as snacks. Not to mention I took with me my essentials to make a frape on the go too. For those who do not know what a frape is it is an iced coffee Greek style.
To make a frape you place a little water in the bottom of a tall glass, you add a teaspoon of instant coffee along with any sweeteners if you like it sweet and then you use the frape machine to whisk it. This makes a lovely froth and all you do is add ice, cold water and cream or milk to your taste.
2.Clothes and Towels
Even for an overnight camping trip you do need a change or two of clothes. Those who are on the menstrual cycle may need extra set of clothes.
I packed 2 extra sets of clothes plus 1 large towel and a small face towel for each of us (hubby and me). Along with our bathers (swim suits) and sunscreen as we might have ended up going to the beach too!
Another tip is to make sure you pack a long sleeve top or cardigan, even during the summer months, if you are camping in the mountains, as it does get cold at night.
Shoes are also an issue while camping. I took my runners (trainers) a pair of flat sandals and my beach sandals. My hubby took only his beach sandals and runners which he wore most of the time anyway.
- Make sure to fill up your car with gas, petrol or whatever it is that it takes. Also note down the nearest petrol station (gas station) to where you will be staying or along your route.
- Always know where to go to get ice for your cooler and maybe food and snacks should anything happen to your own food you are taking with you.
- If you plan on cooking food at the campsite then make sure you have all your necessary cookware and campfire gear. Keep in mind that in the great outdoors there are many critters around that would gladly raid your food or even garbage so be careful to keep food in airtight containers and garbage in the garbage bins on site.
We ended up only staying one night out camping but it was alright with both my hubby and me as it was sort of a trial run. After one night out I think I can do it again and this time for a few more days. It does however need to be in a camp site with amenities otherwise it will not happen.
Have in mind that the summer weather here in Cyprus is sooo hot that you usually take at least 3 showers a day, so camping out is not as easy as you would think.
I would love to go again and maybe a two or three night camping trip this time but in the mean time I will just chill and maybe through a beach party before the end of summer.
How about all of you, do you like camping? Do you have any tips to add to my ones? I would love for you all to give me one tip or at least share with us a story about your camping trip.
Let us all know in the comments below.
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