Camping, 4-star version or in the heart of nature, what an adventure! So that everything goes well, it is better to master the fundamentals. While some elements lend themselves to improvisation, others deserve a little anticipation. The choice of the right spot, for example.
Being dislodged by the police at 4 a.m. (#truestory) because you were tempted to do wild camping or get wet because you could not resist the urge to pitch your tent near a lake is not the best of experiences. But, let's stay positive, we have some practical advice that should help you avoid these kind of inconveniences. When you have the basics, camping is all about happiness!
It's decided, this summer we're camping, version 4 stars, well equipped and all comfort, with water park and children's club.Before giving you some tips on setting up your tent without any hitches, we will share an app with you to help you find the ideal campsite.The one that corresponds to your dream holiday.
And now, our advice on how to set up perfectly.
Rule n°1: we avoid the entrance of the campsite, so as not to be disturbed by the comings and goings of other campers. The proximity to restaurants and activities, often at the gates of the campsite, also contributes to ambient noise. If you're in search of silence, these are not the best places.
Rule n°2: have a good look around.If you're going for a rest, pitching a tent next to a holiday camp group or a large family is not the most appropriate idea.In order not to complain after because your neighbours are too noisy, we advise you to ask for a quiet spot when booking.
Rule n°3: with or without electricity?The majority of campsites offer spots with electricity. If this is essential for you, be sure to inquire about availability before booking.
Rule n° 4: adapt the size of the spot to the size of the family. You are with your family and your children will probably want to enjoy some space. They will surely bicker sometimes around the tent (we'd rather tell you 😁) so better to give them some space when they're outdoors.
With young children, the proximity of sanitary facilities and a baby area is another element that should not be overlooked. 15 minutes walk, when it's the 12th wee of the day means you might get bored very quickly!
Rule n°5: don't forget the basics, the ground and the sun. As a rule, the different spots in the campsites are suitable. They are flat, ready to accommodate small tents for duos or large family tents. But, nothing prevents you from walking around the site to check that nothing is lying around before setting down your pegs. It would be a pity to sleep on a big stone.
When it comes to the sun, it's up to you to adapt to the weather. If it's very hot, set the tent up in a shady spot.
Before launching our series of tips, let's review the basics:the difference between wild camping and bivouac. for the first, we set up camp for several days, and as for the second, we usually plan to stop only for one night.
Whatever your choice, wild camping or bivouac, before leaving, the right attitude to have is to learn about the regulations of the country in order to know which practices are authorized and in what context.
Once you know all's legal, here are some rules to apply.
Rule n°1: if the country where you are on holiday allows bivouac or wild camping, make sure you are not on private property or protected land, even if you are in a natural park.For that, in addition to the general elements concerning the country, remember to take a good look on the internet site of the region or the municipality. We don't want to panic you, but in some cases the penalties can be severe.
Rule n°2: the quality of the ground is essential.There, it's not the same as on a campsite. You need a little observation to find the right ground before pegging your tent.What is the ideal terrain?Flat ground, because sleeping head downwards, or rolling to the right and then to the left because the ground isn't flat, is not fun. It must also be cleared of stones and branches that could interfere with your comfort or damage your tent. Let's have a little clear up before setting up.And to optimize your outdoor hotel a lightweight, self-inflating floor mat or mattress. Yes, you hadn't planned on taking the pump to inflate it!
Our advice: start looking for a place to sleep before nightfall.
Rule n°3: beware of still waters.We recommend a place close to water, but not too close. For several reasons:the possibility of a flood if it rains, the presence of mosquitoes, the risk of condensation in your tent, herds of animals drinking in the early morning hours. There have to be other reasons to convince you that this magnificent lake may not be the best of spots!
And how about the beach or seaside?We are going to be the killjoys again, we are not validating this option either.Why? Because camping on the beach is forbidden in quite a few countries, but also because sand seeps in everywhere.And nobody wants to really hear you moaning about sand getting into your pyjamas.
Rule n°4: a nap under the shelter of a tree? Ok, but without your tent.For two good reasons.The first is the risk of a branch landing on your tent if it's windy. The second:resin, especially pine resin, is not your tent's best friend.
Another tip: if you don't like bees and other flying insects, avoid proximity to flowering bushes.
Rule n°5: always sheltered from the wind.One of the main drawbacks of bivouac is the wind. To sleep without being too shaken up, we recommend that you opt for a well sheltered place (not under the trees, but you already know that!) And drive the tent pegs in well.A little wind doesn't hurt.This helps prevent condensation in your tent, simply because it is a good way to ventilate it.
OUR TIP: position the tent with the entrance against the wind.
Rule n°6: be aware of natural hazards.You don't pitch your tent under a cliff, because of the risk of landslides.The risks of rockfall are to be taken into account, especially when camping in the mountains.
Rule n°7: the sun does not set in the same place as it rises. Yes, if you pitch your tent in the sun, you get up in the shade. If the temperatures are low, choose a spot where the sun will heat the tent up in the morning. Also, you don't pitch your tent in the middle of the afternoon because it can get damaged faster from UV rays.
So you don't get cold, take along a sleeping bag adapted to the temperature. Of course, lightweight is a good idea, because you're going to be carrying it and you don't want to trouble yourself with something too heavy. Good idea:a nice and warm featherweight down, especially if you're going up in altitude.
Rule n°8: last but not least, it's important to respect the environment. We leave the site as clean as we found it. There is no question of leaving behind your waste. And if you feel like having a fire, because it looked cool in a show, it's a definitive no! Because we are sure, you do not want to attract animals or start a forest fire!
We're not letting you go without a little gift.
Our other good plan to find the ideal spot:get closer to groups of bivouac amateurs on social networks, but also on forums.Often, they prefer to keep these places secret, but once trust is gained and passion is shared, they will be happy to share their tips with you.
You are now ready for holidays in a campsite or in the middle of nature. Two things to remember:You never skimp with safety instructions and you respect the environment. Now that you have the basics, we wish you a great adventure!