A Quick Guide To Sleeping Under The Stars
Exploring the great outdoors is the best way to get a relaxing holiday. You get close to nature, back to basics and will reap the benefits of fresh air and feeling relaxed for the first time in ages. You get to totally unwind, disconnect and really just be yourself, and it’s one of the best and cheapest ways to get out and experience the world the way it was meant to be. We do it regularly here in the UAE, but my last trip also involved a very different camping experience as we trekked the Inca Trail (post to come!)
So what do you need to get going?
Sorting your tent is a good place to start. You will be changing in it, sleeping in it, and if the weather is bad, eating in it! Depending on where you’ll be camping with this tent, you potentially need one that is able to withstand rain, heat, and anything else the elements throw at it. Whether it’s camping in the deserts of the Middle East (check out my guide to camping in the UAE) or the cool slopes of Peruvian mountains (post to follow), you will need a tent that is built for purpose. If you are taking family, you need to be prepared when you go camping and get a tent that is fit for purpose, the right size and easy to assemble, like a pop-up tent. This will make life a bit easier for you when it comes to pitching your tent (and there are always the instructions when it comes to packing it away) 🙂
After you have pitched your tent, you will need to fill it with all of your stuff (we’ve had several scenarios with flyaway tents what have been pitched on a mountaintop and left while the owner is distracted with sundowners!) The key to camping efficiently is to not over-pack. Don’t forget the essentials: food, water, sundowners, and of course a decent sleeping bag (or your duvet and pillows as I sometimes use for short road trips). As I learnt from our packing for Peru, when it comes to sleeping bags, there are many different types with various forms of insulation. Wherever you are, at night the temperature will drop so you will need to know that the temperatures are likely to be and have one that keeps you comfortable at those temperatures, otherwise you can say goodbye to a good night’s sleep and getting anything done the next day. It might also be worth looking into a good sleeping mat – when camping locally we use an airbed with duvet and pillows, but when we were in Peru, I was so glad we paid the extra for sleeping mats as the ground absorbs a surprising amount of heat (and can be pretty uncomfortable!)
Other essentials might include a gas cooking stove or BBQ, matches or lighter, firewood, and utensils for eating with (don’t forget a mug for coffee in the morning, bowl if you’re taking an easy cereal breakfast, plate and cutlery, plus a sharp knife). Think about investing in a good cool box and ice blocks to keep those all important food – and drinks – cold, and a camping chair to sit and admire the stars and fire from.
Unfortunately whilst the temperature in the UAE is perfect for camping at the moment, the threat of rain is dampening a lot of our plans, but it wont last long, and then that tent will be back out to see the light of day!