Riverside Caravan & Camping Park & Country Club

Top Tips For First Time Campers

With holidays abroad being cancelled left, right and centre at the moment and returns to the UK limited by quarantine restrictions, we’ve heard from lots of people turning to good old fashioned camping in hope of a summer getaway this year.

Not camped for a long time or a complete camping newbie? Don’t worry we’ve got you sorted with our top tips for first time campers.

1. Don’t spend a fortune on a fancy set up

If you’ve never camped before and aren’t sure if it’s for you, you don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on fancy gear. There are lots of places that do great deals on camping gear that won’t break the bank. Places like Mountain Warehouse offer really good value range tents or you could try eBay for a second hand bargain. Freecycle is a great alternative or even your local Facebook selling groups are always worth a shout. Alternatively, why not ask a friend or family member if you can borrow theirs. It doesn’t have to look fancy it just has to do the job. 

However, a note of caution. Don’t make the number one rookie error of buying a single skin tent. We’ve all seen those bargain pop up tents advertised. Take it from us, a budget single skin tent is a total waste of money. You and your gear will get very wet in the event of a downpour. 

2. Make sure you buy a bigger tent than you think you’ll need

Trust us, bigger is better when it comes to family camping! That 4 man dome tent might sound perfect, but once you factor in camp beds or air mattresses, you’re unlikely to actually fit 4 people and all their stuff inside. It’s always worth choosing a tent that will give you more space, especially if are able to drive right to your pitch and don’t need to worry about the weight of carrying your tent. We also highly recommend buying a head-height tent. This means you’ll be able to stand up inside your tent and in general will make life much easier. 

3. Night time in the UK is colder than you think

Even through the summer months, the outdoor night temperatures in the UK can still drop pretty low, making it rather chilly. Spending a night shivering in a tent is no fun at all. We’d recommend always packing extra blankets and wrap in layers to make sure you stay warm at night. An extra thick sleeping bag never goes a miss either! 

4. Plan activities and days out in advance

Kids can be hard to entertain at the best of times, especially if you’re planning a digital detox. Make sure you have plenty of ideas up your sleeve for how to keep yourself and your family busy during your break. 

We’ve found that outdoor boredom busters work best. Footballs and kites are great ways to tire kids out but other things such as paints and craft items, cards, board games and scavenger hunts are also fab ways of fending off boredom when camping without needing to rely on technology. 

5. Test your equipment before you leave home

If you’ve bought a new tent or even if you’ve dug an old one out the back of the garage its probably best to practice pitching it at home before your trip. This way you’ll save time by figuring out how it should be done and it’ll give you a chance to check for any faults or damage that may have occurred. It’s also a good idea to check any electronics for faults and any airbeds for possible punctures. 

6. Ensure you have sufficient lighting 

This may sound a tad obvious but campsites do get dark at night. With no electric lights its important to make sure you have enough lighting equipment. A cheap torch and a campfire just isn’t enough. Lanterns and headlamps are a must. Lanterns will give you 360 degree light and headlamps are great hands-free options, making tasks much easier. Of course don’t forget to pack the spare batteries! 

7. Take spares 

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail! We strongly recommend taking spare tent pegs, guy ropes and tent poles as you never know what might decide to break at the wrong time. It can be a nightmare if something breaks halfway through your trip and then a nightmare having to rush around to find and buy replacements, so always be prepared. 

8. Pack away all food and litter at night 

It might be tempting to clean up in the morning after a late night but leaving food and litter out can lead to a multitude of unwanted visitors. Foxes, insects and other pests will be grateful for the late night snack but we expect you and your fellow campers won’t. At the end of your trip you should leave no trace that you were there. Always leave your pitch how you found it.

Want to read more? 

Check out our other blog posts here! 

Here at Riverside we provide camping pitches with and without electric hook up. Set in 70 acres of parkland, we’ve got plenty of space for you to pull up and pitch your tent beside the river.

To find out more about your next holiday give us a call on 01769 579269, drop us an email at relax@exmoorriverside.co.uk or book online here.

Camping Offers


One Child and One Dog Go Free!


During low season 7 nights for the price of 6!

Does not include RV’s

(only caravans, motor homes, cv or tents)


Stay for 4 nights or more during low season for £20.00 per night!

Does not include RV’s

(only caravans, motor homes, cv or tents)


Riverside Caravan and Camping Park is open all year round and we have offer pitches from only £14!

Read reviews for Riverside Caravan and Camping Park on Campsites.co.uk

At Riverside Caravan and Camping Park we take pride in the quality of our premises, facilites and staff to give our customers peace of mind that they are staying on a well maintained park. We are proud to have won various industry awards for our standards of excellence, take a look below: