Summer is nearly behind us now (nooooo!) so time to look back at some of the moments that while at the time may not have been the best, I can laugh about them now. This summer was spent mostly outside hiking or camping. Lots of memories tucked away, adventures had and lessons learned. As you will find out in this post.

So, without further ado, I present to you the camping mistakes I made over summer so you don’t have to.

Camping involves ghost stories + roasting marshmallows around the fire right? Not always, I made these camping mistakes over summer so you don't have to. You're welcome

When you are poking at a campfire, make sure there aren’t red hot embers on the ground to stand on

And then jump backwards in fright promptly tripping over a log.

I was going to take a picture of the lovely large blister I got from it but my feet are mank. A combination of lots of time outdoors and a lack of liking shoes have ensured this. Us Kiwi’s aren’t known for our fondness of shoes.

Also on the campfire note, the end of the piece of wood that isn’t in the campfire is often hot

Just sayin’

Related Post: Essential camping tips (don’t go camping without reading first!)

Make sure that you listen to the weather report

It was a bright sunny day, not a clown in the sky. Side note: my boy used to call clouds, clowns. Now it’s stuck. Side side note: there were no clowns in the sky. Or clouds.

So when my friend helpfully informed me that it was going to rain overnight and all the next day when I planned to go camping, did I listen? Nope! Should I have? Yep!

As we were drifting off to sleep I noticed that the tent window was still slightly open. I couldn’t be bothered going out to close it as I was already in my sleeping bag cocoon and really didn’t want to move. ‘She’ll be right’ I thought to myself as I drifted off into the land of Nod.

A few hours later I woke to find something dripping on my forehead. Indeed my friend’s prediction had been correct. Kenny rushed outside to close the window while I huddled down further on my sleeping mat, avoiding the drips. I eventually managed to drift back off to Nodland, being startled occasionally as a rouge raindrop found itself suddenly upon my forehead.

We woke up the next day to a rather sodden tent and a grey day.

Which brings me to my next point.

Make sure the tent you are using is long enough

This has never actually occurred to me. Being of the slightly shorter variety, I usually fit inside things quite well. Including tents.

My tent is 2m by 2m. More than enough room for this gal. Unfortunately, enough room for my tent mate. Who happens to be over 2m tall and woke up in the morning to feet protruding out from under the tent door.

In the rain.

Don’t take three 10-year-old girls camping without the company of another adult

Seriously. Just don’t do it.

No, I’m just kidding.

Kind of.

All jokes aside, it was actually a really great trip. I took my daughter and two of her friends camping for 3 nights by the beach and it was good fun.

The only problem was, they ditched me an awful lot (sob) so I spent most of it reading. While this was all very well and nice, it got a bit lonely after a while. I was begging friends to come out after a couple of days and visit so I would have another adult to chat to for a while.

Related Post: 50+ camping activities (no devices in sight)

A separate adult tent is a must
A separate adult tent is a must

Just because you like bugs, it doesn’t mean others do

I have quite a large fondness for all creatures, especially those of the 6 and 8 leg variety. Sometimes I forget that others aren’t as much of a fan of them as I am.

One morning I saw a lovely fat black spider and proceeded to show the girls.

Suffice to say, they weren’t impressed.

Neither were the neighbours. It was rather early.

Before going camping, plan your meals

And make a list of all the food you will need. Sounds obvious right?

Each time I went away this summer I forgot to do that. With the first trip, it wasn’t so bad as we were close to the dairy (translator: corner store) and the girls didn’t really give a toss as long as they were in their togs (translator: swimsuits) in the water.

The second trip we ended up going around in circles then back to my house to pick up bits that we had forgotten before we were finally on our way. When we got to our campsite, a good 45 minutes drive away from the nearest shop, we realised we still didn’t have everything.

This is what happens when you go camping with someone as laid back and blase as yourself.

Related Post: Camping meals from brekkie to dinner + everything in between

Beer: check! Book: check! Campfire: check!
Beer: check! Book: check! Campfire: check!

Pack extra batteries

One of the camping trips was straight after mine and my son’s four-day hike up Waikaremoana so the gear was all well used by the time it came to camping. My head torch ran out of batteries on the first night of camping so I ended up stealing borrowing Amelia’s torch (thanks, darl). She was in a tent with her three friends. They didn’t all need a torch.

Which reminds me, I still need to get some fresh batteries….

Psssst, want some FREE camping resources? Check out the resources page for resources such as a camping gear checklist and camping activities.

Other things I learned

  • Sand doesn’t taste nice even when mixed with potato chips
  • Umbrellas don’t like a headwind. Nor do they like a tailwind.
  • Bee stings hurt
  • Don’t bring an airbed with a small hole in it. Even if it’s really small.
  • A separate tent for children and the adult is a great idea (you can hide treats in your tent without them having the foggiest)
  • Ice melts really fast. Unrelated tip: chocolate doesn’t like being submerged in water (on the plus side, I haven’t eaten chocolate since so if you are trying to wean yourself off, this works a treat)
  • Sandcastle judging competitions always end in tears
  • Jandals (translator: flip flops) aren’t a good replacement for a forgotten hammer on tent pegs
  • If your tent is crooked, fix it straight away rather than waiting a few days for it to start threatening to immobilise the children
  • Make sure the battery pack you take to power the air pump isn’t out of batteries before you go

Related Post: The ultimate camping packing list + FREE checklist

Final Thoughts

So there you go. I learn these things so that you don’t have to. You’re welcome

What camping mistakes have you learned over the years?


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Camping involves ghost stories + roasting marshmallows around the fire right? Not always, I made these camping mistakes over summer so you don't have to. You're welcome

Camping involves ghost stories + roasting marshmallows around the fire right? Not always, I made these camping mistakes over summer so you don't have to. You're welcome

4 Comments on Mistakes I Made Camping So You Don’t Have To

  1. I think you are in good company with the camping mistakes. I too have made my fair share. The amazing thing is that we are undeterred and continue to go back again and again. Thanks for sharing.

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