7 tips for your first camping adventure
1. do not panic
By the way, the first and probably most important rule of camping can also be easily applied to all situations in life. Because no matter what happens, the most important thing is to stay calm.
2. space is limited
The camper is a cosy one-room flat with an outdoor bathroom. However, the space in such a home on wheels is limited and can only be expanded to a certain extent. And that's why camping means saving on luggage. It's important to think about the storage space in your camper in advance, so you can decide whether you really need that third pair of jeans and the second pair of sneakers. Especially with bulky items, you have to think a little ahead to see if you will be successful at playing "Tetris". Because for the pair of skis, there is usually a solution, but for the large hard-shell suitcase, it could look different again.
3. a road trip with planning security
Experienced campers already know one or two campsites in their travel destinations or know how to find a pitch with infrastructure. As a newcomer, however, it would certainly not be a happy circumstance to arrive at a campsite in front of closed gates with the sign "full" or not to find the campsite at all. It is therefore advisable to decide on an itinerary and research suitable accommodation in advance. Especially in 2020, camping has experienced a revival and in the high season, campsites are regularly bursting at the seams. But here too, don't panic. If a reservation doesn't work out, it doesn't hurt to ask the campsite, as not every reservation is actually taken up. In addition, more and more alternatives are being offered by local authorities or private individuals. It is worth doing a quick search for "agrotourism" or asking at the local tourist information office.
4. tit for tat
As a camper, at least that's my impression, you are much closer to nature than on an average hotel holiday. After all, you also fall out of bed smoothly into the forest or lake when you have found a suitably fine place to spend the night. And especially because you are so close to nature, this requires the highest degree of care and respect. Leave nothing but footprints (tireprints?). In order for us all to preserve Mother Nature and, above all, the open space when camping, it is important to observe this basic rule scrupulously. No rubbish/dirt/waste of any kind is left behind, no matter where you are.
Even the organic waste of a dinner doesn't belong somewhere, because the person after you doesn't necessarily have to deal with it. And while we're on the subject of people. On nice pitches or campsites in general, your fellow human beings also deserve respect. It starts with a nice greeting and also includes not setting up a second living room in front of your camper. And the subject of a good night's sleep shouldn't need any further comment from all holiday camps 😉 .
5. home sweet home
If you are renting a camper like the Be Active for the first time, you may not necessarily have been on the road in a car of this size. On my first trip in a camper van, I found myself sweating in oncoming traffic at night on the old Brenner road, which felt like it was only half a lane wide. But as I said: don't panic. You have to slowly familiarise yourself with the new vehicle and, above all, take your foot off the accelerator! The same applies when parking or turning, by the way, because these cars are longer than you think. By the way, the car is also higher than a Cinquecento, so it's worth taking a look at the vehicle registration document before the underground car park brutally refuses entry.
The camper is also equipped with various camping specialities, such as the auxiliary heating or running water - is there enough water, when is the waste water tank full and have you ever asked yourself what all the buttons are for? Don't panic if something is jammed, missing or broken. Most problems are solved as if by magic in the vehicle's owner's manual or by simply googling, and at the campsite you will almost certainly find an above-average number of helpful "experts" who have advice or tips for everything. By the way, brute force usually achieves the opposite.
6. water gets into the boat sometimes
No matter how much you hope and pray and give the heavens a dirty look, in the end you have absolutely no influence on the weather. It's raining cats and dogs, and now? That's not so bad! As long as all the windows are closed so that the camper doesn't fill up with water, you can lie back and relax and finally finish reading the book that has been lying on the bedside table for half a year. By the way, the tent of a pop-up roof is halfway waterproof, but it should be well dried before dismantling to avoid damage to it. And by the way...if you're travelling in a camper anyway, you can chase the sun not only in theory, but also in practice! Sometimes all it takes is a small pass and you're sitting in the sunshine again!
7. trust is good, control is better
I still remember times when I had to proudly search like three cheeses high for directions in real maps printed on paper. Nowadays, nothing works without digital navigation, an absolute dead end. Google Maps, Maps.me and other consorts support us with navigation, current traffic situation and sometimes even the indication of the speed limit wherever they can. But beware. Just because Google says that you can get to your destination along the road does not always mean that you will get there by road. I'm just saying at night, somewhere outside Palermo, I got it into my head how romantic it would be to spend the night on the beach. By the time we were sweating our way to our private campsite, we were so tired that we put off asking if we could get off the beach again (it worked!). If you are not sure, especially in the dark, whether a road or alley is passable, then it is time to get out and explore on foot. Traffic rules also apply regardless of what your sat nav communicates, so keep your eyes open there too. And if all else fails, the good old paper map from the petrol station or asking the locals will help - with a bit of luck, they may even have a tip on where there is a nice spot nearby!
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