KEEP CALM & CARRY ON CAMPING

By Tara Punter

Many equestrians have ventured into the world of camping in the name of their sport. Whether staying away to compete at a show or spending a long weekend watching your favourite event, it can feel like a mini holiday. Yet if you miss the mark, you’ll be counting down the hours until home time!

Camping with horses

YOUR SET UP

First up, somewhere to sleep. A good quality tent, with sturdy tent pegs, that isn’t going to take off at the first sign of wind and that is going to keep you dry is vital. If you’re in a horsebox or a caravan, you’ve got this one ticked already. Equally your bed set up is super important, no one likes a bad night’s sleep! If you’re in a tent, invest in a camp bed that is off the floor or an insulation mat and airbed – this is super important in helping to keep warm. The cold from the ground will seep through and you’ll end up chilly despite loads of layers on top. A duvet style sleeping bag will also keep you nice and toasty.

Folding chairs don’t take up much space but give you somewhere a bit more comfy to sit outside of your sleeping quarters and can often be picked up cheaply in the camping season.

Keeping the inside of your little abode clean and dry makes life much easier. Take a spare pair of shoes (or ‘tent slippers’) so you can leave your boots at the door. If you’re in a lorry make sure you have door mats at the entrance and get people to wipe their feet! If it’s really wet, don’t be afraid to ask them to remove their shoes.

If you’re in a tent or lorry without hook up, you’ll need some lighting as the evening draws in. Solar lanterns, like this one from Greenio, charge during the day and illuminate at night, perfect for a tent. Torches are essential and battery pack fairy lights are always a fave, but don’t forget batteries!

Zephyr Solar Lantern, £19.95 at Greenio

PACKING

You never can predict what Mother Nature will throw at you in Britain; pack for every eventuality to make sure you’re covered whatever the weather. Always pack something warm even if the forecast is good, extra socks and towels and, if you’re competing, breeches.

10 ESSENTIALS TO PACK FOR YOUR STAY AWAY!

Toilet roll – had to make top of the list. Campsite loos can be a little hit and miss so make sure you’re always covered by taking your own and ensuring the lorry is well stocked! Also pop in a bottle of hand sanitiser as you never know when the toilets might run out.

Bottled water – staying hydrated is essential, especially if you’re competing.

Food! – take as much of your own food as you can. This will help to reduce your fast food intake and to keep your costs down which equals more money for shopping, win win!

Folding camping chair, £7.99 by Trail at Amazon
Camouflage Horse Flop Slops, £14.50 at Cafe Press

Baby wipes – have a multitude of uses. From face wipes to giving your boots a once over they are an essential to have in your bag.

Dry shampoo – we all know it can be a bit of an effort to wash long locks, keep them fresh with a burst of dry shampoo to keep the grease at bay and for a fresh scent. Batiste is a nation fave.

Power pack – if you’re camping with no electricity pick up a power pack to keep your phone and electricals on the go. The Charge 40 can charge a phone up to 6 times plus it’s dunk, splash and rain proof.

Batiste Dry Shampoo, £2.99 at Superdrug

Flip flops – to wear in campsite shower. Enough said.

Gas stove – so much quicker than waiting for coal to get going, essential for a morning brew.

Face masks and earplugs – if you’re a light sleeper and likely to be disturbed, pop these in your bag to help you get some sleep for your busy weekend.

Your horsey friends – let the good times roll!