Camping holidays: Expert’s top tip on how to keep food cold & have a hot meal in one go

Simon Calder offers advice on booking staycations for 2021

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Camping and caravan holidays vary in their offering these days, from glamping pods through to deluxe caravans boasting everything from state-of-the-art kitchen to rooftop terraces. However, there are still likely to be plenty of Britons embarking on their first-ever traditional tent holiday this year.

James Warner Smith, an expert from staycation booking platform CoolCamping.com spoke to Express.co.uk to share some of his top tips for those heading on their first-ever camping adventure.

The key thing in all scenarios is preparation, from equipment to packing, as Mr Warner Smith explained.

“The more preparation you do at home before you go to the campsite, the better off you’re going to be and easier it’s going to be when you get there,” he said.

While some campsites are located near supermarkets or even have shops on-site, the camping expert recommends always ensuring you have enough food at least for the first few days.

“If you can cook food at home, for example, cook a Bolognese or something like that.

“Actually a good thing to do is cook a few things, and freeze some of them, and then put them in your cool box.

“They act as a bit of an ice block while you’re travelling, and then once you once you get to the campsite you’ve then got a nice block that you can then just cook as your meal.”

The same level of preparation should be put into knowing your equipment.

However, for those looking to save money, Mr Warner Smith says it isn’t always necessary to purchase your own full kit in advance.

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“I go camping a lot, but at the end of the day, a lot of equipment is something that sits in a cupboard waiting to be used.

“Ask your friends if they’ve got tents, you can borrow and things like that and borrow equipment rather than feeling that you need to make this big investment before you even go on your holiday.

“The big thing that people always say is about pitching the tent at home or getting the tent out at home before you go on your holiday, and that’s particularly relevant if you are borrowing it from someone else.”

He continued: “Have a practice of checking that you’ve got all the right bits for it so that when you get to the campsite you vaguely know what you’re doing.”

Luckily, if you do get to the campsite and find you’re struggling with your tent, there should be help on hand.

“Talk to the guys that run the campsite,” recommends Mr Warner Smith.

“Chances are, they’ve, they’ve seen it before with other campers and they’re always good people to help you out.”

Furthermore, they may also have some great tips on the local area, as well as ways to get more for your money.

“They’re generally people who are really passionate about this space that they’ve created and the site they set up.

“They’ve got a real interested in the wildlife that’s there and the local area and things like that.

“They’re really handy to talk to if you have got questions.”

He continued: “Once you’re on a campsite check with the campsite owner.

“It’s quite common really for a campsite to have links with local attractions.

“They might be able to help you get a discount on a meal at the park, or perhaps 20 percent off at the zoo nearby.

“I think particularly with independent campsites, it’s worth talking to them and getting their advice on what’s good to do nearby and cost-effective.”

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