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Tips for first time campers

Are you a first time camper?

If you are, be honest. On a scale of one (can’t survive a night away from home without a hotel pillow) to 10 (surviving alone on a desert island), it’s important to know what kind of outdoor holiday will work for you. There’s a big difference between a willingness to spend the night in a sleeping bag under canvas and a luxury glamping experience

If you’re a first time camper, here’s some top tips to help make sure you fall in love with camping and make this break the first of many to come…

1.While a hotel may offer guests the choice of a sea or garden view, overnighting in a tent means the choice of where to stay is completely up to you. You choose the perfect tent to buy, you choose where you want to visit and then where on the site you pitch for the night.

For a first time camper buying a tent, it’s worth noting that a one-person tent might be cosy. Likewise, for a couple happy to cuddle up, a three-person tent is probably just enough when you store extra kit inside. Always “go large” if you can, there’s no harm in having a little extra space. It’s a great idea to take a look around our pitched tent display so you can really get a feel for the size and proportions that you’ll need. Once you’ve made your choice, have a go at putting up and taking down your new tent before your first trip. It’s easier to get to grips with the instructions the first time in the privacy of your back garden than when you arrive at your campsite at the end of the day or after a long journey.

2. Once you get to your chosen site, try to pick a shaded spot to keep cool in high summer, or at least somewhere that doesn’t get the bright light of sunrise. If you can, pitch on higher ground and, if you prefer peace and quiet, slightly away from any communal facilities. If there’s a breeze, select a spot that enjoys some shelter from a wall, some shrubs or another tent.

3. A great idea for a first time camper is to book a site close to a pub that serves good grub, select somewhere with on-site facilities or plan to cook al fresco. Check your campsite allows you to cook on a barbecue or camp fire – some provide outdoor grills or a fire pit, while others may not permit open fires. Take your own cooking tools, crockery and cutlery if required. We’ve got a great selection of cookware including space saving collapsible items.

Make sure you take some non-perishable food that doesn’t need heating up, just in case you can’t use the campfire. Keep everything in well-sealed containers, ideally in a secure place outside the tent such as a large coolbox; not only does this keep your ingredients fresh, it will reduce the appealing smells attracting wildlife. Take a look at our great range of coolboxes and bags.

4. Campsites can be a bit like the baggage carousel at the airport where all cases can look the same. Your beautiful new tent might blend in with all the others making it hard to find home, especially after dark. Bring a tent marker such as a flag, windsock, bunting or battery-operated fairy lights to distinguish your tent. We’ve got a great range of flags and windsocks in store and online. And remember to bring a torch. There are few things worse than stumbling around a campsite in the dark looking for your tent.

5. Take only essential items and keep electricals to a minimum. Use resealable waterproof bags to store your phone and any valuables so they stay dry and take a supply of plastic bags to keep worn or wet clothes and boots separate from clean and dry ones.

6. The Great British summer can surprise the best of us, but should the forecast predict wet weather don’t be put off. Check your site has a drying room so you can still enjoy the great outdoors when the weather isn’t fine. Some larger sites even have a laundrette.

7. Some wilderness or more rural locations may lack full recycling and refuse facilities so adopt a “leave nothing behind” policy wherever you go. Minimise what you take with you and bring as much home as you can to dispose of correctly. Travel with reusable crockery, cutlery, water bottles and equipment.

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Pitch up at our Cardiff Tent Show

Cardiff Tent Show 18-19 May 2019

Find your perfect pitch at our Cardiff Tent Show on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May 2019 at Bayden Scout Hall, Grangetown Cardiff CF11 0XR (next to Ikea) from 9am to 5pm.

Get to grips with a huge range of pitched tents and awnings and see for yourself how they really look to get a feel for the size, storage and proportions you need. Whether you’re after a roomy home from home for a family holiday or an awning for a campervan, you’ll find it all at the Camping & Kite Centre Tent Show in Cardiff.

We’ll have tents and awnings on display from top brands including Vango, Kampa and Coleman. With expert advice from the suppliers and the Camping & Kite Centre team, discounted display models for sale and a range of camping furniture, this will be an unmissable event for anyone sleeping out this season.

  • Pitched tents & campervan awnings on display
  • Camping furniture
  • Expert advice from the suppliers
  • Discounted display models for sale
  • FREE admission
  • FREE parking

As you’d expect from the name of the event, we will have an extensive selection of tents on display. Tents from Vango, Kampa and Coleman will make up some of the products on display – if you’re interested in the touring, outdoor, travelling lifestyle, the show can provide everything you need to catch up with the latest product developments – from Vango’s Airbeam Technology to Coleman’s BlackOut Bedroom Technology.

And that’s not all. We’ll also have a selection of campervan, motorhome and driveway awnings on display.

What can you expect to see at our Cardiff Tent Show?

TENTS
Vango Anantara TC 
Vango Stargrove 600 
Vango Valencia 
Vango Capri 500xl  
Kampa Studland 8 air tents   
Kampa Croyde 6 air classic tents  
Kampa Hayling 4 air tents   
Kampa Texel 6 tent packages 
Coleman Valdes 6xl  
Coleman Mack 6 
Coleman Pinto Mountain plus xl   

CAMPERVAN AWNINGS
Vango Galli compact low 
Vango Rhone low 
Kampa Travel Motion air 
Kampa  Trip air  

Selected display models will be for sale on Sunday – please message us for details or ask at the show for more information.

Our team will be on hand all weekend to provide help and advice. Whether you’re interested in a product or you’d simply just like to learn more about camping, the style of tents to pitching and packing advice our Cardiff Tent Show will give you the opportunity to learn more. Also, with our brand representatives on hand, this weekend event will be your opportunity to gain confidence allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors and go camping solo, with friends or with the family! 

We will also be exhibiting a number of summer chairs and lifestyle camping equipment making sure that you have everything you need to get your summer started!

We look forward to seeing you at the Camping and Kite Centre Tent Show Cardiff at Bayden Scout Hall, Grangetown Cardiff CF11 0XR (next to Ikea) on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May from 9am until 5pm.

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Choosing a caravan awning

A caravan is the perfect way to enjoy holidays any time of year but sometimes you need a bit more room. A caravan awning is perfect for increasing your living space and creating a real home away from home. 

There are three common types of awning for caravans, the full awning, the porch style awning and the canopy. 

A full awning maximises your caravan’s full awning rail giving you an extensive space for dining, relaxing or socialising in style. They are also generally designed to be pitched for longer periods.  

Porch style awnings are lighter and easier to put up and ideal for the touring caravan, but with the innovation of inflatable technology they are getting a lot bigger and can offer as much space as a full awning.

We really like the Kampa Club Air Pro 390 and the Ace Air All Season 400. Both these inflatable awnings are lightweight but still strong and sturdy. They’re also incredibly quick to put up, so you’ll start enjoying your camping trip within minutes of arriving at the campsite.

A smaller porch awning is great for keeping things that you wouldn’t want in the caravan like wellies or bikes and are available in either air or poled. Our favourites include the Outdoor Revolution Elan 280 and Eclipse 325 and the Rally range of poled awnings from Kampa.

The canopy awning offers an extra bit of shelter and can be fitted to the side of your caravan for a quick and simple set up. The Kampa Sunshine Air Pro range provides a generous sheltered area; perfect for sitting back and enjoying those long summer evenings.

At Devon Outdoor and the Camping & Kite Centre, our experienced team can help you find the perfect awning for your caravan or motorhome. We have an extensive selection of awnings and tents on display and we’re always happy to take time to discuss your requirements and show you around.

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Sign up to our newsletter and get 5% off when you spend £250

sign up to save 5% off your first order at Devon Outdoor

Sign up to our newsletter and be the among the first to hear about our new arrivals, big events and special offers!

To thank you for signing up we’ll send you an exclusive discount code to use online against your first purchase over £250 (excludes sale items).

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Easter camping with the family

Camping is great fun at Easter and it’s actually pretty easy to make sure the kids enjoy a memorable experience too. 

Easter is a great time for camping but it can be tricky to hide chocolate in the tent or van. As we’re often lucky with the weather over Easter, it can also be hard to store chocky treats without them melting!

But there’s lots of other ways to make it fun for the kids…

DECORATING EGGS…

Make a small hole at the top and base of an egg using a sharp knife. Blow the egg yolk out through the bottom hole and then gently rinse the shell. You can use the yolk and white for a delicious campfire omelette or scrambled egg breakfast!

Once dry, decorate with sharpies, paints, stickers, etc. Of course, you’ll need to plan ahead and take a few art supplies – always handy when camping with the kids.

EASTER EGG HUNT…

First off, whatever you do, don’t leave food lying around the camp site. You could wake up to find the wildlife have tucked in, or everyone else’s kids have already found them.

A great idea is to fill a few empty plastic eggs with dares and activities or pop a jigsaw piece in each which they then need to complete to earn their goodies.

A night time egg hunt is great fun too. Use glow sticks to identify hiding places.

EASTER MAKE & DO…

When our kids were smaller, we used to take some basic craft materials in our kit. Things like scissors, sticky tape, glue, toilet rolls, pieces of felt and some feathers.

Encourage the children to draw an Easter picture, make a cardboard roll bunny, felt puppets.

How about decorating a hat for an Easter parade around the campsite?

EASTER BUNNY FOOTPRINTS…

If the children are worried that the Easter Bunny won’t know where they are if you’re camping at Easter, get them to write a note to leave at home telling him where you’ll be.

In camp, once they’re asleep make a large footprint stencil and sprinkle flour on the ground over it to prove that he called by.

EASTER THEMED FUN AND GAMES

Bunny hop races and egg and spoon races, perfect Easter fun!

Just be sure that the adults get a turn too – it’s not fair that the kids have all the fun!

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Tent & Awning Display Now Open!

Tent and awning display Barnstaple North Devon

We’re working hard putting the finishing touches to our massive tent & awning displays here at Devon Outdoor and The Camping and Kite Centre.

TENTS…

Come and field test our selection of branded tents, caravan and driveway awnings.

We erect a wide range of styles, types and sizes, so that you can walk around and make the correct choice.

As a family business, we have first hand experience of our stock. This enables us to offer friendly and helpful service and advice.

VEHICLE AWNINGS…

Our branded vehicle awnings are suitable for most vehicle makes including VW and Bongo campervans as well as motorhomes and coach built motorhomes.

As well as our outdoor displays, we can regularly be found at local camping shows and exhibition.

Our next camping show will be in Cardiff on 18th – 19th May, then we’ll be at the Caravan and Motorhome Show in Chepstow 5-7th July, and Caravan and Motorhome Show in Exeter 26-28th July.

Find us on Facebook to look out for more details!

INFLATABLE AIR AWNINGS AND TENTS…

Quick to erect and put up, these modern awnings and tents save you time, while still giving you the reliability and space you need at a price for all pockets.

Hassle free pump up, we erect our inflatable tents & awnings at the beginning of the season and they remain in place through all weather conditions. Come and see brands such as Vango AirBeam and Kampa AIR, Outwell, Outdoor Revolution, and Coleman.

POLE AWNINGS AND TENTS…

But it’s not all about air! We continue to see a good range of poled products at prices to suit all pockets so take a wander around our selection of pole tents and awnings, and make an informed decision.

As a family business, we have been camping in a variety of tents with families of all ages. We can advise on what is best for you.

Make sure you plan a visit to see us soon. There’s free parking at both our stores plus a restaurant on site too so well worth making the trip!

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Devon Outdoor and The Camping & Kite Centre

We specialise in camping equipment, tents, caravanning and
all camping accessories.

From great brands including Kampa, Vango, Outwell, Outdoor Revolution, Coleman, Sunncamp and many more.

We hope you’ll choose us to get your adventure on the road!

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Why camp when you can glamp?

Hard to believe, but some people think of camping as ‘roughing it’ and have a bit of a hard time stepping away from the sofa! 

If that sounds like you, then we might have the answer with the Quest Elite Signature range of Bell Tents, brand new for 2019.

Glamorous camping or clamping really is a thing and new for 2019 are these great bell tents. Make it a home away from home with luxuries like an air mattressportable cooling or a heater and lighting. These could include furniture and great tableware so you can really relax and enjoy your time in the great outdoors.

A premium-quality cotton canvas frame tent with an extra thick PVC zip-in groundsheet makes this a fantastic family-friendly tent, or perfect for a couple who want that bit more space. And this simple steel-framed tent can be put up by one person, making it one of the easiest tents to erect.  

In the summer, the 100% cotton canvas is breathable and will keep it cooler compared to typical polyester and polycotton tents. Yet in the winter, the insulating properties will make it warm and cosy so you can camp all year round, safe in the knowledge that you made the right decision.

We have the Touareg erected and on display as part of our massive tent and awning display at Devon Outdoor in Barnstaple, North Devon and will soon have the 5m Bell Tent up at The Camping and Kite Centre in Raglan, near Abergavenny.

So if you’re passing by or near one of our stores, pop in and take a look around!

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Spring is here … are your ready for your first camping trip?

How to care for your tent

Get your camping season off to a great start this year with some advice from Devon Outdoor and The Camping and Kite Centre

BEFORE YOU GO…

Check for damaged poles:

Sometimes, fibreglass poles will split under the strain, and the elastic can snap.  If you find some that need replacing, then pop over to see us.  We have a range of sizes in store and if you prefer, you can leave the poles with us, and we will do the repairs (although please don’t leave it until the last minute).

Check for holes in fabric:

If you find any small holes, then you can use patches to repair.  When applying these patches, make sure the area is clean and dry before applying. Another handy tip is to place a flat surface behind the tent before applying the patch, this will prevent waves/wrinkles in the material.

Get an additional groundsheet:

An additional groundsheet is a must have (even if your tent has one sewn in).  Often called a footprint, it is a groundsheet that’s specifically cut to match your tent, generally available for larger family tents. A footprint is used to protect the bottom of your tent from lose gravel and wet ground. This can help to prevent tearing and means that your tent won’t have to be cleaned as often.

If your tent doesn’t have a specific footprint available, standard groundsheets can be used but will need to be folded/cut to the shape of your tent.  It needs to be the same size as your tent (too big and the rain will hit your groundsheet and disappear between the floor of the tent and the groundsheet, giving you a nice puddle. Too small and it won’t protect the tent property).


 

Preparing your tent

In your tent repair kit you should always have:

  • Repair tape / duct tape – great for repairs to groundsheets, tent fabric, poles and air tubes (on inflatable tents)
  • Seam sealer
  • Spare pole section, spare pole elastic and a junior hacksaw (for running repairs)
  • Small brush / cloth – useful for giving your tent a quick clean before packing away at the end of your trip

Check for damaged poles:

Sometimes, fibreglass poles will split under the strain, and the elastic can snap.  If you find some that need replacing, then pop over to see us.  We have a range of sizes in store and if you prefer, you can leave the poles with us, and we will do the repairs (although please don’t leave it until the last minute).

Check for holes in fabric:

If you find any small holes, then you can use patches to repair.  When applying these patches, make sure the area is clean and dry before applying. Another handy tip is to place a flat surface behind the tent before applying the patch, this will prevent waves/wrinkles in the material.

Get an additional groundsheet:

An additional groundsheet is a must have (even if your tent has one sewn in).  Often called a footprint, it is a groundsheet that’s specifically cut to match your tent, generally available for larger family tents. A footprint is used to protect the bottom of your tent from lose gravel and wet ground. This can help to prevent tearing and means that your tent won’t have to be cleaned as often.

If your tent doesn’t have a specific footprint available, standard groundsheets can be used but will need to be folded/cut to the shape of your tent.  It needs to be the same size as your tent (too big and the rain will hit your groundsheet and disappear between the floor of the tent and the groundsheet, giving you a nice puddle. Too small and it won’t protect the tent property).


 

Preparing your tent

In your tent repair kit you should always have:

  • Repair tape / duct tape – great for repairs to groundsheets, tent fabric, poles and air tubes (on inflatable tents)
  • Seam sealer
  • Spare pole section, spare pole elastic and a junior hacksaw (for running repairs)
  • Small brush / cloth – useful for giving your tent a quick clean before packing away at the end of your trip
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Camping Magazine 2019 Awards

Take a look at some of the winners of the annual Camping Magazine awards

The annual Camping Magazine awards recognise the best of the best and amongst the winners for 2019 was Outdoor Revolution’s Airedale 5S chosen as Best Compact Family Tent.

“For 2019, the Airedale 5S has been remodelled to create the perfect-sized tent for smaller families or couples who like to spread out.

The addition of more ventilation makes the tent more comfortable and the front door can be used in various configurations, including a useful porch area. Overall this is a top quality tent for family holidays.”

Read the full Camping Magazine review for this fantastic family tent

Selected as the Best Weekend/Touring Tent was the Coleman Mackenzie 4

“…really easy to pitch, which is the probably the key atribute in a tent for shorter breaks. This is a tent that has been designed to make life outdoors as relaxing as possible, with an extensive range of features.”

Read their review of the Coleman Mackenzie 4 here.

Great choices in our opinion and we’re delighted to be stocking these tents as part of our fantastic new range for 2019

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Will we be seeing you at The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show?

The Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show is on at the NEC in Birmingham this week ( 19th –  24th February).

It’s the UK’s largest start of holiday season showcased on a visit to the show you’ll be inspired by awesome destinations and hundreds of campsites and holiday parks throughout the UK and the whole of Europe. It’s the perfect place to start planning your ultimate trip!
 
The event is also a fantastic showcase for the latest in touring caravans, motorhomes, campervans, trailer tents, folding campers, tents, camping equipment and accessories. It’s a great opportunity to step inside and compare all the latest layouts, interiors and camping equipment for 2019.
 
And there’s no need to rush into making a purchase while you’re there. Here at Devon Outdoor we will be stocking all the new 2019 lines from the biggest brands including Kampa, Vango, Coleman, Outwell, Outdoor Revolution, Sunncamp and more so relax and browse the show and then head back to Devon Outdoor to order. We also offer 0% finance on many products to help make bigger purchases more manageable.

Stop by and say hello to Roger on the Outdoor Revolution stand, Hall 1, Stand 1262. We look forward to seeing you there!


Devon Outdoor and The Camping & Kite Centre

We specialise in camping equipment, tents, caravanning and
all camping accessories.
We hope you’ll choose us to get your adventure on the road!