· As motoring costs continue to rise steadily, there is no need to be tied to a large car to transport your family and camping gear. Consider a small trailer or a roof box to carry your gear and drive more economically for most of the time.
· Avoid falling prey to overpriced, unsatisfactory food on the road. Pack a coolbox for a picnic on the road and your first meal when settled on site. Being self-contained offers greater flexibility as well as saving time and money.
· Some form of breakdown assistance is useful when you hit a problem. The annual charge could turn out to be an absolute bargain and could salvage a holiday.
· If you are new to camping or need to replace some gear, ask family and friends if they have what you need. There is an amazing amount of sound camping gear squirreled away in attics and garages just waiting to be used.
· As most of us are not camping every weekend, consider sharing gear with family and friends. Buying it is one option, especially in shop sales or second-hand, at car boot sales or through this magazine, but you could have loads of fun designing and making your own gear such as windbreaks, stuff sacks and even sleeping bags and pads.
· The versatility of your tent can be increased with a garden gazebo, a cheap tarpaulin as a groundsheet and old carpet for some extra insulation and comfort. Update an old tent at home yourself with mesh doors, storage pockets, reproofing and extra ventilation.
· Modern tents are durable and resilient but components will experience hard wear in all weathers as well as almost inevitable accidental damage. A small spares and repair kit will help to nip problems in the bud before they become expensive to sort. On site, clearing away twigs and small stones helps to prevent little holes appearing in the groundsheet. Even modern fabrics may let mildew form so it is really important to always air tents properly after use.