Camping is the best way of discovering a country and its spectacular nature. Croatia in particular is a popular camping destination in southern Europe, thanks to its stunning varied landscape that includes everything from a fabulous coastline to dramatic mountain peaks.
Preparing for a camping trip can be tricky, especially if you don’t do it very often. So, here are the top tips and tricks for camping in Croatia (and beyond), that will ensure you never again arrive at a campsite unprepared!
Consider Your Options
Croatia – and all the other countries – have hundreds of campsites to choose from. Don’t just blindly go to the first campsite you come across; instead, spend some time checking out Croatia’s best campsites and see what appeals to you the most.
The country has a varied landscape and there are campsites everywhere. Whether you want to explore the mountains of Croatia or camp on the Adriatic coast, you’ll have plenty of options.
Some campsites are better equipped than others, so make a point of researching the different options in the area you’re traveling to, and there won’t be any nasty surprises once you arrive.
Check The Weather Forecast
Weather in Croatia – and beyond – can be a bit unpredictable, depending on the season. Be sure to check the weather forecast regularly, especially if you’ve set up camp out in the open.
Thunderstorms are common in the summer months – they can come and go in some 20-30 minutes, but they’ll thoroughly soak everything that’s left out in the open. It’s also wise to seek shelter during thunderstorms, especially if you’re camping out in the open where you’re more likely to get struck by lightning.
When In Doubt, Ask The Locals
Wild camping is not technically allowed in Croatia, but the authorities aren’t too strict about it. There are fines for wild camping, but you’ll only get in trouble if you set up camp close to touristy areas. It’s tolerated more in the rural areas and in the mountains, so whenever you’re in doubt just ask the locals in the area or even the local authorities.
This tip applies well beyond Croatia – a lot of European countries don’t allow wild camping and the fines are astronomical if you get caught. If you’re not sure you’re allowed to set up camp somewhere, always check with the locals to avoid trouble.
Plan And Prep Your Meals
This is really a basic camping rule that will make your life a lot easier if you’re not already doing it. Make a meal plan before you head out, and prepare all the ingredients so you don’t have too much work at the campsite.
It also helps to separate the ingredients and spices for every meal you plan to cook. That way things don’t get mixed up, and you don’t accidentally use too much of an ingredient you need for several meals.
Leave No Trace
This goes without saying, but you should never leave anything behind at a campsite. This is particularly important for wild camping – most countries that allow camping in the wilderness have a rule that you mustn’t leave anything behind or inflict any damage on flora and fauna in the area.
The rule applies to public and privately-owned campsites as well. Leave nothing behind at the pitch, and make sure that you’re leaving the campsite in the same condition you found it.
Bring Solar Chargers
Not every single campsite in Croatia (and beyond) has electrical hookups for campers. If you’re camping in the wild, chances are you’ll be miles away from the nearest electrical outlet, and having solar-powered chargers and power banks is certainly helpful.
There are loads of solar power banks out there, some of which have massive capacities that can charge all your electronics for days. Just don’t forget the leave it out in the sun while you’re doing your thing, and when night falls you’ll have plenty of juice for all your must-have electronic devices.
Get A Tent Mat And Shoes
True camping pros always have a designated set of tent shoes. It’s also a good idea to bring a mat you can put in front of the entrance to the tent, so you have a clean surface to stand on while you’re changing into your tent shoes.
This simple trick can dramatically increase your quality of life while camping. You’ll never again spread the mud on the tent floor, you don’t have to worry about bringing in ticks or other bugs into the tent, and there will be a lot less mess to clean up when you’re ready to turn in for the night.