Some might argue that you’re either a camping person or you’re not, but I reckon unless you give it a go how do you actually know whether you’re going to like it or not.
I’ve dipped in and out of camping over the years, from sharing a basic two man tent at Reading festival in my early twenties, investing in a larger family friendly tent to go camping in the New Forest with the family in my thirties, right through to glamping it up in a yurt in my forties, it’s safe to say that these days I definitely prefer the more luxurious side to camping. Yet whilst camping might not be my first choice of holiday, whenever I have camped out there are elements to it that you simply cannot get from other holidays.
Here are some of the reasons I think you should consider taking a camping holiday this year – you never know, you might love it!
You Can Camp Anywhere
Well OK, not anywhere, but pretty much anywhere and it’s way more flexible than working out where to park up a caravan that’s for sure. Think of all the different options available to you – even in your garden & camping sites across the world if you so fancy. The world is your oyster as they say. In fact trialling out camping in your back garden is probably a good starting point for camping newbies, as it allows you to work out how to put up your tent without the pressure of pro campers peering down on you and also gives you the option of sneaking back into the house for a wee or if you get freaked out by the sound of an owl in the middle of the night. Likewise if the thought of pitching your tent on a busy campsite sends shudders down your spine you could look at finding a much quieter spot, say on a farm or anywhere else secluded that offers camping. This way you can really enjoy the benefits of some quiet time out without the fear of dealing with noisy neighbours and having to queue for the facilities.
Time Out With Nature
When else do you get the opportunity to spend so much time surrounded by nature? Camping in the great outdoors allows you to fully embrace the wilderness, to find the savage in you and to fully appreciate the simple life. Fresh air, rosy cheeks, wind swept hair, this is your chance to sit back and enjoy life at a much slower pace. Once your tent is up all you need do is sit back and chill… well until dinnertime anyway 😉 Spending time outside is great for the soul and is a proven mood enhancer. How can anyone not be happy when surrounded by green fields, woodland and the sound of birdsong in the morning!?!
You can’t get much cheaper than a camping holiday, so if you’re on a bit of a budget yet you still want to get away, camping is a great pound saving option. You’ll obviously have the initial outlay of buying a good quality tent and it is definitely worth spending a bit more on one that will last not just in terms of durability but also as your family grows. However once you have paid for a tent and a few bits and pieces like sleeping bags, a camping stove, torches etc. you will have that equipment to use on as many camping holidays as you can possibly squeeze in. The only other cost you’ll have is paying for your pitch on the campsite, but this is a very minimal fee, especially when compared to that of a hotel or even a self catered cottage somewhere.
It Makes You Appreciate The Little Things
When was the last time you sat back and took stock of just how marvellous the world is and just how happy you are with life. Camping gives you countless opportunities to enjoy the simple things in life and to appreciate the little things in much the same way as a child would. Because children are amazed by the new and the exciting and the adventure of things, things that us adults take for granted. The sound of rain on canvas (come on we live in the UK, of course it’ll rain at some point!), gazing at the stars, toasting marshmallows on the campfire, playing leapfrog and pooh sticks, watching the sunrise and set. All of it makes you realise just how small you are in the world and just how unimportant all those material objects you have back at home really are. It can be incredibly grounding and a real moment to readdress what’s important to you in life.
I’m fairly sure every single one of you reading this would benefit from some time away from screens and camping allows you to wander where the Wi-Fi is weak. As a parent, I know first hand how much video games in particular affect the moods and behaviour of my children. My son can go from being a relatively polite and helpful young man (well as much as a 10 year old can be of course 😉 ) to having spent an hour on Fortnite and suddenly transforming into Kevin the teenager. But take the controller away, get past the shouting, the tears and the cries of “Ugh your the meanest parents in the world” and he mutates back into the pleasant version. Whenever we go on holiday as a family we insist on a no screens rule. There may well be a TV in the hotel room… but we’re not watching it. There may well be a long car journey… but no you’re not taking your tablet. What’s wrong with a good old fashioned car game? Or heavens forbid actually spending time talking and playing together? Camping immediately strips away all of those temptations – there are no plug sockets, no chargers, just fresh air, freedom and full on family time.
Spend Quality Time Together
Talking of which, when was the last time you spent time together as a family completely uninterrupted by the mundane chores of everyday life? We’re all so busy these days that the very simple act of spending time together has dropped down our lists. I’m sure we all want to spend more time together, but how can we do that when there’s work to be done, household admin to sort, school and kid stuff to arrange etc. etc. But it’s all about making the time and going camping together is a way of focusing on what matters without the distractions. There’s something so old school charming about sitting around a camp fire together, sharing stories, making memories and laughing – like proper big old belly laughing. It’s good for strengthening relationships, it’s great for reconnecting and it’s super good for the soul.
Daily life is consumed with rules and routines, but camping takes those things and laughs in the very face of them as it’s all about chilling out and doing things how you like and when you like. I mean I wouldn’t tell the kids about the no rule thing, certainly not on day one anyway, but ultimately you are there to have a good time and to get away from normality. Bedtimes pretty much go out the window… what’s the point in stressing about the kids not settling, they’ll fall asleep eventually and hey if they’re happy enough being up while you sip wine by the campfire I say anything for an easy life. And mealtimes? Who says you can only eat breakfast food at breakfast? And last time I checked it’s totally fine to eat chocolate and toasted marshmallows first thing 😉 And then of course there’s the fact it’s completely acceptable, no scrap that, it’s expected, for you to rock up to the loos in your pyjamas. There’s no dress code on a campsite that’s for sure and no one’s going to bat an eyelid if you’re wandering around with crazy morning hair and a unicorn onesie.
Learn New Skills
We’ve all seen Bear Grylls and I don’t know about you lot but I’ve always fancied being able to fashion a fishing rod out of an empty tin can or being able to make a watertight shelter using only materials found in the forest. Camping is a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills, such as map reading, campfire building, tying knots, putting up a tent and to learn about the different wildlife. It’s a great way to spend time together helping each other out and working as a team, and it will give you a real sense of achievement when you manage to do whatever it is you have set out to do. Camping allows you to embrace your inner girl guide and make you feel as though you could literally take on the world one knot at a time.
Come rain or shine there is much to be said about the joy of camping and these are just some of the many reasons to give it a try. So pack up your tent, grab your sleeping bags and head on out into the wilderness to enjoy some fuss free, simple time away from it all this summer.
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