“If you have never spent a night under the stars, then you have never truly lived.”
Yes, a bold and somewhat controversial statement and yes, someone just went there! But someone loves camping so much, that they really do believe that EVERYONE can not only benefit from camping, but enjoy it too. Agreed, it can be cold and wet. You might have noisy neighbours who keep you up all night. The toilets might get blocked, rodents might get into your food, or you might just get bored. But there's the risk of all of those things happening on any vacation or even in your own home! For them, all of the negatives that come with cosying up in the corner of a muddy field under nothing but thin tent canvas, are well worth the endless positives. And these positives make them happier than anything else in the world.
There's no getting away from the necessity to use your body a lot more whilst camping than in everyday life. From the moment you set your wellies in the mud to the moment you haul your aching muscles into the car to go home, you will be moving, in one way or another. And if you're not, then your body will be working harder than normal to regulate its own temperature, thus using up more energy. There are a ton of proven health benefits to spending time outdoors, so for more information.
It's not just our physical health that benefits from time out in the wild. Camping also provides the perfect opportunity to clear the mind from everyday chatter, often without even knowing it. In our modern world of constant overstimulation, it has become something of a necessity to get away from it all at least once a month.
People watching is a wonderful way to kill time. We love peaking into tiny snippets of other people's lives: watching how they interact, how they have fun. People watching at the beach is always entertaining, but put a load of civilised city folk in a field and watch them fight to survive for a weekend, and you'll be amused for the rest of the day — the ultimate reality TV show. We like people watching with other people and taking casual bets on how things will pan out. But make sure you master the art of discretion. You don't want to go lose friends before you've even made any.
Now we're not suggesting that you turn your vacation into some sort of military operation. We're merely hinting at the fact that things are way easier, and a lot more fun, when you do them with someone else. Pitching a tent is an obvious example of when teamwork is genuinely required, and it can be a real test of any relationship. So whether you like it or not, you'll be learning some essential team building skills which we highly recommend approaching with an open mind!
We don't think there is any better way for a family to enjoy a holiday together than camping. The reality of it means that not only do the kids have a giant playground to explore, but camping also forces families to spend quality time together, without the distractions of phones or TV. There is time to chat over dinner about the adventures of the day, and plan more fun for the rest of the trip. Time to sing campfire songs together and play silly games. Time to help each other with the chores – because even chores are fun at camp! For busy families, camping allows for some togetherness that just doesn’t happen in everyday life – yet another side to the adventure.
It wouldn't be proper camping without a big old BBQ to finish the day, and it is the one time when it is genuinely OK to be caught with at least three types of meat on your plate. All that fresh air and energy exertion makes camping meals seem extra tasty. It's also the perfect excuse to try new ways of cooking some fun and delicious recipes that may be a little on the indulgent side. Take a look at these campfire dessert ideas to get your juices flowing.
I don't think a lifetime of outdoor living would be long enough to truly learn everything about how to survive and thrive in the wild. I love all the new skills that can be learned, from stick whittling and campcraft, to learning how to gut a fish or finding new ways to fend off the weather! And then I love imparting my knowledge to others to help them enjoy it all, too. There are also a lot of things I learn about myself during camping trips – and about other people. Things that would never come out during a week's holiday sitting on the beach.
I never get up in time for sunrise if I’m in my own bed. Even if I know it's going to be a gorgeous morning. My duvet is always too warm and cosy to crawl out of any earlier than I need. But when I'm camping, waking up is so much easier when the sunrise is right at your feet. I always pitch my tent where the sun will rise in mind. Then I can just unzip my tent and watch it from the comfort of my toastie sleeping bag. Equally, it's all too easy to let sunsets go unnoticed or unappreciated in everyday life. There's always something more important going on. But when I'm camping, the sun gets busy setting at just about the same time as I pop open a cool beer and settle into my camp chair! Heaven.
There's nothing like stargazing to totally remove you from the worries of everyday life. Sitting around a campfire always evolves into lying back and contemplating the universe. But I think the best time to really appreciate the canopy of stars is when nature calls in the middle of night. Although somewhat annoying initially, climbing out of the comfort of my sleeping bag is well worth the effort for the incredible display of twinkling stars that greet me. And even better, I get to enjoy it all to myself.
And finally, with all the action of camping, the newly learned skills, playtime and downtime, indulgent meals, nurtured relationships, physical exertion and increased headspace, it really is unavoidable that lasting and happy memories will be made every time you get out camping. You will have great recollections of almost every camping trip that we have been on and can't wait for the many, many more that will be made in the future.