Creature Comforts in the Great Outdoors
By Around the world cyclist and adventurer, Mark Beaumont
You are reading a blog about camping – which means you are either already a fan or at least partly convinced. However, if you are like me, not everyone in your family or friendship group agrees – and their reluctance is likely to be around simple creature comforts.
Why would I give up a perfectly cosy hotel to spend time in a field? ‘It is cheaper’ isn’t really the positive reassurance people are needing to convince them. ‘To get back to nature’ isn’t really going to cut it if you and the kids are up at 4am with the summer daylight and you are uncomfortable when you do get to sleep.
You need people around you to get onboard and excited about this summer’s staycation or mini adventures in order for the whole thing to happen and not feel like you are a parent dragging the kids to the beach on a rainy day. And let’s face it, the prospect of a trip to Spain seems unlikely right now, so let’s focus on great adventures closer to home.
Here is an odd analogy for you - if you only ever experienced going to the pub 30 years ago, you would reflect on the cloud of smoke that hung low and how your clothes and hair reeked afterwards, not to mention how some pubs could be crowded, intimidating places.
We all love nostalgia, it the file that takes the rough edges from the good old days (quoting Doug Larsen), but I wouldn’t actually wish to be back in the old canvas triangle tent that my Granny gave me. It weighted a ton and let water in, not to mention the separate groundsheet that let the wildlife come and visit me during the night – or my torch that was the size of a toaster!
Times have changed – going to the pub is no longer a smoky affair, just like going camping is no longer a Robinson Crusoe affair. In fact, family camping, the sort where you bundle everything into the back of your car, not onto your backpack, is oozing with luxury. I hazard that anyone around you who is still dragging their feet, are focussed on their memories of 1990 and not the creature comforts of 2020.
Here are just some of the ways to make family trips into the great outdoors a bit more luxurious these days.