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The Fallacies of Camping!

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The Fallacies of Camping!

Do you fancy going on a holiday but don’t want to go too far from home? Don’t want to spend a small fortune? Would you camp or does even the thought of camping give you shivers?

So Why Would You Go Camping?  Here are My top 5 Tips!  Clair Campion

Do you fancy going on a holiday but don’t want to go too far from home? Don’t want to spend a small fortune? Would you camp or does even the thought of camping give you shivers?

Eighteen months ago, we took our first steps into the world of camping and have absolutely enjoyed every one of the many nights we have spent away since. Like many things, it now feels like we’ve been camping for years and can’t imagine not doing it. But thinking about this made me wonder why we had not done it and all the fallacies that had stopped us doing it sooner. Here’s my top five list of the fallacies I was completely wrong about and why….

Vango Azura Tent

1. 'I'll never have a comfortable night's sleep'

We have friends who don’t like to camp for longer than a long weekend as they just can’t get a good enough night’s sleep. I have to admit that if we had the same problem, I don’t think we would have gone for a two-week camping trip last summer. Sleep is so important to us as a family. I really don’t cope well when I’m tired so we invested in our camping mattresses from the very beginning. We have two double Shangri-la 10 mattresses and I cannot rave about them enough. Definitely an investment but I would highly recommend budgeting for something similar as it has made a huge difference to our camping experience. No rocking about as someone moves, no bad backs and the kids sleep through! We even use these mattresses all year round at home for when the kids have sleep-overs as they sleep so well on them.  Even Dillon our dog approves!

2. 'Tents are uncomfotable, expecially when it rains'

You can’t help but imagine it being cold and damp when you think of camping in the rain. But it really isn’t that bad! Family size tents today are large enough to stand in, often have more than one section and if you’re on an electric campsite you can use a fan heater to warm up and the bonus of the tent is that they heat up quickly!

Our Vango Azura tent soon begins to feel like a little home from home. We have a kitchen section at the front, a living section in the middle and the bed section at the back giving us plenty of room to cook and relax without feeling like we are on top of each other on those days we have to stay inside. Our Vango Titan Oversized chairs make the perfect place to curl up and relax and are so comfortable, while the kids like to snuggle up together on their inflatable donut chairs. It feels very homely and inviting and not at all a struggle to stay indoors!

Vango Donut Chair

3.  'I can't live without my amenities and good food'

Camping is not as basic as you may think. Most campsites these days have electric pitches available. There are mini-fridges or electric cooler boxes you can use to keep food cool. You can plug in your phone, hair straighteners and iPad’s (yep, we do let the kids chill out to a movie from time to time – you have to choose your battles!).

We do live in a world where unfortunately time away from our devices is unimaginable. But we all know how good it is for us all not to have the urge to scroll. But the reality is most of us will need our phones charged up and keep connected to the outside world and being able to share our adventures. Most campsites have WiFi hot spots you can use and charging points if you don’t have an electric pitch. They will also be happy to swap your freezer blocks when you need to, to help keep the cooler box cold.

As for camping food – it is not all tinned peaches and endless baked beans on toast! We BBQ most days or treat ourselves to meals out. We have been on campsites where they have the most amazing food available, from café’s with fresh pastries every morning to a street food van serving up the most exquisite surf inspired cuisine. Add some incredible sea views and it’s not too shabby at all!

4.  'It will be wet and dirty'

There is no denying this. It can be. But pick a campsite with good facilities if it is something that is important to you. We have been on a mixture of sites and I have learned what I like, what I can live without and what is a bonus! One site had a great laundry room where I could wash (and more importantly dry) the kid’s clothes. If you plan to go away for longer than a week (and don’t have a laundry available) I would recommend splitting clothes into two-week packs. Keep the second weeks clothes in the car. That way you can crack open a fresh bag of clothes for the second week. There are so many storage options for keeping everything organised in the tent too, from kitchen units to clothes storage – it all helps to keep clean and tidy!

5.  'It'll take ages to set up the tent....and mission impossible in a storm!!'

We are living proof this is not the case! We left in the very early hours one morning last summer to get down to our Cornwall campsite before a storm was due to hit (yep, we are crazy campers!). We got to the campsite by 9am and had our Vango Azura Airbeam tent up in 20 minutes and by 10am everything was pretty much unpacked. This was the first time we were going to camp in high winds and we did wonder how that first night would go (and had a back-up plan of running off to a local hotel if we needed too!) But amazingly we all slept through and the tent stood still in 60MPH winds! Some of our neighbouring campers weren’t so lucky! Lots of broken poles and holidays cut short. My biggest tip is to make sure to do your research before buying your first tent. Don’t go cheap and cheerful, I guarantee it will end in a bad experience and sadly put you off ever camping again. Your tent should become your second home, invest in it, make sure it can accommodate all your needs.

I don’t look back on our camping trips with a feel of dread and remorse. I look back and feel so happy. We made some amazing memories. We got away and had a proper two-week holiday and camped closer to the beach than we could ever have managed staying in a rented cottage and it was a lot more affordable during the school summer holidays!

Camping at the end of the day is what you make of it, like so many things in life. Embrace the freedom it allows you to feel and enjoy the adventure. It doesn’t have to be cold, dirty and uncomfortable. Research and invest and you won’t regret it.

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