The Wonder of Camping

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My first real camping experience was with my friends when I was at secondary school.  We were doing our Duke of Edinburgh’s award and to me, at the time, it meant one thing…  FREEDOM!

Leaving no trace!
Leaving no trace!

I was so excited.  We headed off into the hills with huge packs on our backs, big smiles on our faces and not a care in the world.  I was with my closest friends and it was brilliant.  Looking back, we were less than organised when it came to getting the tent set up, cooking dinner and keeping things in order.  Of course none of that mattered and we figured it all out eventually.  The main theme seemed to be laughter and fun, no one was there to tell us what to do so we stayed up late and ate chocolate in bed.

Not a great deal has changed over the years!

Whether camping in the snow, by the waters edge, up a mountain, in a grassy field or in the woods, sleeping in a tent is always an adventure and it still thrills me.

Camp Two on Everest
Camp Two on Everest

There’s something magical about being cocooned in a sleeping bag – warm and cosy with just a thin layer of material between you and the elements.

Often, camping goes hand in hand with some kind of hardship.  That could be a long hike or climb to the place you pitch your tent, it might be that you’re out of your comfort zone, that you don’t have your luxury items, you’re confined to a small space or maybe you’re too cold… or too hot.  Somehow all of these things make lying in your tent, in the still, calm darkness of the night all the more sweet.

The natural light of the morning and the birds twittering is a delightful way to wake up.  I love unzipping the tent from my sleeping bag and looking out into the new day, breathing in the fresh air and feeling invigorated and inspired.

Amazing views when wild camping in the South of France
Amazing views when wild camping in the South of France

Practically, camping is such a simple, inexpensive and accessible thing to do.  Mentally it’s like having a recharge.  Getting away from all the chaos and clutter of our everyday lives and removing technology, just for a short while, allows us to reconnect with ourselves, the people with us and nature.

You don’t always have to go far to go camping or to find a great spot to pitch your tent.  Look no further than your back garden!  If you’re new to camping it offers a safe and easy place to start.

Good food and great company makes any camping trip even better.  With a little imagination and effort you can cook up a feast over a campfire, not to mention melting marshmallows and chocolate to serve on biscuits – a well-known treat aptly named a S’more!

Camping is an adventure.  It’s fun, liberating and exciting.  Definitely don’t take my word for it though, grab a tent, go outside and sleep under the stars.