Thinking of going camping? You should do it! I used to be a city girl through and through, but now I can’t get enough of packing up our tent, hitting the road and heading off to a beautiful destination. There are so many brilliant things I love about camping! Here are my top 5:
Can’t beat a good cup of tea when camping!
1. It’s the simple life
Camping makes me realise the things I need to exist and be happy are actually very simple.
In our case we have ‘Aggie’ the tent. We bought her last year for a camping holiday in France. She was given this name as no matter what how we put her up she is always a bit saggy. She provides us with adequate space for sleeping and storage and is even big enough for me to stand up in (sometimes being small has it’s advantages).
We have a brilliant 2 ring camping stove with a grill, so we can pretty much cook anything we’d normally cook at home.
To be honest this is far from simple and usually consists of an air bed, double sleeping bag, duvet and pillows, but everyone is allowed a bit of comfort aren’t they?
I really enjoy just having the things I need around me. In some ways it’s similar to travelling, with all my belongings packed into one backpack. It feels so liberating!
Camping is just so quiet and peaceful. As I sit here in our back garden typing this, I can hear birds tweeting but this is over powered by the noise of cars and lorries driving along the road adjacent to our house. When you’re camping it’s the sounds of nature that become the soundtrack to your day. (Well that is unless you spend a bank holiday weekend in the Lake District in an over crowded camp site where the tent next to you has a 3 hour domestic argument in the middle of the night, which is only really fit for the Jeremy Kyle Show or Jerry Springer – this did happen). In our most recent trip we were treated to a rather chatty owl to send us off to sleep each evening and awoken the following morning by a beautiful dawn chorus. Bliss!
3. The day revolves around food
Rob and I are big foodies; even whilst we are in the middle of eating a meal we will often be planning the next one. When camping our day revolves around food even more than normal, which is great! It just takes a bit longer to do everything when your home is a tent, so food planning, preparing and eating takes up a larger proportion of the day. But, to be honest we’re at our happiest when we’re talking about, buying, preparing or eating food. Camping gives us licence to do this more than usual.
4. Wherever we camp it’s a beautiful place
We’re really lucky to live in a beautiful part of Scotland, so we don’t have to go far to be surrounded by stunning scenery, dramatic mountains and crystal clear lakes. Our recent trip took us to Glen Affric, which ticks all the boxes above. The destination was more chance than planning, picked at random from a quick Google search. It’s one of Scotland 50 Nature Reserves, about 30 miles from Inverness (the nearest major city) and is a scenic paradise for hikers, campers and day trippers. We stayed in the nearby village of Cannich, which put us about 10 miles from the reserve, and we could explore to our hearts content. We have also camped our way across France; food, scenery and sun! Need I say more…
I quite like being disconnected from the outside world, no television, no phone, no Wi-Fi. Although on our last trip Rob somehow managed to find Wi-Fi in the middle of a field. There is something quite nice about being in the moment with your fellow camper and not being distracted by the outside world. Rob and I are both guilty of spending a day at work and then coming home and spending a few hours on the computer or just watching mind numbing television and passing a few words between us. Forced disconnection from the distractions of everyday life means we get time to reconnect with each other, talking, listening, laughing and planning for our future adventures together.
Yes I love camping, but lets not mess around there are times when it’s near hell on earth.
3 things I hate about camping
In a hot tent this isn’t fun. A cool breeze would be good, but the slightest movement to open the flap to let some much needed air in could result in your head cracking open and also increases the likelihood of vomiting. Thankfully I seem to have left the partying festival days behind me
Proximity to a toilet
Too close and all you can smell is other people’s shit, too far and the convenience of a convenience is taken away. Last year whilst away for a friend’s birthday I discovered being too far away from the toilet block was somewhat of a disadvantage. Shortly after retiring to bed there was a rumble in the stomach and getting to the toilet became a priority. After my third trek to the toilet I gave up, grabbed my sleeping bag and slept in the car outside the toilet block. Somehow Rob managed to sleep through all of this
Camping in the rain isn’t fun. I do like the sound of light shower as it pitter patters on the tent whilst I float gently off to sleep; there is something so soothing about this. But when the pitter patter becomes a torrential two-day downpour, it’s just annoying. Cooking in the rain is difficult, there is nowhere to hang soggy clothes and keeping the inside of the tent dry is near impossible. Often you have to perform all sorts of weird yoga positions to make sure your bedding stays dry whilst you take your wet clothes and shoes off. Rain simply spoils what is otherwise a perfectly lovely time.
Rob feeling free as we camp in Scotland
But for me, these are just minor setbacks and I can’t wait for the next sunny weekend so we can disappear off with ‘Saggy Aggie’ to another stunning part of Scotland!