Actually, What is Camping?
by Joel Peart on Jul 28, 2022
Besides from anxiety inducing, because of the prospect of spending a holiday living between a few sheets of polyester, camping is actually quite a broad and complex category. It’s one that must be fully understood and appreciated before discounting it or instantly associating it with dread.
In essence, camping is a form of escapism from everyday life. Yes, there’s often a tent involved, but it doesn’t have to be the sort of claustrophobic, triangular trap you’re envisaging. Tents, nowadays, have evolved. From Bell tents with stoves to tents with separate sleeping compartments, and even pop-up tents which assemble all on their own! What a time to be a tent.
Sorry, where were we? Oh, yes, escapism. Camping is a chance to unplug from reality. Camping has to be treated as a full-circle experience; a way of awakening your senses to nature and resetting your internal clock. Unless, that is, you ask your teenage offspring what camping is. Then you may be met with a response involving unfair gamesmanship on something called Fortnite.
What are the Different Types of Camping?
With backpack and hiking camping, caravan and motorhome camping, survival camping and hammock camping all qualifying in their own right as forms of camping, we thought we’d structure something a little more digestible for you. Here’s our three-tiered system stemming from hardcore camping to hardly camping at all:
What is Wild Camping?
This has to be one for the avid campers. Wild camping is a form of remote camping suited to a camper with experience and know-how in the event of the extraordinary. And one with a real ‘take a spade and bury what you made’ attitude when it comes to facilities.
That being said, wild camping has to be one of the most rewarding forms of camping. Dare you detach yourself from home comforts and open yourself up to the elements? Can you see yourself sleeping under the stars and so self-sufficient that it doesn’t matter that the nearest amenity isn’t for miles? Wild camping can become the calming component in your stormy life.
Whilst we all wish you could just pitch-up a tent in the most scenic place you stumble across, it’s not always as straightforward as that. You must alway ask the landowners permission. Some visitor centres or National Parks will provide a list of available land to camp on or direct you to interactive maps like this one.
If you are going to choose a wild camp, always follow codes of conduct and always send someone your location or nearest landmark, for safety. The Get Outside Ordnance Survey guys are also pretty helpful when it comes to choosing a wild camping spot.
On top of all that, here are a couple of recommended ACAI items to suit and assist the hardcore campers:
Camping in the Forest
The forest has the facilities to provide semi-confident campers with a comfortable experience, especially if it’s part of a campsite with all the expected amenities. However, if it’s not, forests can still be flush with all the facilities you need to survive: fresh water from streams, shelter, food and fire wood can be in abundance, but if your knowledge is limited, do not try anything adventurous. It can be easy to become excitable and think you’re Bear Grylls, in moments like these.
Meanwhile, the forest makes for a magical environment in which to camp. Surrounding foliage and wildlife make it an exciting place for sights, sounds and smells no matter the time of day. You could also negate the need for a polyester prison (tent) and swing yourself to sleep in a hammock to the charming crackle of the campfire and the twinkling of the stars between the canopy above.
Woodland camping is wonderful. But, as ever, we’d always encourage you to explore codes of conduct and campsite permissions before making any decisions. Do your due diligence and be aware of the potential dangers such as falling branches and so on, before pitching up and settling down.
ACAI would suggest something comfortable and suitable for the intermediate campers amongst you:
If the above forms of camping sound a little too exotic, glamping is a way of accessing some of the same amazing experiences mentioned but with the safety-net of a memory foam mattress at the end of the night.
Glamping, (a portmanteau of the words glamorous and camping), and its popularity has become unprecedented, as access to wi-fi expands and glamping pods come complete with fully equipped kitchens, endless USB ports and even hot tubs. If comfort is key and luxury and glamour are non-negotiable, then glamping could be the entry level to camping you require. It’s also one for the romantics too.
On that note, here’s some ACAI attire to get you in the mood:
Camping in the Great Outdoors
Waking up in the wilderness is underrated. Imagine being awoken by nature’s chorus as opposed to the bin men. Imagine unzipping your tent to uninterrupted views of the horizon rather than peeling back your duvet to views of your partner’s behind. Imagine making fresh coffee around the campfire instead of in a cluttered kitchen. Imagine.
Even if it’s only once a year, allow yourself an opportunity to try something new.
We all connect to nature in different ways and camping is just one way of exploring those connections. With endless activities to access such as hiking, wild swimming, wildlife spotting and cooking in the field, coupled with the unpredictability of weather conditions and other ‘out of your comfort zone’ experiences, camping outdoors can do wonders for your well-being and relationships.
Where to go Camping in the U.K
There are endless campsites across the U.K with a range of facilities to suit all kinds of audiences. Just do a simple search online and you will find camping spots that are idyllically isolated or campsites that are family friendly and full of fun!
Depending on the form of camping which most appeals to you, your camping checklist may be somewhat shorter or considerably longer that the one we’re providing. However, these are some of the basics we’d recommend:
Camping is actually…
Camping is actually an opportunity to revert back to simpler times. Time slows down. Things seem to make more sense. Perhaps it’s primal. Or maybe it’s just a welcomed break from routine. Whatever it is, and whichever type of camping you choose to try, just remember to do your research, prepare accordingly and take advantage of opportunities that are presented to you. And buy a new ACAI outfit for the occasion, of course!