Jan 22

Why it Pays to go Camping-Even When it Rains

by in Guest Posts

It is fair to say that camping has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years; in fact, it hasn’t been so fashionable since the 1950s when a newly minted and more comfortably situated post-war working-class society had the wheels and the wherewithal to travel further afield than they had done in the past.

Camping was more or less ousted as the 1960s ushered in the more desirable cheap, foreign package deals as the holiday of choice for many families. This has continued until the recent economic downturn necessitated a more affordable option for cash-strapped families.

Enter “Glamping” so-called by those keen to dress-up the realities of sleeping on a rock, under a leaky canvas into something slightly more desirable!

Glamping versus Camping! The realities of camping in the UK.

Flowery tents, flowery wellies, huge cool boxes, Chinese lanterns and fridges that plug into your car’s lighter socket…do any of these make camping more fun and desirable?

The rash of Cath Kidston-print  tents to be seen on any UK campsite certainly add a feminine touch to the idea of a break in the great outdoors but does it add to the pleasure? Why is a more attractive set-up appealing when all we really need is a dry place to sleep and somewhere to store the bacon and eggs?

Many families find that creating a home from home in a muddy field somewhere in deepest Wales is a big part of the fun; stringing fairy lights across your awning adds a cosy, even magical touch to your camp and if you have small children with you these are the little details that they will remember forever.

It is a good idea to bring those small, unnecessary-but-pretty extras from home because once you’re tucked up and under the stars, you’ll be glad that in addition to your waterproof cape, you brought that fancy wicker picnic hamper and 50 yards of bunting…why? Because this is England and if there’s one thing we do well, it’s picnicking in the rain.

A combination of unpredictable weather and an indomitable spirit have ensured that we can have a good time no matter what Mother Nature brings.

We may have a dodgy forecast but there’s no need to be un-festive about it!

Camping has grown in popularity in the UK despite the unpredictable weather!

“Real” Camping versus Sleeping in a Tent!

Hardcore campers stay on the campsite, fair-weather campers go off on day trips and only return once they’ve eaten fish and chips in the nearest town and had a poke about the gift shops.

Before you embark on your camping holiday, it’s a good idea to talk about your expectations with your partner or friends.

Do you see camping as one long (and cheap!) stay in a field, interspersed with games of cards, football and rubbing sticks together? Or do you see it as cheap accommodation close to plenty of entertainment, amenities and activities? If you can all manage to agree or to reach a compromise, then you’ll be onto a winner of a break. In an ideal world, camping should be part outdoor survival and part tourist heaven.

Camping can allow families to see parts of the country they might not ordinarily manage to get to if hotel accommodation is too expensive. It’s also a good idea to check out what places of local interest are near to your chosen campsite.

Keeping within your budget, you can then travel about and see a little of the area whilst still self-catering and keeping costs down.

Set up a packed-lunch station in your campsite and get into the routine of making some food before you head out for the day; this saves huge chunks of cash and you’ll all be well fed to boot.

Organised and well planned camping trips are the most memorable.

Keeping things Clean and Dry!

Some of the worst camping trips have been exacerbated by bad planning regarding practical details. Living outdoors is hard work unless you are well organised and taken care of all your domestic needs!

Make sure your tent has an awning outside…an area which is separate to your sleeping quarters and where you can cook, change boots and shoes and keep wet or dirty clothing. Outwell tents have a good selection of tents with awnings that are worth a look at when buying a new family tent.

A broom is a necessary tool for any well managed camping trip; your tent will need sweeping morning and night in order to keep the sand, grass and bugs out!

Take plenty of plastic bags…both large and small for rubbish and for storing dirty clothing and shoes. Bowls, buckets and utensils are an absolute essential; remember that you’ll need tea towels and washing up liquid too!

As you pack, think about your campsite as a condensed version of your home; you won’t need the TV but you will need to cook, wash, eat and sleep comfortably. A pack of cards, some books and if you have children, some colouring books and pencils will go a long way!

And finally, remember the lanterns and torches! A cosy glow inside your tent when the rain is coming down will transform your trip into a memorably cosy affair which will give you fantastic memories for years to come.

You may not have the luxury of a cooker or a well-stocked larder, but the satisfaction of cooking stew or stir-fry under the stars really does make up for that.

And if it does rain and you’re forced to make do and mend, it’s the little things which make great memories, tinned tuna sandwiches slapped together and eaten with chocolate biscuits under canvas really do taste better than the fanciest three course meal cooked in your own kitchen!


Whether you opt for a hardcore experience or are keen to enjoy a glamping experience, a holiday under canvas is a great idea for all the family, whatever the weather!

Image credits: Wikipedia 1 and 2


Leave a Reply