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Happy camping – the benefits of a holiday under canvas

Camping: cooking outdoors
A camping holiday in the great outdoors could be just the thing for your family this year. We explore the fun you can have and the new skills your child might learn.

Cast aside thoughts of dusty old tents, creepy crawlies, and muddy wellies, and think about the freedom and sense of adventure a camping holiday could offer your family. In fact, with a seemingly endless expanse of beautiful rural locations at your fingertips, camping is a fantastic way to immerse yourselves in the countryside and spend some quality family time together.

With the chance to run free, explore, and experience new and exciting activities, camping will certainly bring out the sense of adventure in your kids – and you too!

Why choose family camping?

Not only is camping a more affordable option than a package holiday but it also offers great flexibility. Whether it’s relaxing, being active, or planning out a full itinerary of events, camping gives you the chance to really make your holiday your own.

What learning opportunities does camping offer?

  • Getting your kids involved in everything – from pitching the tent to building fires and preparing meals – will teach them lots of important practical skills.
  • Whether it’s identifying birds, trees and flowers in and around the campsite, or spotting stars, your children can learn to appreciate nature first hand.
  • Without the TV and computer, your children will become amazingly resourceful at inventing new ways to entertain themselves.
  • Sitting round the campfire, toasting marshmallows, singing songs, and telling ghost stories (not too scary though!) will give your child unforgettable memories.
  • Making a nature scrapbook or diary is a great way to make the most of being in the great outdoors.
  • Many children, particularly those who live in urban areas, don’t often have the opportunity to explore natural surroundings. This sense of adventure is what really makes childhood experiences memorable. Encourage your child to try new activities such as climbing trees, rambling, fishing, and following trails.
  • Help your child to understand that certain rules accompany the outdoors world, which will teach them a sense of responsibility.

What essential camping equipment will you need?

  • A portable tent (nylon is light, easy put up, wind- and rain-proof). With younger children, opt for a family-sized tent. Older children will enjoy pitching and sleeping in their own tent
  • Sleeping bags – make sure they are of the appropriate weight for the time of year, as you don’t want to roast or freeze!
  • An airbed, mattress, or ground sheet for extra comfort
  • A cooler box for essential food stuff such as milk and butter
  • A gas stove for boiling a kettle or saucepan of water (don’t forget the matches!)
  • Kettle, saucepan, tin opener, plates, utensils, cups, cloth towels
  • First Aid kit, including essential items such as insect repellent, antiseptic creams, sun cream, antihistamines, painkillers, and plasters
  • Torch
  • Water container
  • Toilet roll and other toiletries

UK family camping: choosing a site

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