We get a fair few messages from people who want to dip their toe into the camping experience, but they find the thought of it overwhelming. They haven’t ever been camping, or if they have been but it was a long, long time ago and there’s a natural trepidation about trying it again. What if they hate it? What if they don’t bring the right stuff? What if they can’t pitch the tent right? The list goes on.
I didn’t ever transition from being a non-camper to a camper (it was just something we did when I was growing up. If I stand back and think about it logically though, the idea of going and pitching a tent and then lying in a field could, I suppose, seem strange to non-campers!
The thing is that camping isn’t really a logical thing to do. With the money that you spend on camping you could likely choose instead to stay in the perfectly acceptable hotel down the road. Your kids, Jane and John, will get to pop down to the hotel swimming pool. Someone will prepare your food – you’ll have a nice meal and a few drinks and you’ll sleep in a cosy, warm bed.
I get it…I really do and I enjoy that myself too. And yet….why do we as campers have that innate attraction to camping and why do we return time after time – the outdoors seemingly claiming us from our otherwise comfy existence?
Some people outside of camping circles think that people go camping because it is cheap and that campers can’t afford “real” holidays. For anyone that thinks this, just go to any campsite in this summer. Reality is that you’ll see an array of different types of campers….you’ll likely come across a young family, with their trusty tent – their primary escape from reality; an avenue to weekend adventures that they wouldn’t otherwise have. However, in the very next pitch you’re likely to encounter a couple or family in a hugely expensive tent/caravan/motorhome….but they also choose to go camping.
My feeling is that we go camping because it’s a vibe; a way of life. A sense of freedom and adventure; tapping into our nomadic souls and serving as a jumping off point for other adventures. Often these are small journeys we make – a weekend away to clear our heads. But after we make the journey and we set up on our pitch we find that some of the barriers that we have built up in everyday society get chipped away. We’re more inclined to chat to strangers – whether it’s on the way to the loo or at the communal dish-washing area! People tend to be enthusiastic about other peoples’ gear – wanting to know more and compare it to what they have. In some ways, it feels like a return to childhood. To simpler times.
So for those of you who haven’t tried it, I would say give it a go. If you just want to try it without investing in all the equipment, then see if you could borrow it from a friend (just make sure that you dry the tent out well before returning it!) or hire from us at explore54 and show up to a tent that is already pitched and furnished. If you can’t bring yourself to camp in a tent then that’s totally fine too. We aren’t camping snobs!! All types of camping counts – there is no “right” way to camp. Hire a motorhome or caravan – just get out there and give it a whirl – see what we have on offer in our beautiful country.
In any case, the concerns that you have won’t come to fruition and maybe with a bit of space between you and your “real life” you’ll also learn something about yourself in the process.
explore54 is a family run business, based in Northern Ireland, renting out camping and glamping equipment. We pre-pitch tents on campsites, so all that customers need to do is show up and kick back and relax. We're in the process of adding 2020 availability but you can see how our summer is shaping up here: https://explore54.co.uk/pages/availability-2020