For the love of camping!

Kizza's picture

Submitted by Kizza on 2011, December 8 - 3:21pm

Someone mentioned on here that they hate camping...which got me thinking about whether you would only camp at a festival?

Do you only camp at a festival because you have no other choice? Would you camp as part of your normal holiday? Or is it just for the festivities of a festival?

If money was no object would you choose to camp in a tipee or one of the tangerine field type things?

For me, I LOVE camping...it is quite honestly one of my favourite things to do. My family think I am weird and al my mates think it is an odd choice for a girl to love camping so much...but I don't see why.

From the first time I went camping I just loved being outdoors and having to kind of rough it. Probably if I had to do it all the time I would hate it but I am now a seasoned camper.

My ex-boyfriend found it really weird. I hate hotels...I hate the fact that hundreds of other people have slept in the same bed before you and used the bath...I hate the confinement to one room...I just can't stand them!

With camping you create your own comfort. I go to Croyde a lot and there are some fab campsites there with great facilities...it is a far cry from the festivals I can tell you!

Ahhh...I love waking up to the outdoors...rolling out your tent and making a cuppa! Perhaps I should have been born in simpler times!

2011, December 9 - 11:54am

I prefer camping at festivals to camping in general, mainly because of the atmosphere. You don't even need to socialise with other people outside your group of friends, but just sitting outside your tents having a brew or a beer is perfection. I think the times spent in the campsite are still one of the defining things that mark a festival as a success or not, even if the bands are amazing you need to have a good social side to your festival experience.

If money were no object I'd rather buy one of those tents with loads of rooms rather than a yurt or whatever. It's best to be in the main camping area and I don't think the luxury camping options always are (am I right?).

I have stayed in a hotel when there hasn't been camping offered at a festival, it was kind of fun but there wasn't the same amount of people from the festival around and it felt like we were just going off and doing our own thing after the festival which wasn't necessarily very exciting. I like hotels in general, but they are a bit too confining for a festival, you can't do what you like, or make as much noise as you like until whatever time in the morning.

What I find really depressing about one-day festivals is that you just have to go home after. Yeah you can get a hotel but knowing there is nothing the next day is so lame, I really enjoy loads of one-day events but even if there is an afterparty you have to go home at somepoint with nothing more than a hangover to look forward to.

2011, December 9 - 4:24pm

For me camping has to a be must at a festival. I think the whole camping experience can be as important as the line-up of a festival. I have been on a couple of short camping breaks with some mates. The whole idea of being under the stars, with an open fire, beers, etc. is fun but after a night or so it can get boring. Where as a festival you've got tens of thousands of people next to you as well the background noise coming from the the main arena of live music.

I think it was Leeds 2008 and 2010 festivals were I had more fun in the camp site than in the main arena. In 2008 the line-up was pretty good but because there were so many of mates who were going, I knew that even though the line was pretty good but nothing special (apart from a handful of bands), I was definitely going to have an awesome time. It was a similar story for the 2010 festival. The line-up was not bad but there were a load of bands that I hadn't seen for years (especially the band I grew too and hadn't seen for 6 years, Blink 182) and I knew that the camp site wouldn't disappoint when we weren't in the main arena, so I was prepared to spend £180ish on a weekend ticket. Least to stay it ended up being one of favourite times at Leeds Festival.

I can see why some people don't like camping. The lack of hygiene, uncomfortable sleeping conditions, noise, etc.. I tried to get my ex-girlfriend to come to some of the earlier Leeds Festivals I went to but despite the lure of a music on offer, being a girly girl she said she couldn't handle four or five days without a decent shower, washing her hair and whatever else girls can't live without ha!

I don't understand people's thinking of staying in a hotel whilst at a festival. Camping is an essential part of the whole experience. If it's the fact of getting some decent winks, a lot of festivals these days have special quiet camping areas and also offer "luxurious" tents like tipees. It wouldn't be quite the same as camping with the rest of the festival goers but I think it would beat staying in a hotel for the duration of a festival. Also, how much more would someone want to spend on a festival?! Tickets are expensive but some people would like to spend even more on hotel accommodation as well the cost of getting to and from the hotel to the festival each day.

Kizza - I'm just like you, I enjoy waking up to the outdoors. I don't know what it is, but the cool, morning air does help with my hangover. Also before the camp site at a festival gets trashed, the smell of dawn is can be pretty refreshing. I think the next time I go camping I'm going to learn some Ray Mears skills ha!

John - I agree that it sucks that after a single day festival you have to go home. I think more single day festivals should offer the chance for punters to camp. I would go to more single day festivals if they allowed punters to camp. We all know how much fun it is around a camp site once the days music has ended and most of the time after being to a single day event, I don't want to go home straight away. Also, people who have their issues with camping for like 3 or 4 days at a weekend long festival, if single day festivals had camping for a night or so it would give those who are sceptical about camping a chance to see what it's like. The can then decide on whether one nights camping is enough or if they would like to test themselves to handle a weekend of camping.

2011, December 12 - 5:29pm

Thanks for your interesting responses. It is good to know that there are people out there who love a bit of camping like me!

I once had friends who came to Reading Festival and stayed in the Malmaison there as they didn't want to camp and rough it! To be honest I found it a tad bit pretentious. Each to their own but it made me feel as if 'it is OK for you commoners' - do you know what I mean?

I think you haven't really been to a festival until you camp with everyone else and rough it a bit. Don't you?

2011, December 12 - 5:43pm

Yea I know what you mean.. "I'm above camping and sleeping on a floor whilst instead a bit of material." ha!

I've camped in a VIP area but we still camped in a tent and didn't bother with the "posh" tents/tipees, etc. But that was at my first festival and since then I have camped in punter-land and I prefer it to the VIP camping area.

Definitely agree that if you want to experience a festival at it's fullest, you have to camp and rough it out with everyone else. Camping, for me, is a vital part of the whole festival experience and it does play major part in whether or not I have a great time and if the festival was a success or not.

2011, December 16 - 11:41am

I can understand people not loving camping, sure it's not for everyone and it's definitely not the best way to sleep. But I think it is the standard at festivals for a reason, it is easy and keeps with the outdoor element. I think people who refuse to camp do think they are better than others. Unless you have a medical reason why you can't camp just look around at everyone else who's camping. Do you really have needs that these people don't? It's a festival and people should be able to do away with some of their comforts for a few days. To be honest I feel superior to the people who can't stand camping as I know that I'm not as attached to all the little luxuries that they can't go without.

2011, December 16 - 10:04pm

You know what, I ain't gonna lie, I am not a fan of camping and I do not think I would choose to go on a camping holiday..This isn't because I am like, a super girly hygiene freak or anything... Well, hang on, I'm not sure - it might be actually, ha ha!!! I mean I can go a weekend without a shower but I wouldn't be able to handle an entire holiday camping. Having to use communal showers creeps me out a bit. And having to go without shaving legs and stuff. Eeek. But other things - like the sleeping aspect is horrifically uncomfortable. Insects! And I generally like having four walls around me, you know? It is just, like a privacy or a comfort thing I get from being in a REAL room or something. You can close the door, get in bed, annnnnddddd relaxxxxx. Don't get me wrong though - a Premier Inn would do, I am not a Savoy Hotel type, ha ha!

Then, on the flip side, I am attracted to camping for the whole sense of "getting back to nature." Do you know what I mean? There is a real element of freedom to the whole concept - an element of getting back to our primal selves. I want to be able to embrace camping more. Does anyone here actually go on camping holidays regularly? Is anyone here a real camping buff? Any tips on how I can go about dipping my toes into it (beyond festivals that is)?

2011, December 20 - 6:04pm

Jaguar...I am a huuuuggggeee camping fan! I absolutely love it. Like you say, it is really cool getting back to nature and all of that. I love the idea of a sunny weekend, sticking my camping gear into my mates truck and heading down to the beach.

No TV's, no laptops, just the outdoors, beach, good pubs! It is awesome. Embrace it, next year, go on a camping holiday.

I am into comfort and when you camp on a holiday there is no real need to rough it. Check out the reviews of the camping park you are going to...good facilities is a must. The one that we go to in Croyde has the best showers ever! The toilets are clean. They have washing up facilities and are really nice.

Some good tips are:

  • Drive so you can pack your car up with duvet's, pillows, blankets and make it all cosy
  • Don't go somewhere too nosy and with loads of teenagers. Try a family campsite
  • Invest in a larger tent than you need!
  • Make sure you camp near a local pub! Quite simply the best bit!

If you want anymore info just ask! :) Happy camping!

2011, December 31 - 3:14pm

Hey Kizza,

Thank you so much for your lovely response! I really really REALLY want to get into camping properly (beyond festival weekends). I think it will be good for me, as a person, if that makes sense? To get back to 'nature', to be stripped of technology, and other home comforts... I think it will be a learning curve. I love nature and such, so really think I could enjoy it.

How long do you generally go camping for? A weekend, or longer? Ooh! Where in Croyde do you go? I think you are right, I think I need to shop around until I find a clean and welcoming camping site with nice facilities. I mean, I know if I pulled up to find dirty showers and toilets I would absolutely hate it and my camping holiday dreams would be ruined forever, ha ha!

I guess I feel bad saying that, I feel like if I want to be a legit camper I need to stop being so picky about toilets and showers - but is it REALLY too much to ask, you know? I don't think I'm being too vain in asking for simple cleaning facilities =P!

What do you do on a camping holiday? I hope that doesn't sound too silly a question =P... I mean, do you just, do things you would do on a normal holiday? You know, explore the area, go to attractions, etc. I just have this weird view you have to act all 'naturey' and organic for the entire holiday, ha ha.

Do you eat out or do you make your own food back at the camping site?

Also, is it possible to go on a camping holiday during the wintertime?

I hope I don't come across as too much of a camping 'newb' ha ha!

2012, January 5 - 7:08pm

Jaguar, thanks for your questions!

I am glad that you are thinking of trying it out as a holiday. Am sure you will love it. Although you probably think I am a bit of a hick now!

We go either for long weekends or five or so days. I have camped for a few weeks but that can get a bit annoying, especially if you can't wash your clothes!

The best thing to do is go for a long weekend first. What we do is drive down late afternoon and pitch before it gets dark. I have pitched in a storm before and it was hell!! We do loads of things...get up, go have breakfast either in a cafe or at the campsite. I am super organised so tend to do a shop before hand and bring all my outdoor cooking stuff. Long walks, pub lunches, surfing, visit the local towns, more surfing and swimming, play cards, drink looooottttts of beer, more eating, more walking! That kind of thing. It is awesome.

We tend to go as a group. Play ball games, football, I read! The boys are far more energetic than I am.

This is my favourite campsite in Croyde http://www.cherrytreecroyde.co.uk/

It is so pretty, practically on the beach and has great facilities.

We eat out a lot but also take our own stuff. We tend to have at least one BBQ whilst we are away too.

I have never camped in the winter time to be honest and most campsites in the UK are closed during winter!

Hope that helps?

2012, January 7 - 7:50pm

Oh my GOSH, Kizza, you have totally sold camping holidays to me!!!!!!!!! It all sounds so, I don't know, pastoral! Ha ha. Oh wow...I just looked at Cherry Tree Farm - it looks absolutely stunning, really quaint and pretty...The facilities look really clean as well. Wow, this is all totally changing the preconceptions I had on camping holidays ha ha! I expected grotty uncleaned loos and showers with no running water or something ha ha! Fantastic.

Thing is, I always struggle with sleep when it comes to tents. I mean, at a festival it is not such a big deal, I guess you just kinda discover some magical energy that keeps you going through the weekend. I worry it would ruin an entire holiday for me though - and I'll end up wishing I had just booked a hotel bed! Do you have any tips for keeping comfy at night?!

I am so tempted to try this out this summer. I think I'll start with a long weekend and take it from there.

2012, January 10 - 4:00pm

So glad that you are sold now! Good stuff. I am a huge fan of comfort and when it comes to camping it can seem as if comfort goes completely out the window. Well it doesn't have to!

You need to make sure that you bring lots of comfy clothes with you. Also, if you are driving then you can pack your car up with lots of essentials! A duvet is great. You can put this on the ground and sleep with your sleeping bag on top of it. I hate blow-up beds, you spend all night sliding off them.

Also, if you bring a camping stove then you can take a hot water bottle before bed...just heat up some water. It really helps as it gets cold at night but ruddy boiling in the morning.

Try it out in the summer for sure and yeah, stick to a weekend. Start off slow! Enjoy! :)

2013, April 24 - 7:42am

I love camping and overall festival activities. Some of my friends hate the camping experience. I will camp in the woods or at a festival it don't matter to me.

2013, April 25 - 1:39pm

I'm just starting to get into festivals. March will the be the first festival I go to unless I can find one sooner, but I personally love camping & I plan on camping whenever possible to whatever festivals I do go to.

2013, May 6 - 3:39pm

In my mind I'm saying I wouldn't camp out at a festival but you never know I probably could. I just believe that staying somewhere with a door I can shut and lock is a lot more safer than camping in a tent outside.

2013, May 6 - 9:21pm

I like camping...it's not my favorite thing in the world or anything but I enjoy it & would do it occasionally outside of festivals. However, I usually end up keeping it there just because I don't often get the chance to with my schedule. I don't see why it's odd for a girl to like camping, I know plenty who enjoy it and do it regularly :).

2013, May 7 - 4:42pm

I love camping, but not for festivals. If I'm going camping, I'd rather it be in a forest or at a campsite, roughing it in the woods... campfires, marshmallows, tents, the whole deal. Festival camping in a parking lot just isn't the same to me. I was raised camping, my father would take us all the time and as a result I've developed a great love for it. I'm not the kind of girl who won't survive without a hot shower and a hair straightener... I feel just as at home camping as I do staying in a hotel!

2013, May 9 - 8:31pm

I only like camping if I have my mate with me. Recently, I almost thought I was going to have to go by myself because of schedule conflicts, but when we went together, we ended up camping out instead of staying at the beautiful hotel that I had booked. I must admit, that we enjoyed the camping experience, maybe because it was our first time camping. I don' t know if we will camp again anytime soon, but I was glad I didn't have to camp by myself.