As you may be planning your summer holiday, I thought I’d share my observations on the topic 😉 First, I need to confess that I’ll be very subjective, as I’ll be talking about camping which is one of my favourite forms of holiday accommodation . Second, to balance my love-relationship with camping, I’ll also list some of its drawbacks. Finally, when I think about camping, I see my experience as slow and mindful. And to me this simplicity and sustainability makes all the difference when it comes to vacationing under the tent.
What I DO NOT like about camping
Weather can definitely influence our camping experience. If we’re in warmer countries, the hot weather can make it impossible to enter the tent throughout the day, let alone to keep fresh food at some reasonable temperature. If we’re in colder or very humid countries, it’s sometimes difficult to stay outside in the wet and windy weather, so we end up spending too much time inside our tent.
In colder or humid countries, it’s challenging to keep clothes and towels dry, especially if you go swimming (drying out swimming costumes), walking (muddy & wet clothes) or experience some sudden downpour (everything wet!). I don’t recommend keeping your clothes in cotton bags, as they absorb more moisture from the air, we used plastic bags instead, which was a better solution, but not so eco-friendly. Perhaps there is a better solution?
When camping, we’re constantly outdoors and, in my humble opinion, that requires some stamina. We need to do some extra everyday walking to and from the kitchen, water tap and toilet. We’re also exposed to variable weather (from hot to cold, rain or wind) and we need to be prepared to wait longer for meals, as it usually takes more time to cook on a camping stove. And if you add to that some physical activities like mountain walking or sea swimming, your camping experience can be very full-on, not to say tiring 😉
Loud at night
Occasionally, there are parties at night or louder neighbours. This can be annoying, especially if you camp with small children or have returned tired after a strenuous walk. However, a polite request to lower the volume usually solves the problem. Also, the camp site management is available for help.
Not ideal for babies
I prefer not to camp with babies and pre-walkers, because taking care of them requires a mum’s (or dad’s) full attention and then there is very little energy / time left for anything else. Perhaps a weekend away might be a good compromise?
What I LIKE about camping
Everything is different
I love the fact that everything is different: you sleep in a sleeping bag, cook on a camping stove and walk much more (to and from the camp kitchen / toilet / water tap). Your camping days have this specific rhythm where things instantly accessible at home become more adventurous on the campsite. But then, those daily rituals make you more present and mindful and as for me it’s the best way to properly switch off and relax.
When you camp, you’re part of the camping community. There are other people with whom you can have conversations, ask for advice or help (e.g. when putting up a tent ;). It feels like everybody on the campsite is more visible and because of that more accessible / approachable. Personally, I really like this feeling of being part of the campsite’s tribe.
Camping can be so boring! And it feels so good! In this modern culture where we’re supposed to be connected 24/7, suddenly doing nothing can be a real challenge. But then the reward is even more prominent: feeling relaxed and connected to oneself.
It’s one of the best features of camping: you’re in nature. You sleep outdoors, breathe fresh air and can listen to birds’ concerts all day long. If you’re a nature person like me, nothing compares with the camping experience (perhaps, wild camping? 😉
My favourite views from the tent: the sun setting into the sea, the Milky Way at night, clouds moving fast up in the sky, the endless stretch of the sea, beautiful mountain ranges, people laughing around the campfire. It’s an amazing feeling to ‘own’ such a beautiful view even for a short period of camping time. Beautiful memories.
Phew, that’s all I wanted to share with you today! Now, let me know what you enjoy most/ least about camping? Please add your comment below.