Camping: A Staycation

Most of us love the airport — the feeling of going on holiday, somewhere with a bar on the beach and local food available at the click of a finger. But, what we sometimes forget is what’s just up the road here in our very own country. Wake up to the sound of the trees in the wind, the waves crashing, and all of nature’s beauty around you.

England, Wales and Scotland are full of campsites. From coastal sites overlooking the sea to pitches deep in the forest, there’s somewhere for everyone. And with prices from just a few pounds a night, it’s a cost-effective way of having a mini-break on a budget.

Firstly, you’ve got to kit yourself out. There are so many places online that have fantastic prices for tents, sleeping bags and blow-up mattresses. If you want somewhere that has everything in one place, Decathlon is a haven of camping essentials.

Tent

England’s weather is, of course, ever-changing, so investing in a good tent is key. Waterproof, wind-resistant and double skinned are certainly things to look out for, especially for autumn and winter. You can even get black-out tents if you don’t want that morning sunshine creeping in and waking you. You can also get good-quality pop-up tents too, meaning no faffing around with poles and pegs!

We recommend this 2 people tent which is easy to pitch! Or this larger pop up tent for 3-4 people.

Sleeping bag

Every sleeping bag has a guide on it as to what temperatures they’re best in. Summer bags are thinner and lighter, and winter bags are thicker and heavier. For autumn, aim for one with a limit temperature of 5 degrees, and for winter aim for one with a limit temperature of -5 degrees. These will be sure to keep you toasty through the night.
Top tip: if you know the weather will be dry and fairly warm and don’t want to invest in a sleeping bag, a duvet from home tends to do the job just as well!

We love this all weather sleeping bag which comes in lots of different colours, is waterproof and can be fully unzipped to create a sleeping mat or blanket!

Mattress

Blow-up mattresses are generally the comfiest. You can pay less and go for a roll mat, but be wary of comfort levels! Self-inflating mattresses are great if you’re willing to spend a bit more, and they roll up small, saving space and having less bulk to carry.

This inflatable mattress only takes one minute to blow up so no need to carrying round a pump, and it comes with an integrated pillow!

Cooking equipment

While is not a necessity, waking up and sticking on some bacon and beans is definitely a nice-to-have. Especially if you’ve got a nice view that you don’t want to leave to seek out some food. You can usually find single or double gas stoves, and sets of pans, a kettle and utensils.

How about this mini gas burner it’s small and lightweight- perfect for packing in a backpack or stowing safely in the corner of the tent when not in use.

That’s the basics covered. The next is to scope out a campsite. With plenty of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK, you won’t struggle to find somewhere. There are loads of useful articles online for ‘adults only campsites’, ‘adventure campsites’ or ‘family friendly campsites’. The National Trust also have their own collection of campsites in places like Snowdonia and the Lake District.

One of the beauties of camping is that you can decide fairly last minute, and you can usually book pitches online. Stock up on your camping gear, keep an eye on the weather forecast, and then hit the road for a spontaneous staycation.

Written by Carmen Rowe
@carmenrowe93 on Instagram