A lot of people who’ve never experimented with garden camping consider the concept as pointless as a broken pencil. After all, why would you bother pitching up a tent a stone’s throw away from your backdoor? If you want to go camping, do it right, right?
Well, actually, we’d tend to disagree. Never has the wise old maxim “don’t knock it ‘til you try it” been more relevant than in the case of garden camping. It doesn’t involve a daring expedition into the woodlands, and it won’t require you to bundle all your belongings into a car to drive away for a weekend, but this is exactly the point.
If you want to get your kids into camping, or maybe even dip your toe in the water yourself to see if it’s your kind of thing, there’s no better way to do so than by pitching up in your backyard. Here’s why garden camping offers one heck of a great time for you and your family.
Camping is quite a complex thing, and you almost always end up getting something wrong on the first few occasions if you don’t have an experienced camper by your side. When you pitch up in your garden, however, making a mistake is far from disastrous.
Amidst the comfort of your own land, you can sample different types of camping equipment, experiment with cooking new recipes, and test out your set-up skills. If things aren’t quite right the first time around, it’s no biggie. You’re in a comfortable environment where there’s never any rush – and the worst that can happen is you head back indoors.
Garden camping also gives your kids the chance to familiarise themselves with sleeping outdoors before they embark on a more adventurous trip elsewhere. This is the perfect way for them to practice pitching, and after few nights sleeping on the grass by their home in a variety of climates (sun, wind and rain), they’ll soon be ready for the real deal.
Organised campsites will often have members of staff sweeping the area to check no animals, weather conditions or fellow campers are causing trouble, but you don’t get that luxury if you’re out and about in the woodlands on your own. Plus, any kind of mild injury, such as a sprained ankle or bumped head, is suddenly a heck of a lot more serious when you’re out in the sticks with no mobile reception.
When you go garden camping, you’re completely and utterly safe from any kind of threat, and in the very unlikely event of anyone getting hurt, you’ve got ready access to the first aid drawer, warm towels, and a telephone.
Kids nowadays are glued to glowing screens, and if we’re being totally honest, so are most adults. Heading outdoors, even to the garden, offers you and your family some time away from technology. Rather than being intoxicated by a computer or television set, you’ll experience the emotional and mental stimulation of conversation and game-playing. It’s the perfect opportunity for spend time with your family.
If your younglings are getting older and deem it uncool to spend a night in a tent with their parents, get them to invite their friends over for a camp out instead. This way you can keep an eye on them, and revel in the fact they’re out socialising in the fresh air as opposed to vegging out alone in their bedroom.
Arguably, any type of camping is a liberating experience, but when you’re out in your own backyard, you won’t be shackled by rules and regulations enforced by campsites, or be required to pay rental fees for a space on open land. Garden camping is completely free, offering a cheap and cheerful family outing.
Also, if you realise you’ve forgotten something, you won’t have to make do for a whole weekend. Grabbing supplies – be it an extra sleeping bag or another round of food and drink – is a doddle. Popping indoors to use the oven could be considered cheating, but if your little ones are fussy eaters and don’t like the thought of grilling meat over an open flame, the fact that you’re only ever a few feet away from the kitchen is invaluable.
Setting up a stakeout in the backyard is the very best way to turn you and your kids into happy campers. Be sure to grab all the outdoor gear you need before you venture outdside, and try to mix things up where possible for a unique experience on every occasion. Your garden guarantees a fun-filled camping trip if you’re willing to give it a try. Take advantage of the warmer weather this summer and bundle your family into a tent for the night on your lawn. You’re sure to have a whale of a time.