If you’re looking for fun things to do with (or without) your kids, how about camping in the back garden? It’s an adventure just beyond the doorstep…
While we’re in the business of promoting the coolest campsites in the UK and further afield, we love camping in all its forms. That means we’ll take any opportunity to pitch a tent – even if it’s out in the back garden. Don’t knock it until you try it! There are lots of reasons to try backyard camping. Here’s our guide to why you might want to give it a go.
Testing your tent
Skiers head for the nursery slopes, climbers to indoor climbing walls… when it comes to learning the ropes, us campers have got it easy. Our training ground is often found just outside the back door. As long as you have a patch of grass big enough, your back garden is the ideal place to practise pitching. You can set up your tent to check it’s not missing a vital part and address any problems before you set off to the campsite. With camping in your back garden, you can also get yourself in a tangle without anyone noticing (except, perhaps, your neighbours). And, after all the practise, if you do eventually make it to a campsite you’ll look like a seasoned pro.
For many of us the back garden isn’t just somewhere to try putting the tent up but a place to try sleeping in it too. You can set up your home from home with the confidence that if you’ve forgotten something, it will be just inside. You’ll also know what to expect when it comes to the ‘campsite’ facilities and will have a loo you’re used to, hot water on tap and a place to hang out if all gets too much! It offers a safe first camping experience for families with young children or for older ones who fancy going it alone (more on them later).
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; kids love camping. It’s a hobby that seems to be almost universally adored by the under 13s. It’s usually us adults who are more divided on camping. It’s also the grown-ups who are looking for that dream location – somewhere within walking distance of a gastropub, with a view of the sea, near a leisure centre in case it rains etc, etc. But kids are carefree about camping. They love camping for camping’s sake: pitching the tent, staying outdoors until the stars come out and sleeping under canvas. It’s enough of an adventure without having to leave the tent pitch. With that in mind, there are times when it makes no sense to go any further than the back garden.
If your kids are old enough to sleep out alone, give them the gift of camping in the back garden. It’s a teenage rite of passage. The precursor to going away on camp with the scouts, heading off on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition or sashaying away to your first music festival. It makes for a great sleepover if you haven’t got the space for the gaggle of little friends your kids want to invite over and gives a first taste of freedom and independence. The kids will feel grown up and you can keep an eye on them. Just remember to leave the back door open for the ones that don’t feel quite so confident after a round of midnight ghost stories!
Green, great value and always available
Staycation holidays have been hitting the headlines for more than a decade. They fit the bill for lots of people as they are both green and great value. Usually a staycation means holidaying somewhere close to home but how about taking it one step closer and literally staying at home with a spot of back garden camping? By moving out of the house and in to the garden, you’ll get a breath of fresh air and change your perspective. Hopefully, you’ll be able to forget all about the household chores too. Then, of course, there’s the fact that a back-garden pitch is always available. If you’ve promised the kids a camping trip for a bank holiday weekend but failed to book anywhere before the sites are booked up – take them camping in the back garden instead!