WADE'S WORLD: Try life under canvas

2:10pm Friday 12th August 2011

By Martin Wade

THERE’S still time this year to try the cheapest way to get more from your holiday.

You don’t have to go far to experience the delight of camping. The most mundane location is turned into a place of wonder when you wake up to the sound of birdsong, not as a distant irritant, but an intimate part of your world.

It releases you from many of the cares of life. In this age of buy one get one free, there is immense pressure to buy more than we need.

When camping, space is limited – so that multi-pack of orange juice is no use, especially if you’re only there for a week. What you don’t eat, you’ve got to carry.

This is a part of the de-cluttering that camping brings to your life. Your existence, by necessity, is pared down to essentials.

How many T-shirts do you really need? How many pans are really necessary? Having answered all these questions with ‘not many’, you’ll find your life less complicated and more relaxed.

Camping is a delight for kids. On any campsite there will be other families with children all of whom (up to pre-teenage) will happily gather at the playground or around a rope swing on a tree. There they will stay from dawn to dusk.

This life can give the sort of childfriendly entertainment you’d normally have to shell out serious cash for.

This is another plus of an outdoor holiday. I’m writing this from a campsite in Oxfordshire which is costing us £20 per night, including toilets, showers, washing facilities. The site also has an outdoor swimming pool. It ain’t expensive but our daughter feels like she’s in heaven.

And this is one of the most powerful arguments for camping. I know she will remember these holidays fondly, as some of my happiest memories of all are of camping.

The seemingly endless hours of daylight, the freedom to run about and the divine smell of sizzling bacon wafting across a site early in the morning are the stuff these recollections are made of.

I’m very glad this more than anything persuaded my camping-sceptic partner to try life under canvas and give our daughter some of these cheap and very cheerful memories.

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