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The Camping Mentality - do you have it?

Camping is a way of getting back to basics and simply enjoying time without the complications of our everyday lives, sure it can make for a cheaper trip compared to hotels and the like but that isn't the only reason it's so good. Some people don't get it I know, and I think they're missing out! But why? What does it take to 'get' camping?

Personally I enjoy the challenge of making do with very little equipment, and I think it does the brain good to have to find solutions, think up multiple uses for everything, or to exact on the spot repairs in the middle of nowhere with whatever is in your pocket or nearby – in fact it’s this very feature of intelligence that has enabled the human race to survive in the first place. Sometimes your own mind can be the best multi-tool you could ever pack! Logical challenges aside I would also agree that camping is also particularly good for the spirit, the calming influence of nature has a way of seeping in over time and that's never a bad thing.

 

Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes ‘basics’ when it comes to camping generally linked to their own comfort zones, which then change once the boundaries are pushed and we gain in confidence. Some people consider a caravan to be roughing it (despite having cupboards full of food and endless battery-powered gadgets on board), while others only feel challenged sleeping out on the windswept moors with nothing but a poncho! The point is that it’s good to challenge yourself, but we all have individual experience levels and comfort zones to work within and it's best, or at least more enjoyable, to push ourselves a little at a time. Whatever your level, the mentality is essentially the same.

You know when you have the camping 'mentality' when you can improvise a solution on the spot, or when you find yourself thinking of all manner of other uses for a seemingly unimportant tool! Life, and of course camping holidays, doesn't always go to plan but it's how you bring the situation around that really proves what you're made of. 

Wherever you're at, challenging yourself in the art of self-sustenance has to be one of the most empowering activities you can perform for self development. To KNOW that you can do something for yourself instead of relying on someone else gives an immense boost in confidence and also helps you to appreciate and make the most of the resources that you do have access to in day to day life, especially when they’re essential to life like water! 

 

We're not saying you have to sell everything you own but we do strongly encourage you to use that marvellous brain of yours; simply try to make something for yourself once in a while instead of buying it ready made, make a bolognaise sauce from scratch or bake some bread in the fire, catch or forage your own food on occasion, leave some of the equipment behind and see what else you can make or adapt instead! Even if you fail at it, you've still learned something and had the courage to try!

 

However empowered you become, remember to stay humble and supportive to those who are at a different level to you, we all have a different life journey to tread and just because we haven't mastered something yet doesn't mean that we're any less of a person! Happy camping! :)

 

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Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more


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