Camping for the over 50s

Camping is a great way for the over 50s to get out and about in the fresh air and enjoy a nostalgic return to the fun and carefree days of childhood. After the mortgage is paid off and your children have flown the nest, there is no longer any limit as to what you can do with all that spare time. So if you`ve had your fill of stuffy coach tours and cruises, it might be time to try something a bit more independent and adventurous instead.

Camping in Britain can be a haphazard arrangement especially when you fall victim to the unpredictable weather. Even in summer, what looks at first sight to be a hot sunny day can quickly turn the other way. As a nation we tend to be hit by the successive depressions that move in continually from the North Atlantic, bringing frequent downpours or at best, spells of sunshine and showers. However we do also experience mini heatwaves in the summer which can last for several days and a forecast for warm, sunny weather in summer is definitely a signal to seize the opportunity to get out in the fresh air and enjoy it while it lasts.

Something important to bear in mind is that a camping holiday without detailed planning is a disaster waiting to happen, so ensure that you plan down to the very last detail. Even one meal in the great outdoors implies the need for a gas stove, pots and pans, plates, cutlery, sharp knives, water, a sponge, environmentally friendly washing-up liquid, a rubbish bag and a towel, and that`s before you even get started with the food. When you come to pack for your trip, ensure that you pack the most urgent essentials last of all, so you have them to hand when you arrive, and pack a first aid kit to deal with any minor burns, cuts and grazes you might acquire along the way.

Whether you plan to spend your days walking and hiking or touring a particular area, you will need to decide whether or not you want to go backpack camping and move from site to site, or stay at one campsite and live out of a large holdall. Pack plenty of lightweight layers for walking and fleeces for cold nights, as well as good quality breathable, waterproof walking boots that are equipped to deal with the level of walking you have planned. If you`re camping for the first time, remember when it comes to buying camping equipment and tents, that less is more, so don`t be tempted to buy more than you need. Lightweight 2 person tents are ideal for backpack camping, lightening your load and making it easier for you to get around during the day. You will also need a sheet of sturdy plastic or canvas as a ground cloth, a hammer, a good sleeping bag and pillow, a lantern and a couple of torches with spare batteries.

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