Camping is a fun way to get children and young people to enjoy the myriad offerings of the Great Outdoors
By Katie Campbell
Camping is a great way to take a comparatively inexpensive holiday with people you love, and spend time making happy memories away from home. Not only is it a great opportunity to get away for a little while, it’s also ideal for teaching children about nature: taking time to learn which birds are singing, what trees and flowers they can see around them, and which animals are in the areas nearby gives them a greater understanding of the wider world around them, and a deepened appreciation of the natural world. It’s a very child-friendly holiday that can involve just as much running around and playing as it can investigating and learning.
Camping at Home
While there’s a lot to be said for going away, camping in the back garden can be just as fun as pitching up your tent somewhere far-flung, and for a lot of people it might be an easier option. Camping at home means you’re closer to everything that you need on a daily basis, and if the big event goes sour, it’s ok to gather everything up and head back inside to where it’s cosy – the Great British summertime can be unpredictable, after all. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to dip your toes in and see if the family are comfortable camping together; there is nothing worse than getting all the way out to the countryside, pitching up the tent, and discovering that it’s just too much for everyone involved.
Camping in the garden allows you and the family to get to know what sleeping out in a tent is like in a safe and comfortable way, especially if you’re not a habitual camper. You might discover that you would be more comfortable in a bigger tent, or that yoga mats under the sleeping bags do in fact make a world of difference, and these are all great things to know before committing to a big camp away somewhere nice. Plus, there’s a lot to be said for being able to pee in your own toilet. It’s the little things, isn’t it?
Finding a Campsite
If you’re committed to the idea of a staycation at one of the thousands of campsites across the UK, then you will be pleased to know that there are many which offer accessible facilities across the length and breadth of the UK. Websites like Cool Camping, Love Camping, and Campsites all allow you to search for accessible campsites in the areas you’re thinking of travelling to, which you can then check to ensure that they meet your needs. It’s worth noting here that you don’t necessarily have to go to a campsite if you’re in Scotland: the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 made it perfectly legal to “wild camp” on the basis that you pitch your tent somewhere that isn’t enclosed (so don’t pitch up on a farmer’s field full of crops or animals), and that you leave no trace of you having been there. That’s a very basic summation of the law, so if you’re considering wild camping, it’s best to make sure you know the law before you put your tent up for the night!
Camping in the countryside is a wonderful experience for children and adults alike, especially if you’re used to city living. To see the stars twinkle in the night sky and hear the sounds of birds and animals going about their lives is something really special, and that children are sure to absolutely love.
Glamping is a great way to experience the joys of the outdoors as a family without missing sleeping on a mattress too much. It might be more attractive to older children too, who want the joys of going outdoors but the creature comforts of a conventional bed, kitchen and bathroom to come back to after sitting around the fire pit at night. There are a good few accessible glamping sites across the country – not as many as camping sites, of course, but they’re still found relatively easily. Websites like Glampsites and Experience Freedom are both great places to start when searching for an accessible location, and are excellent when it comes to telling you what the sites have to offer. Some, like Omnipods accessible luxury cabins, which were designed with wheelchair users in mind, even come equipped with underfloor heating and a luxurious wet room!
Regardless of how you choose to experience the great outdoors with younger campers, there is so much fun to be had, and memories to be made of fantastic camping trips that the whole family enjoyed.
Article originally appeared in the Apr/May 22 issue of PosAbility Magazine
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