Imagine spending three days with limited access to your phone, using a public toilet that you have to walk in, no heating and sleeping in more than two layers. No it’s not a torture chamber or some horrific rehab. It’s a camping trip and it’s vital that at some point this year, you spend three days in a plastic house in a field and probably in the rain at some point. 

I am biased I must admit. I grew up going camping roughly three times a year. It’s a massive part of who I am and has undoubtedly shaped who I am. From my old world soul and wild moments to my Hippy Dippy traits. My husband loves his creature comforts and camping is in no way his idea of an actual holiday. We compliment each other. But I seriously believe, as does L (the Husband) that it can be a gift to the soul. You realise what you need to function day to day and more importantly what you don’t. You don’t need those bad foods or snacks that are only created with the help of a microwave, meaning you eat better and take more notice if what you’re eating because you only have a stove, with often limited supplies. You have to walk to gather your own water that you share with everyone else. It doesn’t come out of a tap and isn’t immediately available as you spin on the spot and in turn you don’t waste a drop of it. We always, ALWAYS, go without electric hookup. You don’t need lights because you have candles and when it’s too dark to read or play cards or a game, you talk or you sleep. You take time to reconnect and enjoy one another as well as reseting your own internal clock. You wake up as the skies brighten and you sleep and darkness envelopes you, like our people of old. On each of our two nights away, we were asleep by 9.30pm, it’s 9.35pm now and I’m not even considering going to bed, with my lights on, TV on and this. Camping can be very cold but you realise the beauty and luxury of having heat and the joy of that first hot brew in the dew, before the sun’s warmth has come is like nothing else. Kids play in the grass, using their imaginations and toy’s (remember those). Your shoes come off and you wish good morning and good night to strangers. You go beyond your walls and sit in the noise of the wild. 

Sites are vital to hitting this reset button on your soul. Big sites with lots of groups or families can occasionally add tension but smaller sites are perfect. It’s like hotel resorts vs boutiques. You know what you like and whichever you prefer is therefore the site for you. I truly believe that all children should be taken camping. Teach them that nature is natural, that not every stranger is a danger, that phones or tablets are an unnecessary luxury and that it is ok for them to get dirty. To share and to be considerate and to play outside and make new friends. It’s a simple idea to erect a plasticy house, relying on blankets and cuddles for warmth and to be complete in the moment. It’s a simpler, more natural and honest way to be and even if it’s just for three days of the year, it’s three days to reset and recharge. It’s three days of the old world that you take with you back to grey cities and unnaturally lit boxes. Go camping. It’s only three days of 365.

Published by Hannah Doyle