by Sandra Bancroft,
Good Reasons to Go Camping
The global recession has meant people are looking for more affordable holidays, and spending a few fun nights cooking sausages round a camp fire should be in the reach of most people’s income.
Apart from economic reasons, many people are interested in the environment and relish the opportunity to be so close to nature. There’s not a lot beats wakening up to the big fresh air and enjoying a hearty breakfast with chirping birds, fragrant flowers, tranquility and beautiful views thrown in – sometimes for free.
There is a growing interest in activity holidays where people can enjoy pursuits such as mountain climbing, canoeing, horse riding, mountain biking and canyoning. And staying in a tent makes activities in the great outdoors very accessible.
Here are a few ideas for camping.
Mongolian Yurt Camping
An authentic Mongolian yurt is a great option for those who want a little bit of comfort while still enjoying the sleeping under the canvas experience. Yurts camping is available in regions across the UK, Europe and other parts of the world. Some yurt campsites are no more than a field with basic toilet/shower facilities while others have all the facilities of a superior hotel including electricity that fuels a shower, oil-fired heater, fridge, and TV and DVD player. Bigger yurt campsites have swimming pools, tennis courts and other activities.
For a truly astounding yurt camping holiday, try the first glamping site in South America, Patagonia Camp. Seventeen yurts are available in Patagonia, a pristine wilderness of mountains, rivers and ancient forests.
The luxury yurts are set on the edge of Lake Toro and have been built on stilts to protect the sensitive ecosystem. Visitors gain free entry to the impressive Torres del Paine National Park.
A Gypsy Caravan in Brittany
If a luxury gypsy caravan appeals but not the hassle of parking the horse every night then the answer could be a roulotte. Roulottes are static caravans that are situated between the sea and a national park in western Brittany. Roulottes come in different sizes to accommodate different groups and come equipped with electrical goods. They are perfect for a weekend break as well as a family holiday.
Canvas Moon, Portugal
For a taste of luxury eco-camping, head to Canvas Moon in central Portugal where you’ll find yourself surrounded by eucalyptus, pine and mimosa trees, rivers and the impressive Serra da Estrela Mountains.
The location is sublime where fruit trees, vines and lush tropical plants line the terrace. There are two tents with proper beds and you can choose between the Parisian Tent and the Marrakech Tent. The bamboo showers are fed from a mountain spring that is naturally heated to 42 degrees by the sun. The evenings are lit by solar lamps; food is cooled in Zeer Pots and eco-friendly Kelly kettles supply boiled water. River beaches, water sports and cycle tracks can be enjoyed at the nearby Aguieira reservoir.
The campsite is open throughout the year with skiing available in the winter.
To truly appreciate the environment at its most natural (and at no cost) try wild camping. Pitching your tent by a river, in a glen or halfway up a mountain is legal in Scotland and Ireland, although there are a few rules.
In general, don’t leave any litter, do not disturb any of the local residents (human or animal) and do nothing to damage the nearby vegetation, wildlife or waterways. Places to enjoy wild camping in beautiful surroundings are the south and west of Ireland, and Loch Lomond, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.