9 COMMON CAMPING FEARS
Are you an unwilling semi-agoraphobic camper being dragged out by an overly enthusiastic but essentially clueless significant other? Or perhaps you’re being forced into participating in a group expedition because “it’ll do you some good”? Whatever the reason for feeling reluctant, here are the top camping fears dispelled for those who are cautious about spending a night under canvas.
1. I’M GOING TO GET EATEN BY A… (INSERT SCARY CREATURE HERE) IN THE NIGHT.
To some this may seem ridiculous, but in reality a fair number of people fear sleeping outside for this reason. Scientists speculate this primal fear dates back to when we were cave dwellers, and the darkness really did disguise monsters. Fortunately, in today’s U.K. the closest thing you’ll get is a brave badger searching for munchies. Keep all food sealed and you’ll be left well alone.
2. I DON’T WANT TO GET BITTEN BY CREEPY CRAWLIES.
You’ll be unsurprised to know that almost no one likes being bitten by itchy insects. However, when you’re living outside, escape seems almost impossible for some. This is not the case, as almost all decent tents come complete with a separate interior space sealed off with a fly sheet, so you can sleep soundly and in peace (provided you don’t leave it open!). For a little extra piece of mind there are always insect repellent sprays or mosquito coils to keep the pesky bugs at bay, when you’re chilling around the camp in the evening.
3. I’M GOING TO DROWN IF IT RAINS.
Rain ruining a camping trip is one of the most common fears, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t had some bad experiences in the past. However, there are a few simple things you can do to stop your trip from becoming a wash out. Firstly, pitch perfect: Spend some time considering where to put your tent, remember, water flows downhill and collects in hollows. Secondly, ensure you have the right tent for the job. How old is it? Has it been used near open fires? When was the last time you reproofed it? And finally, trust your tent. It’s designed to keep you dry, so roll over and go back to sleep.
4. I’M GOING TO FREEZE TO DEATH.
Whilst the obvious assumption is that camping will be cold, the reality is very different. Wrapped up in the right sleeping bag, you’ll be extremely surprised how warm you get, and how well the tent retains that warmth. If you’re worried the sleeping bag isn’t warm enough, check the comfort levels stated on the label to see if the temperature range is similar to the conditions you’ll be expecting. You could also take a liner for added peace of mind.
5. I’M GOING TO GET BLOWN AWAY.
The idea of being in a small canvas confine whilst it’s blowing a hoolie is enough to conjure images of impromptu paragliding and frightful hot air balloon hell. To avoid such disasters, remember to pitch perfect in a sheltered area, peg and guy it out properly, with guy lines and the narrow end of the tent facing into the wind and position the entrance facing away from the wind for maximum support and trust in your tent. Provided you’re not camping in tornado alley, you’ll still be there in the morning.
6. WHAT ABOUT THE BATHROOM?
A common fear is being stuck with the lack of adequate facilities and that is totally understandable. So to dispel your worst fears, check reviews and the website to see if the campsite you plan to stay at meets your needs. If in doubt, National Trust campsites and Camping and Caravanning Club sites can be slightly more expensive, but have a strict hygiene policy to offer you peace of mind.
7. WHERE AM I GOING TO GET MY MORNING TEA FROM?
Perhaps a uniquely British fear, the idea of forgoing tea is just too much to contemplate for some, myself included. And most are familiar with the camp stoves of old that took 45 minutes to produce one and a half luke warm cups of sub-par earl grey. For most self-respecting Britons, this is a make or break point. Thankfully today’s camp stoves can have a piping hot brew ready to drink in three minutes flat, so your morning tea will be as good as ever, provided you remember to bring the milk!
8. I’M GOING TO BE EATING COLD BEANS OUT OF A CAN WITH A SPOON!
This post-apocalyptic image is hard to remove from the mind of first timers, and nothing could be further from the truth. Camp stoves have come on a long way since the early days, so you can eat in style with ease. From pasta to steak and red wine sauce, it’s remarkably easy to eat al fresco with the right tools for the job.
9. I CAN’T SLEEP ON THE GROUND, IT’S SO HARD!
The idea of sleeping on the hard ground when you could be in a fine feather bed borders into masochistic for many, and twenty years ago they might have been onto something. To those thinking that the ground cannot possibly be comfortable, I challenge them to spend a night on a modern air mattress. Since I got mine, I’ve been staggered at just how comfortable they can be. I honestly look forward to sleeping in my tent now, as I know what a good night’s sleep I will get.
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Now you know you aren’t going to drown, get eaten alive or be blown away in the wind, it’s time to get out there and explore more this summer. If you’re still not convinced about leaving you’re creature comforts behind, why not try Glamping and give it a go in comfort and style.
Dan Roach - Keswick Store
Dan has been hiking and camping since he learnt to walk, and after completing the Cumbrian way at the age of seven, he’d compounded a life-long love. Committed to life in the outdoors, Dan now lives in the lake district and works at the Keswick Store where he can climb, camp, run and hike to his heart’s content.