The Secret to Cosy Camping: Alternative Accommodation Choices

Are you one of those people who have never been camping but want to know what all the fuss is about? Or have you avoided camping like the plague because it looks far too stressful? Is there just too much mud? Or too many creepy crawlies? Well now there’s a solution to the stressful camping situation; find alternative but still adventurous accommodation. Here’s a guide to the most exciting “glamping” options out there…

Camper Van

The good old camper van is a miniature self-catering apartment on wheels. There’s a vast array of makes, sizes and specifications to suit all budgets and if you don’t think you’ll be using it often, there’s always hiring options. They have everything you need for a short break including a fold away dining table, a tiny TV and some even come with a miniature dishwasher. Check out http://www.chooseleisure.co.uk for buying options and http://www.mcrent.co.uk/ have some great deals on hiring motorhomes. If you really want to camp in style then there’s also many sites available for hiring traditional VW camper vans, they may be slightly less equipped than the modern motor but they ooze charm and boots your happy hippy camper status. VW Camper Hire are as retro as it gets with bespoke interior design in each of their vans with added luxuries such as a flatscreen TV.

Good points: Everything you could possibly need including the kitchen sink.

Bad points: Expensive.

Glam Rating: 5/10 for the motorhome

7/10 for the VW campervan

 

Yurt

Yurts are undeniably cool and are far cosier than they first appear. These tipi-like structures originated in Mongolia and have been adapted for modern camping use. Each Yurt is typically built with a sturdy wooden frame and has a tough canvas exterior. They are English Precipitation-proof. Don’t worry about being cold because they are equipped with a wood burning stove and many furnishing are provided such as blankets and sheep skin rugs. A fantastic glamping site is Bivouac in North Yorkshire which has eight Yurts, several log cabins and a bunk barn. You can also explore Yurt buying options at http://www.yurtsforlife.com/.

Good points: Stylish, cosy and something out-of the ordinary.

Bad points: You have to go to the Yurts rather than taking them with you.

Glam rating: 9/10

Folding Tent

The tent is not to be underestimated. Although it looks complicated, cold and could collapse in a slight puff of wind, tents are getting more sophisticated by the year and one option is to buy a fold out trailer-tent. Opus have created an innovative camping device that’s part tent, part motor home that neatly collapses down into its own trailer so it can be towed anywhere. The trailer becomes a base for the main living area which comprises of a fitted gas cooker, sink, work top, storage space and then a sofa folding out bed. The two sides hold elevated sleeping spaces which can be zipped up like a tent for privacy. Devices such as these can be unfolded and constructed in as little as 10 minutes and packed away just as fast.

Good points: Highly mobile and easy to set up.

Bad points: No bathroom facilities.

Glam rating: 9/10 because its so ingenious.

Best Portable Barbecues

If you enjoy a barbecue but also enjoy going out and about during the summer, then you should probably invest in a portable barbecue that means that on a walk, at the beach, or in the park you can enjoy a delicious grilled burger or sausage and can avoid the expensive summer food vendors.

If you are barbecuing on a budget then the best option for you would probably be Sainsbury’s Bucket Barbecue at the excellent price of £9.99. It doesn’t require any assembly and all you have to do is light the coals and you are ready to go. Make sure it has completely cooled off before you pack it away though as the bucket handle remains quite hot. It is available in bright green and bright orange.

If you enjoy making a feast rather then just food, you should probably look into purchasing the Barbecue Cooking System by Cobb. It is £99.96 from Lakeland and allows you to infuse your food by using a little moat that surrounds the barbecue. You can place water, wine and an array of seasoning into the moat to flavour your meat and keep in tender.

If you want a portable barbecue that won’t take up too much space then you should invest in the Notebook Portable Folding BBQ Grill which goes for about £21.00 currently on Amazon. When the grilling rack is on it has a cooking are of 45 x 30 cm which is plenty of room to grill a whole host of BBQ food.

If you are an impatient barbecuer and don’t like waiting on the coal to heat up then why not try the The Royal Portable Gas Tabletop BBQ which is compact and easy to carry. They are currently selling on the Calor gas website for £25.99 and with a 6KW heat output it will cook your food fast and efficiently.

 

 

Exercise

Whether you are looking to lose weight, increase flexibility or simply get healthier, there will be a type of exercise that will be beneficial in relation to you attaining your goal. Exercise is a necessary part of daily life, and often if you do not get enough exercise overall then it can begin to have a serious impact on your life. Despite this, in our modern society many people can find it difficult to fit in the time for proper exercise and often become unhealthy as a result. A lack of exercise can be severely detrimental in the long run, as it is associated with serious diseases and impairments such as heart disease and shortness of breath. Exercising has been linked to long life and happiness, which are good reasons to do it on their own.

All forms of exercise are important and beneficial, but there are certain types that are particularly useful when it comes to fitness and flexibility. Exercise that focuses on the cardiovascular system is beneficial to general health, as it is concerned with making your heart and circulatory system healthier, which in turn boosts the entire system. Yoga has become a popular form of relaxation and exercise, and its gentle movements and positions are particularly beneficial to your flexibility as well as your piece of mind. Exercises like yoga are particularly useful to older or physically impaired people, as they are not too strenuous and focus on slow movements as opposed to going for a jog or a workout at the gym.

BBQs

Summertime is loved and looked forward to by everyone, with its warmer, longer days and good weather. Many people spend a lot of time and money planning what they will be doing over the summer, which can involve going on holiday but can equally involve deciding what to do in your own home. One of the most popular items that are used primarily in summer is the BBQ, or barbecue, or barbeque depending on how you spell it. They are a useful tool during the summer period, as they can be used in a lot of different situations and occasions.

If you are planning on camping this summer, then taking a BBQ with you would be a great idea, as they can be used to quickly and easily cook food, as well as looking impressive at the same time. You would probably want to go for a small BBQ as this would be easier to transport, but if there are a lot of you or you have a big family then a bigger one would be the better option.

There are a huge variety of different BBQs, and there are some interesting global variations on the design, which at its most basic consists of a grill, fire and coals. Vertical and horizontal designs are available, and are often cylindrical in shape either way, though the reason for this is not just aesthetic, as the shape retains heat more effectively and is better for catching drips than other shapes.

Camping

The joy of camping is enjoyed by many in the United Kingdom, often without the need for expensive equipment or costly campsites.  A field and a tent can provide a perfect setting for an intimate get-away or a gathering of friends to spend time together without the usual distractions of modern living.

In rural areas in the UK many campsites can be found at farms.  These will rarely provide the extensive facilities that are present at purpose built campsites – for example, hard-standings, electric hook-up, warm showers and a licensed bar.  What they do provide is an authorised place to pitch a tent, often in a beautiful setting with a pleasant view and the rest is up to you.  It may be preferable (particularly when camping with children) to choose a campsite with a toilet, avoiding the need to bring your own chemical toilet facilities.

The other equipment you choose to take on your camping trip is entirely subjective.  It is perfectly possible to fill a car with expensive additions to a tent, and then spend a large proportion of the day assembling and preparing the equipment.  Some accessories offered by camping retailers are useful extras, while others are un-necessary luxuries.  While you may not feel the need for a fitted carpet purpose-made for your tent it is a good idea to buy a camping stove powered by a small gas bottle to provide hot drinks and the means to heat food.  Don’t be drawn in by the tent salesman with his list of luxuries, but don’t be put off camping by the thought of a few days without your usual home comforts.

Waterproof Clothes

In Great Britain we are all accustomed to the changeable, often unpleasant weather conditions.  When you wish to undertake activities outdoors it is essential to be prepared for almost any weather, otherwise be ready to cancel your plans and stay home!

Many clothing retailers sell outdoors clothing, including fashion boutiques.  These padded or thick coats may look warm and protective, but rarely have the appropriate technical waterproof qualities that will really resist rain and wind.  It is best to seek a specialised outdoors clothing and equipment retailer to purchase fully waterproof clothing.

A waterproof jacket is the minimum waterproof equipment for a sensible person doing outdoor activities in all but the best UK weather.  A basic waterproof jacket may pull over the head or zip up and will often incorporate a storage pouch, or separate carry bag.  Other features to look for are taped seams that will not allow the entry of water and pull cords that allow the bottom hem or hood to be tightened in windy or cold conditions.  Jackets may also feature breathable armpits or zips that can be opened for ventilation.

If you are prepared to pay a little more for better protection you can choose a more substantial jacket with a lining.  This would not only offer more warmth for colder days, but will also be more wind resistant, protecting from cold draughts.  For those who regularly hike or work outside, it is a good idea to have waterproof trousers to ensure all-over protection.  These trousers can save you from the misery of heavy, water-laden jeans and returning home soaking wet to the skin.