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What Inspires The Camping Experts?

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls 3 Hungry Boys Inspired Camping

 

We asked some of our favourite writers, film makers and experts about the key moments that defined their passion for camping and what they feel is so inspiring about it. They really came through with some incredibly wise comments we’d like to share with you, with much more to come over the next few weeks.

To make sure you don’t miss out on any of it sign up for our free updates and bonuses by entering your email in the box. All subscribers will be automatically entered into the ‘pay it forward’ competitions we’ll be running to win free stuff from our experts. More details to come.

 

Martin Dorey, Camper Van Cookbook

 

Martin Dorey

BBC Presenter of One Man And His Camper Van
Author of:  
The Camper Van Cookbook: Life on 4 Wheels, Cooking on 2 Rings
and  The Camper Van Coast: Cooking, Eating, Living the Life

 

There are few times in our lives when we can feel truly free. I would say that camping is one of those times.

Martin is a writer and a surfer who lives in Devon, UK, with his family. When he’s not fixing up his VW camper, mucking about with his kids, catching waves or pretending to work, he goes fishing. He is very, very bad at it. His family understands. No one expects sea bass for tea anymore!

“I have always camped. As a kid my parents took me on wet and miserable camping trips to Wales whilst my Grandfather, a Scout leader and adventurer, inspired me to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors as much as I could. But it wasn’t until I learnt to surf that it all made sense. Camping by the beach brought everything together. Waking to waves is the best thing and camping is what takes you there.

I love the fact that camping gets me off the sofa. It’s too easy to stay indoors, watch telly and do nothing. But when you camp you have things to do just to live. I love that. It’s the fact that nothing comes too easy. It’s earning your supper.

There are few times in our lives when we can feel truly free. I would say that camping is one of those times when all that matters is satisfying basic needs – leaving you time to feel unencumbered and worry -free. Sitting around a camp fire, with a full belly, good company and a few bottles of plonk is one of life’s simplest and most beautiful pleasures.”

You can read more about The Camper Van Cookbook: Life on 4 Wheels, Cooking on 2 Rings and The Camper Van Coast: Cooking, Eating, Living the Life in our feature about Martin’s books very soon.

 

Allie Bombach 23 Feet Inspired Camping

 

 

 

Allie Bombach

Film Maker 23 Feet 

 

If I wanted to inspire someone to go camping I would tell them there really were unicorns out there and only people who go camping can see them.

Allie is a film maker who recently completed a project about people who make a conscious decision to live life more simply so they can follow their outdoor passions. To do this Allie and her crew lived in a 23 foot 1970 Airstream while they travelled through western USA.

“I felt my first passion for camping when I was 6 years old and poked my head out of the tent to a sunrise. I think it was the first sunrise I had ever seen, or at least the first one I remember.

I feel like camping is the reset button. It reminds us of what’s important, and gets us back to nature. This is the amazing thing about camping.

If I wanted to inspire someone to go camping I would tell them there really were unicorns out there and only people who go camping can see them. Once they get out into the woods and have their own experience they’ll forget about the unicorn thing and be hooked anyway. Camping is just that good!”

We have a great interview lined up with Allie when she’ll be giving subscribers to Inspired Camping the chance of winning her fantastic DVD

 

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls 3 Hungry Boys Inspired Camping Cool Camping

 

 

 

The Three Hungry Boys… Tim, Thom and Trevor

Channel 4 Presenters and authors of The Three Hungry Boys

 

On our Three Hungry Boys camping trips there is also the added bonus that we know that the day ahead is going to be unpredictable and full of adventure.

The boys recently took up one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s eco challenges to travel, without any money and only using sustainable sources of energy, from Dorset in the UK to Lands End. They had to do this in Daisy, a converted 1970s electric milk float, and thankfully survived to tell the tale.

“All three of us got outdoors at an early age, family camping trips and excursions outdoors were the order of the day and all three of us have photos of us putting up tents and wandering through the countryside. Those early experiences introduced us to the ups and downs that make camping so unique.

Waking up in the morning to the sounds of the outdoors, that feeling of freedom, being away from e-mails, phone calls and all of those modern distractions are what make camping so great. On our Three Hungry Boys camping trips there is also the added bonus that we know that the day ahead is going to be unpredictable and full of adventure.

To anyone thinking of camping we would say… get out there and get stuck in! Make sure you’ve got the essential basics and get yourself lost in the wilderness. We’ve had plenty of friends come out with us who’ve never been camping and 99.9% come away vowing to go again. They love the feeling of getting away from it all… of course it helps if the sun is shining.

We’ll have more exciting exploits from the Three Hungry Boys very soon, so if you want more tips on how to catch, trap, forage and generally blag your way to survival in the wild then make sure you keep coming back to visit us.

 

Brian Green and Family Brian's Backpacking Blog

 

 

 

Brian Green

Brian’s Backpacking Blog

 

It’s about getting outside and enjoying where you are. It’s not about the gear (despite all the online reviews you will see) it’s about how the most basic of gear can get you to where it is you want to go – it’s about the destination and the journey.

If you haven’t visited Brian’s Backpacking Blog yet then we suggest you do. It has everything you need to know about ultralight backpacking and camping technology.

“It was a bunch of moments that defined my passion for camping. Being outdoors camping on weekends in the New Forest with my grandfather, older brother, or friends simply made me fall in love with getting outside and sleeping under the stars. It’s the single most important thing that I want to hand on to my two young kids – the love of being outdoors.

it’s a way for me to unwind and switch off the day-to-day stresses of a corporate career. When I’m outside on the trail with my family, or with good friends, or even just with my chocolate lab, Coco, nothing else but enjoying the surroundings matters. That’s inspiring to me!

The great thing is you don’t have to plan a 6-month thru hike of the Appalachia Trail to be a camper or backpacker. You can get out and do a day hike or a short trip to the woods and have just as much fun.

It’s about getting outside and enjoying where you are. It’s not about the gear (despite all the online reviews you will see) it’s about how the most basic of gear can get you to where it is you want to go – it’s about the destination and the journey.

One trick I use to make getting outside as easy as possible, is to keep a pre-packed rucksack at my back door, filled with everything (minus food and water) that I need to get up and go at a minutes notice – then there’s really no excuse to not get outside and enjoy it.”

 

Ruben-Martinez Co-Founder Of Glamping Hub Inspired Camping

 

 

 

Ruben Martinez

Co-Founder of The Glamping Hub

 

The most inspiring thing about camping is the quiet…

Ruben is Co-Founder of The Glamping Hub, which aims to guide people to luxury camping accommodation across the world.

“My passion for camping comes from a series of moments and countless memories that have defined my passion for the outdoors. As long as I have been alive I have spent a good portion of my life camping and enjoying the outdoors. It does not matter what time of the year it is, there is always something incredible to experience.

The most inspiring thing about camping is the quiet that I am exposed to. The pace of life that our society is used to makes it hard for us to take a breath and recharge. So when I go camping that is my inspiration and my priority number 1. I am on a mission to do nothing but relax. I enjoy the fresh air, Mother Nature and great conversation with incredible friends and family.

I am based out of Colorado and when friends move here for the first time I try not to sell them on the outdoors because all I have to do is take them up to one of my favorite glamping sites for the first time and I let the beautiful outdoors and the incredible accommodations take care of the talking for me. All you have to do is take them once and let them experience it for themselves and they will get involved. I had a friend that moved to Colorado last year and he had never spent the night out in Mother Nature before, and I invited him to a trip that I do every year. The thing he said after the first day we were there was, “Why the hell haven’t I done this before? I now know where I’ll be all summer!”

 

Jane Field-Lewis My Cool Camper Van My Cool Caravan Inspired Camping

 

 

Jane Field-Lewis

Co-Author of My Cool Caravan, My Cool Camper Van
and My Cool Shed

 

There is something about the nature of the passage of time that changes when you are camping. You absolutely have to slow down.

If you love retro and vintage camper vans and caravans then you need to take a look at Chris (below) and Jane’s books which are packed full of gorgeous and inspirational pictures and information.

“Our childhood holidays were camping/travelling mystery tours across Europe. I remember being piled into the back of an ancient Hillman Minx along with all the camping gear imaginable. They were quite ‘freeform’ trips. The map would come out on the cross-channel ferry and my parents would say ‘where to kids?’ We had absolutely no idea what Barcelona would look like, or Venice for that matter, or have any sense of what the distance on the map actually meant… but off we set… such adventure! I had no sense that we actually didn’t have much money… and it is only in hindsight that my parent’s sense of adventure and fearlessness became clear to me. Those camping trips have influenced who I am in many respects. I am so grateful for that experience. There was no conventional glamour about it but in truth it was there in bucket loads.

I am by nature a workaholic. I have a busy mind and find it hard to relax. There is something about the nature of the passage of time that changes when you are camping. You absolutely have to slow down. Boiling a kettle takes an age, preparing dinner takes an age, organizing yourself takes an age, but you know what (and this happens every time) your brain starts to set itself differently, slowing down. Equally you start to enjoy things taking longer. It’s easier to ‘drift’ to enjoy idle conversation, to tell a story, or a joke. It is that mental space that does it for me every time.

If you’re an inexperienced camper I think you should start off small. You really don’t have to travel far from home to get a good camping experience. Even an hour away is fine. Take some home comforts like a decent pillow, a nice blanket, and a bottle opener. Many of the camping websites have customer reviews that will help you choose a campsite to suit you. Make your first trip short, just a few days, or try one of the ‘glamping’ sites where the tent and equipment are set up already. That’s a great way to get the feel of the outdoor life.”

Chris and Jane will be talking more about their books and the inspirations behind them very soon. They will also be giving some away to lucky Inspired Camping readers… so keep watching this space.

 

 ChrisHaddon My Cool Caravan My Cool Campervan Inspired Camping Cool Camping

 

Chris Haddon

Co-Author of My Cool Caravan, My Cool Camper Van
and My Cool Classic Car

 

…children play in the outdoors, make new friends, get muddy and come back hours later tired and in the need of refreshments – which is exactly how it should be.

“As a teenager I remember seeing a photo of an Airstream and instantly loved it! From a design point of view it was stunning and the added historic aspect that encompasses Airstreams made it iconic – and something I really wanted to own (hardly something a teenager would normally confess to I’d imagine!)  I carried on dreaming of ownership when my early thirties crept up on me and then a need for making the best of weekends with my young family arose. After a few hours looking online I realised it could become a reality, a few months later my 1972 Airstream Safari arrived in the UK and the rest is history!

The freedom of camping is so inspiring to me, and having the opportunity to switch off from the day-to-day working grind of things and get back to relative basics (although a phone and email is never very far away!)  Seeing my children play in the outdoors, make new friends, get muddy and come back hours later tired and in the need of refreshments – which is exactly how it should be. Also with a vintage caravan it gives you potential new styling avenues and ideas to explore that we wouldn’t necessarily try in our own home. This is the main attraction with others who are snapping up old unloved caravans – it is a blank canvas for them to experiment on and fill with quirky vintage finds.

In my opinion what’s stopping anyone from going camping?  A classic retro-style caravan or camper van can still be picked up relatively inexpensively and then with a modicum of DIY knowledge it can be made into a fantastic weekend retreat!  What revamps you care to make can be as basic or as elaborate as you wish but once it’s ready the world really is your oyster, even if you use it for just a short trip away to a neighbouring county it can still achieve the same result – relaxation. So whether you go away for a week a weekend or just a spur of the moment one night you will come home feeling like you have actually done something worthwhile with your precious spare time.”

 

Tess Carr Co-Founder The Happy Campers Inspired Camping

 

 

 

Tess Carr

The Happy Campers Book and Website

 

Just do it! Go with a group of friends who love camping, just borrow a tent, go when the weather looks good and go with an open mind, you will have a ball.

Since writing the book Tess has been enjoying enlightening her two young children to the pleasures of happy camping. She also wrote the Great British Picnics App and will soon be re-launching The Happy Campers.

“I don’t think there was a key moment that defined my passion for camping, just an ever-growing love for it which was first ignited as a young child. We were taken camping every year and whether it rained or shined we loved every minute and it has blossomed and blossomed since then.

For me the most inspiring thing about it is being outside in this wonderful world of ours surrounded by my loved ones, hearing the laughter and giggles, warming myself by the campfire and snuggling up with my lovely family for (hopefully!) a peaceful night under the stars.

Just do it! Go with a group of friends who love camping, just borrow a tent, go when the weather looks good and go with an open mind, you will have a ball…… by the time you return you’ll be planning your next trip!”

 

Lee Woodward Mountain Leader Annapurna Inspired Camping

 

 

Lee Woodward

Mountain Leader And Lead Tutor – Outdoor Adventure 
University of Highlands and Islands, Scotland

 

 The best thing about camping is it’s a small home without a mortgage and you can choose your back garden.

Lee must be one of the luckiest people around. He gets to do for a job that others desperately try to fit into their spare time!

“The first time I felt the passion for camping was when I was about 15 years old. I discovered the independence that camping could offer, together with the feeling of being totally self-sufficient when travelling through wild country. The best thing about camping is it’s a small home without a mortgage and you can choose your back garden.

My advice to anyone thinking of getting involved in camping is to check the weather before you go on your first camp. It takes a good deal of practice to be efficient and if the weather is good you are more likely to have a positive experience.”

 

Through5eyes Inspired Camping Cool

 

 

 

Nathan Steinbauer and Stephanie Choate

Film Makers Through Five Eyes

 

It’s an incredible feeling to wake up, look outside your tent, and see miles of deserted beach or a rugged mountain ridgeline.

Nathan and Stephanie have been travelling and exploring for the last 15 months and have spent much of their time camping. Their films and articles are an inspiration to anyone thinking of doing the same… or just wanting to dream about it.

“Both from the state of Vermont, we grew up surrounded by lakes, rivers, and rolling mountains. We’ve spent the last 15 months exploring the western rim of the Pacific – from the snowy mountains of Japan to the Australian Outback- and have been camping in our little red tent more nights than we care to admit. We have posted photos, videos, and articles to our blog to inspire others to get out and see the world.

Both of our families took summer camping trips to the Maine coast each year, so it’s something that’s been with us for as long as we can remember.  We have great memories of exploring tide pools and rocky coastlines, zooming around campgrounds on our bikes, and eating lobster (once we got a bit older).

Camping allows you to get away from cities, traffic, and tourist attractions to experience the beautiful natural places in the world. It’s an incredible feeling to wake up, look outside your tent, and see miles of deserted beach or a rugged mountain ridgeline.

So just go out and do it! Camping is cheap and easy once you have the gear.  And, don’t let one bad experience get in the way.  We’ve all had nights being caught out in the rain or tormented by mosquitos. A moonlit night and a crackling campfire is just around the corner.”

 

Mark Gordon Feather Down Inspired Camping Cool Camping

 

 

 

Mark Gordon

General Manager, Feather Down

 

For me the most inspiring thing about camping is the wonderful night’s sleep I get

Mark is the GM of Feather Down, which offers holidays to those who want a more luxurious stay under canvas.

“My passion for camping was defined in the summer of 1977, when as a teenager in a campsite in the Pyrenees I saw the Canvas Holidays courier by the pool and said to myself “that’s a job I have to have”. And two years later I did… at the very same campsite.

For me the most inspiring thing about camping is the wonderful night’s sleep I get (yes I am showing my age).

To get someone involved in camping I would urge them to try a Feather Down holiday. Half our families are composed of a keen camper in their youth and a partner who was allergic.  They try Feather Down as a compromise and never look back.”

 

Tom Dixon Canopy and Stars Inspired Camping

 

 

 

Tom Dixon

Managing Director, Canopy And Stars

 

It’s hard to think back to one moment that defined my passion for camping. I grew up doing it …

Tom is the MD of Canopy and Stars, which offers a collection of beautiful and quirky camping breaks with a difference.

It’s hard to think back to one moment that defined my passion for camping. I grew up doing it and I’ve always been happier being outdoors, building dens and treehouses. As a family we used to go to France on holiday camping, so I don’t think I had any choice. In more recent years I’ve loved more traditional camping, mostly when it’s part of a trek – so hiking in Atlas Mountains, or in New Zealand. Although I do remember camping in Milford Sound in NZ without any insect repellent and getting attacked by sand flies…

The things that inspire me about it are cooking, eating and waking up somewhere so beautiful. Much better than opening my curtains in the morning in Bristol. With Canopy & Stars I’m inspired by all the owners we work with, their ingenuity and creativity in making beautiful places to enjoy the great outdoors in a special way. It’s also great going away with a bunch of friends and just hanging out.

Really you should have a browse through our collection to get even more inspired about camping! Don’t just think tent, think converted horsetruck, Gypsy caravan, army fire truck, treehouse, etc. Then just get outdoors!

 

David and Tina Evans Cool Ice Box Company And Tent Pod Company Inspired Camping Cool Camping

 

 

 

David And Tina Evans

The Cool Ice Box Company and Tent Pods

 

The most inspiring thing about camping is it’s such a simple life and we love to share this…

David and Tina are based in Devon, UK, and are currently developing their new Tent Pod design for luxury camping.

“The key moment that defined our passion for camping was when we travelled through Africa and camped under the stars. It’s the freedom to roam anywhere and take our home with us on our backs that got us hooked.

The most inspiring thing about camping is it’s such a simple life and we love to share this and the freedom of the outdoors with others. If I was trying to get someone to try camping I would say it’s something that’s ‘back to basics’ and fun, but you’ve got to be prepared for all weathers so you don’t get cold.”

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Well that’s got us reaching for the keys to our camper van… but wait there’s more to come!

Over the next few days our experts will be sharing more ideas about camping essentials and whether they prefer a camper van, caravan or tent. So if you’re also thinking of dashing out the door towards your next camping adventure make sure you put your email in the free updates and bonuses box so you don’t miss out.

We want to say a HUGE thank you to our wonderful contributors for sharing their stories and ideas, and would love you to do the same. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Inspired Camping

 

Picture Credits: The individuals featured unless otherwise stated

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