As our society becomes more and more technological, cold and urban, ever more people are starting to feel the urge to get away from it all, take a break from modern life and go back to the way things were for our ancestors. Perhaps this explains the rising popularity of camping holidays, the ultimate experience of going back to nature and living in the wild, with only a basic structure for shelter and a fire for cooking.
Of course, lots of people don’t exactly do it that way. Camper vans are popular, as is ‘car camping’, and all sorts of electrical appliances have been adapted for camping – there are even camp microwaves. Most people consider at least modern toilets and showers to be a campsite necessity, regardless of whether it’s really true to the spirit of the activity. Camping doesn’t really have to be an outdoors thing if you don’t want it to be, as many camper vans aren’t that much different to houses on wheels, and many families stay in them for a large part of their holiday. It’s all about doing what you feel comfortable with.
For hardcore campers, though, the truest form of camping is camping which teaches survival skills, such as eating-wild caught food, finding your way around by the position of the sun and making fire. You would have to be very hungry to eat the animals that can be found in the woods of most countries, however, and for this reason camping with facilities and packed food is far more popular.
Most campsites are in woods or open fields, and are often publically-owned – if you want to find one, they should be clearly marked on maps for walkers and on road signs for cars. It’s up to you what you take with you, but most people will prefer to have at least a tent, sleeping bags, torches, and either a tool for making firewood or portable oven where campfires aren’t allowed.