Camping is increasingly loved and enjoyed by a wide spectrum of outdoors fans, from families to off-the-beaten-track adventurers. Luckily, there are lots of different ways to go camping – and to suit all budgets and aspirations.
Camping, as an adventure, can be as lightweight and minimalist as you want or an everything-including-the-kitchen-sink type of trip. Campers can also splash out on all the latest mod-cons or choose to stick to a much tighter budget.
We take a fun look at some of the different styles of camping.
Happy Families: The easiest way to keep all the family happy is in a larger family-sized tent with one, two or three bedrooms.
This is definitely a car-to-campsite kind of trip where everyone brings most of what they want for a week or weekend away – and you simply unpack it all from the car straight to the tent.
Family tents are big on space and head height. They come in a range of shapes but will normally have a central living area and bedrooms separated by zipped tent walls.
Of course, the bigger the tent the less portable and lightweight it is so this is why family tents tend to be taken directly from a car boot to a nearby camping spot.
The chances are you will want to “glamp” up your family camping trip, too. Many family tents are kitted out to a high “outdoors” standard with kitchen galleys – outfitted with cookers/grills, mini fridges/coolboxes and larders – tables, carpets, toilets, solar-powered electrical gadgets and shower, campbeds and blow-up double mattresses.
And then there’s the barbecue, children’s outdoors games, bikes, body-boards, wetsuits and all manner of “essential” family camping items. It’s a home-from-home style of camping that many families really enjoy.
The Weekenders: Again, this style of camping is usually “from car to pitch”. It could be a campsite for greater luxury (such as toilet blocks, showers and washing-up areas) or a wild camping location (not far from the parked car), but the goal is fun, freedom, comfort and a couple of nights away.
Weekend tents are usually smaller than family tents but still have room for two to four people. They will be cheaper because they do not require so much design input or the use of highly sophisticated materials.
To spot a weekender tent you are looking for a shape that allows campers to almost stand up-right. It could be a dome, wigwam or A-shape but the need for height is important because weekenders do not want to be crawling around while camping.
And what will you see inside a weekender tent? Yet more car-to-glamping items, such as pillows, blow-up mattresses, double sleeping bags (for couples), hot water bottles, double cooking stoves, cool boxes, a mini fridge for the beer and all types of cooking and eating equipment.
Weekenders want fun but they also know how to behave like responsible campers so Bluetooth camping speakers will be turned off before midnight and all rubbish will be taken home in a black bin bag.
The Festies: Packing a simple to pitch pop-up tent (why waste time on the tent when you could be listening to music or hanging out in the bar tent?) and a pair of Wellington boots, the festies are found at outdoor music festivals.
Pop-up tents, such as the Trespass Swift 200, are quick, fun and very easy to pack and sleep in. A pop up tent is released from the bag, almost assembles itself and simply needs a few pegs to prevent it from blowing away.
The Glorious Glampers: This type of camper takes glamping to the next level. They are most likely to be found at already set-up campsites where they sleep in yurts, tepee, wigwams or wooden cabins.
Glampers simply arrive, most likely by car and with all their luxury glamping kit, and “move into” their new home. Most glamping homes come complete with campbeds or beds, an open fire or wood-burning stove and lots of space.
Some have kitchen, dining and living areas for home-from-home living.
The Extenders: As campervans and motorhomes becoming increasingly popular, so do the range of tent extensions. A tent attached to the side of a van offers extra living and sleeping space if you have a large family or if you have invited friends for a camping trip.
The Contented Couples: These campers enjoy sharing their simple and compact two-man tents. These tents are usually low-profile and have an outer-and-inner-pitched-together design. They come with colour-coded foldable poles for ease of pitching and a bag of lightweight pegs.
Take a peek inside to see two neatly laid out self-inflating sleeping mattresses and compact but warm mummy-shaped sleeping bags.
The type of tent, from budget-friendly, such as the two-man Trespass Tarmachan, to pop-up to super-lightweight and pared down, will be dictated by how adventurous the Happy Couple is.
Happy Couples can be seen at festivals, on campsites, wild camping not too far from civilisation and also on the summit of mountains far from anyone else.
The Wild Ones: Lightweight one-man and two-man tents, as well as bivvy bags, characterise this type of more adventurous camper. They like getting off the beaten track and walking or cycling to their remote camping spot, but don’t want to be weighted down by a heavy tent and lots of kit.
The ultimate Wild Ones’ sleeping pod is a bivvy bag, which is a waterproof and windproof bag into which you put a sleeping bag. It is easy to erect, because there are no pegs or poles, and it is lightweight and super portable.
Bivvy bag owners are more likely to be spontaneous or back-to-nature types who don’t mind roughing it.
For a little more luxury they pack very lightweight tents for one or two people. The rest of the kit needs to be essential and as light as possible. Nothing extra goes in unless it has a reason to be there.
But whatever your style of camping, this summer it a great time to enjoy an outdoors holiday. Tell us about your favourite style of camping.