What is Garden Camping?
Garden camping is indeed what it says it is, camping in your or another’s garden. Garden camping is fast becoming the most popular type of camping in 2020 due to the lockdown caused by COVID-19.
Campers simply love camping, when sleeping and spending time outdoors is what they like to do to relax being able to do this while the country is on lockdown comes as an added bonus.
I know not everyone has a garden and this time on lockdown will be frustrating for those without such a space, others have now made their gardens into their own little personal campsite. Even if it just a small space you have you could create your own little chillout space.
Years Gone By
In years gone by, garden camping was most commonly done by teenagers who wished to camp out with friends, without parents but were too young to go off by themselves and do it. Then there would be the begging and pleading with parents to either use their garden or to allow their child to go and camp in some other parent’s garden. I myself remember doing just this when I was young. If the parents weren’t campers themselves they tended to just let the kids get on with it and it was often a tent, that was too small and borrowed from someone with duvets and pillows dragged round and put into the tent with no floor covering and the night was spent “sleeping out”. Normally the night would start off exciting and full of great expectations. A night spent out with friends under the stars without parents telling them what to do and when to go to sleep. There was normally very little sleeping done for being cold, talking too much and the will not to give in to coldness and tiredness and go indoors. But these nights were often remembered as still an adventure even when they didn’t go to plan.
Another time garden camping was undertaken was by first-time campers or campers who were wanting to introduce it to a young child and playing safe would camp in the garden before going off on a “real camp”. This giving them the security to go back into the house should things not go as planned.
The Return of the Garden Camp
This year with the ongoing pandemic that is COVID-19 and the country in lockdown many people saw their beloved and well-earned camping trips canceled. Campsites across the country stopped taking booking and some had started to close even before the lockdown had come into effect. Everyone knew what was coming as they watched other countries going through the same crisis. But this was not going to stop the most committed and enthusiastic campers.
Easter Weekend is normally the first camp of the year for many families up and down the country and for those able to they were still going to have their camps. The only difference was they were going to be having it much closer to home, in their own gardens to be exact. In fact, some families even camped out earlier than Easter this year. With many people remaining at home or working from home due to work restrictions there has been more chance to spend this time with families and planning a new camping adventure.
People have really shown some great initiative in setting up camps in their gardens this year and getting others involved too. People have taken to social media to show tips and tricks for garden camping and groups have been formed for those camping out to share experiences, get together online, tips ad advice. I have even seen and heard of people digging out old tents that haven’t been pitched in years to join in the great garden camp out this weekend.
It may take a little preparation to get your garden ready to camp out but we think it will be worth the effort. You may have to do a little rearranging to make some space for your campsite. You can also go as big or as little as you want for your camping experience. You may only wish to use your little pitch to camp out at night or you may wish to spend as much time as you can outdoors, including making meals on your BBQ or camp kitchen as you would if you were away.
Two groups on social media that have gone above and beyond in making this more fun and enjoyable for everybody are The Great Garden Indoor/ Outdoor Camp 2020 bringing people together who are enjoying camping out together. Also now selling some merchandise for those taking part as a remembrance of this time. This group is helping to raise many for both the NHS and St. David’s Hospice. With donations made to both causes and some money from the sale of merchandise going to these causes too.
The other group on Facebook is Great British Campout for NHS staff and these guys are being supported by Go Outdoors and Blacks. This group is aimed at bringing everyone camping out together to share some fantastic photos, tip, trick and general chat about their camping and mini campsites while raising money for the NHS. As I am writing this post they have currently raised £130,00.00. This has been raised through small donations from people camping out and some merchandise that they have for sale on the page.
Both are amazing groups and if you haven’t checked them out already please do.
Pro’s of Garden Camping
So what are the pro’s of garden camping? Well above all camping is a fun activity open to people from all walks of life and it really can bring people closer together whether you be a couple or a family. Even if you are a solo camper it gives you that much needed time for YOU! You can slow life down a little, have some fun and make some great memories.
For many people, there is nothing better than sleeping out under the stars and getting some good old fresh air. and right now there is less pollution in the air than there has been for many years, so why not make the most of it by camping out.
The pro’s are endless when it comes to Garden Camping. You are limited in what you can do within your own garden, like not going kayaking or mountain climbing but you can still enjoy and learn more about what is around you including nature. But, these are some of the top pro’s of garden camping for us:
- No playing car tetris.
- Low or no site fees.
- Free wifi and electric hook up.
- No toilet or shower queues (if there are, these will be minimal).
- An extended pantry for mealtimes.
- Onsite free laundry facility
- Private camping pitch with border, so no one will be cutting between tents.
- Your campsite, your campsite rules! (Although do be mindful if you have neighbour’s with noise and fires if you have one)
- If you forget an item you can always nip in and get it.
- Camping in your garden is safer and less noisy during these times as people are restricted being out and about, plus no late night clubs and pubs emptying late at night if you stay in a busy area.
- You are still making memories.
- You are not limited to how many tents, awnings or space used apart from the boundary of the garden.
- you can take as little or as much camping gear as you like.
Con’s of Garden Camping
There are only a few con’s of garden camping that we have noticed and at the moment most of these are outwith our control.
- not having a garden to camp in (but you could set up a tent indoors!)
- having limited space to explore in
- not being able to meet up and socialize with other campers (well not during lockdown anyway)
Benefits of Garden Camping
So we all know the benefits we get from camping. Being out in the fresh air more, making memories, being closer to nature, spending more time together and taking life a little more at your pace. Well, garden camping is no different, you may not have a change of scenery that your normal camping trips provide but you can still get all of the above benefits while camping out in your garden. You can still play all the camping games you would normally play, although you may need to adapt them a little if it’s a treasure hunt for the young ones, you can still have a chat around the campfire and some smores if you are able to have a fire.
You can be closer to nature by learning all about what surrounds you that you may not have noticed otherwise. why not take time to learn about what they are. what trees, plants, and flowers are around you? What insects live in your garden? Do you have any nighttime visitors to your garden such as hedgehogs? What birds frequent your garden on a daily basis?
If like me you sleep better when sleeping out, take this as a time to recharge. It can be all the more comfortable while you are camping at home as you can use your own pillow and duvet if you wish. Hey, I’ve even heard of a few people dragging out their mattress to use. This really is more glamping than camping but who cares as long as you are enjoying yourself and making the most of it.
What are our Thoughts on Garden Camping?
Well, we love it and think if you can do it and have the space you should. Even if you are still working during this epidemic there is no reason you can’t sleep out and then go into the house and get ready before heading to work. In fact, we think this would be an added bonus for those who sleep better while in a tent, getting more fresh air.
The main reason so many people are camping out in their garden is because it’s still fun and healthy.
- It’s still camping.
- It’s keeping people’s spirits up during such a scary and sad time.
- It is keeping people safe and protected because they are staying at home and not trying to travel.
- It is staving off depression and other mental health issues that many people suffer with, especially during such times where they are limited in what they do and where they go.
- It’s bringing families closer together
- It’s the best way (most campers can see) of riding the storm through this pandemic that we are facing.
The most important thing is to have fun and stay safe. Remember if you are camping out, at any time, to share your pictures on our Facebook Group Page, we would love to hear from you and see all your pics and