What is it about camping life that draws people?
Being part of nature, watching the explosion of stars against the night sky with the closeness of the crackling camp fire. Waking up with the first rays of the sun against the canvas of your tent and the smell of damp soil.
This gives us the interaction with nature that we all need to switch off and block out the rush of everyday life. Gives one time to recharge and get one's frantic hamster-wheeling minds refreshed, even if it's just a couple of days at a time.
This is the life!
Photo courtesy: Jo-Alda Theron
Camp life is different for every person and depends on what your needs are. Basic, sleeping just inches always from the ground in a tent, or with a bit more comfort in a caravan or RV.
It still doesn't matter the atmosphere of camping is always the same.
This is what people crave.
Nowadays camping is a huge industry and camping facilities can vary a lot.
Basic camp sites are just what the word says 'basic'. These are normally inexpensive and the place to really rough it.
Tent camping in the Bushveld
On the other hand, modern camping grounds usually have individual sites covered in lawn or paving with electricity and plug in cable TV points available at each site. Private kitchen/bathroom facilities are becoming extremely popular and gives you some home comfort, away from home.
Some of these facilities have a 5 Star rating, but be prepared to pay extra for this.
Even so paying extra for more comfort, is definitely worth it.
The opportunity to enjoy the company of family and friends and coming back to the basics is what camping life is all about.
Cooking over a campfire, taking long walks or having time to read that book you never seem to have time for.
Inter act with nature and do some things out of the ordinary like bird watching, hiking and canoeing. For the seriously fit mountain biking and mountaineering is a wonderful pastime and for the extreme sport fanatics bungee jumping, paragliding and so on.
Most of the time one can find these pastimes in or near camping locations.
Enjoy the crackling camp fire
Having the desire to come close to nature however, doesn't mean that you can't have a certain amount of comfort.
At least try to sleep comfortably. Sleeping is the time our bodies need to restore our energy and by waking up with a kink in your back will not be helpful at all. Luckily it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to have a comfortable sleep as an inflatable air mattress is relatively inexpensive and makes a snug bed.
For the rest all you need is a shelter to keep the dew off your head, comfortable clothes, enough fresh water and ample food to keep your tummy from rumbling. That is basically all you need to have a wonderful camping life.
And above all the need to be close to nature, a crackling fire and good company.
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