Credit Crunch Camping

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

The recession, an exchange rate which make England look cheap to the rest of Europe and a rise in unemployment is leaving most of the country wondering whether they can even afford a holiday in 2010.  I am one of those people and add a dog to the equation (with kennels costing from £14/night!) and a fortnight away is an unattainable luxury.

Whether you are a family of four or, like me, a single woman with a best friend of the canine variety, even in this recession, you don’t have to give up on the family’s vacation plans.

Camping critter (2)

Years of cheap flights to exotic locations have made the majority of us forget about the attractions in our own backyard.  We have it all: mountains, beaches, lakes, dales so why spend double the amount of money going abroad?!  Additionally we can give ourselves green points for not flying and, if we take the train, driving.

Camping is an inexpensive way for the family to get together and enjoy each other’s company, as well as making the most of the outdoors and what the countryside has to offer.  And with the great deals on camping equipment currently available, chances are you’ll find yourself paying less on the camping essentials for the whole family than a night in a decent hotel.

There is no problem in getting a tent along with a couple of sleeping bags, camping mats and inflatable pillows all for under £20. Making your camping debut? Look for the “starter packs” which include almost everything that you will need.


Camping does not mean roughing it: even the most basic of campsites supply running water and toilet facilities. Showers, shops, swimming pools, entertainment and other amenities are possible at some family-oriented sites. Those in caravans and mobile homes even have access to electricity and satellite television.  And for those of us who are prepared to pack up our own equipment, the cost can be as little as £5 (for one tent, one woman and her dog) per night – bargain!

The great thing about camping is that you can go as often as you like. I have laid my camping equipment to rest in the boot of my Clio, and intend to make the most of the ice cream weather.  Last minute weekends away are no problem – and with this in mind, I joined a camping club, which provides me with information on areas, campsites, and also discounts at campsites. They are so helpful – I make a call, specify the area, and they let me know where the places are.


Need to know: Camping Check List


  • Tent including pegs/stakes, guy ropes
  • Groundsheet
  • Flysheet
  • Mallet
  • Sleeping bags/blankets
  • Air bed
  • Roll mats/pads to lie on
  • Pillows

Cooking Equipment

  • Food and drink
  • Cooker, stove, barbecue kit
  • Bottled gas or other form of fire igniting material – wood or charcoal, for example
  • Matches/lighter
  • Cooling box
  • Pans, pots, plates, cutlery, cups, glasses
  • Cooking utensils, e.g. large spoon, fork, ladle, tongs
  • Tin opener, bottle opener, corkscrew
  • Sharp knife for food preparation
  • Food storage containers
  • Thermos flask
  • Bin bags (some smaller sites will ask you to take your rubbish with you, and do not provide bins)
  • Kitchen foil, kitchen tissue, napkins
  • Washing up bowl and liquid
  • Dishcloths and tea towels

Bathroom essentials

  • Soap and shampoo
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Sanitary towels
  • Wet wipes


Make sure that you are prepared for the odd cold evening or rain –we ARE in the UK after all

  • Cool clothes
  • Beachwear
  • Sun hat
  • Warm hat
  • Warm clothes
  • Waterproofs
  • Boots/walking shoes and any other appropriate footwear
  • Gloves/mittens

First Aid Kit

  • Insect repellent
  • Sun cream
  • Antihistamines
  • Antiseptic
  • Plasters/bandages
  • Paracetamol or some other kind of pain relief

Other useful Items

  • Torch
  • Mobile phone
  • Camera, binoculars
  • Toys, books, games, iPod, radio
  • Spare batteries
  • Backpack
  • Outdoor ‘furniture’ e.g. foldaway chairs/tables
  • other tools, e.g. screwdriver, scissors, tweezers
  • Pen and paper
  • Safety pins, sewing kit
  • Duct tape
  • Trowel
  • Spare rope, spare tarp
  • Map and compass

Credit Crunch Camping Clubs:

The Camping and Caravanning Club:

The International Camping Club:

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