Present tents: camping should be about mindfulness, not the fear of getting your equipment mixed up
According to mental health charity Mind, an astonishing one-in-four UK adults experience issues with their mental health annually, and one-in-six will deal with a common mental health problem (like anxiety or depression) in any given week. Indeed, in 2016, 7.8 people out of every 100 suffered from mixed anxiety and/or depression.
A lot of people’s concerns stem from work or money, but more worryingly, The Children’s Society has discovered one in 10 children also succumb to mental health issues. Their solution? Spend more quality time together as a family.
A great way to combat these issues is to get out in nature, and there is no better vehicle to do this than camping. That can be in the woods, on a campsite or even at a festival. The location isn’t really important; the actual act is key. But while the relaxation and calming proximity might promote serenity, a lot of people will struggle when it comes to picking the right equipment for the circumstance. And that in itself could prompt anxieties and worries to thrust themselves to the fore – the exact opposite effect camping should have.
So, Balance sought out some advice to take the fear out of tent buying, to ensure you can reconnect with not only nature and your family, but also yourself, allowing you to reap the rewards of time well spent.
Firstly, you need to know your purpose. Many festival goers, for example, will buy a cheap home for the weekend and then not even bother to take it down when the last note has sailed away from the main stage, which is hardly good for the environment.
“The first thing to think about when buying a tent is knowing what you’re intending to use it for. Is it for a weekend by the coast with the family or friends, or something a bit more technical, like an expedition or wild camp where you’ll be carrying it with you?” suggests William Parkhouse, a Junior Buyer (Packs, Luggage & Travel Accessories) at Cotswold Outdoor.
Once you have this element decided, you can bury down into the budget. This is all down to personal circumstance, and intended use. A family tent will need more berthing space, while your average festival affair may only need to house you and a mate.
“The value of a tent will normally correlate with more or better features and benefits,” admits Parkhouse. “The price can vary, mainly due to berth or type. It’s worth considering whether you’re looking at a long-term investment, or just trying out if camping is for you.”
“For families and groups, consider the number of rooms, living area and size once it’s packed up. If you’re intending to head off for a trek, then weight, durability and internal space are more of a consideration.”
Once you’ve narrowed down your selection, there are a few considerations no matter the price or size of your new mobile home. Check everything is present before you set off, definitely read the instructions and don’t try to pitch it alone!
Always pitch on flat ground, leave room around you, try and use the natural foliage as shelter, but never pitch under a tree.
Once all of this is mastered, it’s just you, your nearest and dearest and Mother Nature; and that is the first step to disconnecting from everyday stresses and finding your real self once more.