9 Common Camping Fears

Are you an unwilling semi-agoraphobic camper being dragged out by an overly enthusiastic but essentially clueless significant other? Or perhaps you’re being forced into participating in a group expedition because “it’ll do you some good”? Whatever the reason for feeling reluctant, here are the top camping fears dispelled for those who are cautious about spending a night under canvas.

1. "I'm going to get eaten in the night!"

To some this may seem ridiculous, but in reality lots of people fear sleeping outside for this reason. Scientists speculate this primal fear dates back to when we were cave dwellers, and the darkness really did disguise monsters. Fortunately, in today’s UK the closest thing you’ll get is a brave badger searching for munchies. Keep all food sealed and you’ll be left well alone.

2. "I'll get covered in bites from creepy crawlies"

It's fair to say that almost no one likes being bitten by itchy insects, and lots of people think that when you're sleeping outside, there'll be no escapin them. This is rarely the case, as almost all decent tents come complete with a separate interior space sealed off with a fly sheet, so you can sleep soundly and in peace (provided you don’t leave it open!). For a little extra peace of mind there are always insect repellent sprays or mosquito coils to keep the pesky bugs at bay when you’re chilling around the camp in the evening.


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3. "I'm going to drown if it rains"

Rain ruining a camping trip is one of the most common fears, and wet weather can definitely dampen spirits if you're not prepared for it. However, there are a few simple things you can do to stop your trip from becoming a wash out. Firstly, spend some time considering where to put your tent. Remember, water flows downhill and collects in hollows. Secondly, ensure you have the right tent for the job. How old is it? Has it been used near open fires? When was the last time you reproofed it? And finally, trust your tent. It’s designed to keep you dry, so roll over and go back to sleep.

4. "I'm going to freeze to death"

Whilst the obvious assumption is that camping will be cold, the reality is very different. Wrapped up in the right sleeping bag, you’ll be extremely surprised how warm you get, and how well the tent retains that warmth. If you’re worried the sleeping bag isn’t warm enough, check the comfort levels stated on the label to see if the temperature range is similar to the conditions you’ll be expecting. You could also take a liner for added peace of mind.


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5. "I'm going to be blown away!"

The idea of being in a small canvas confine whilst it’s blowing a hoolie is enough to conjure images of impromptu paragliding! To avoid such disasters, remember to pitch perfect in a sheltered area, peg and guy it out properly, with guylines and the narrow end of the tent facing into the wind and position the entrance facing away from the wind for maximum support and trust in your tent. Provided you’re not camping in tornado alley, you’ll still be there in the morning.

6. "But what about the bathroom?"

A common fear is being stuck with the lack of adequate facilities and that is totally understandable. So to dispel your worst fears, check reviews and the website to see if the campsite you plan to stay at meets your needs. If in doubt, National Trust campsites and Camping and Caravanning Club sites can be slightly more expensive, but have a strict hygiene policy to offer you peace of mind.

7. "I can't go without my morning coffee"

Perhaps a uniquely British fear, the idea of forgoing tea is just too much to contemplate for some! And most are familiar with the camp stoves of old that took 45 minutes to produce one and a half lukewarm cups of sub-par earl grey. For most self-respecting Britons, this is a make or break point. Thankfully today’s camp stoves can have a piping hot brew ready to drink in three minutes flat, so your morning tea will be as good as ever, provided you remember to bring the milk!


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8. "I don't fancy eating cold beans out of a can"

This post-apocalyptic image is hard to remove from the mind of first timers, and nothing could be further from the truth. Camp stoves have come on a long way since the early days, so you can eat in style with ease. From pasta to steak and red wine sauce, it’s remarkably easy to eat al fresco with the right tools for the job.


9. "How am I supposed to sleep on the hard ground?"

The idea of taking a holiday from your cosy bed to sleep on the hard ground is beyond understanding for many people, and twenty years ago they would have been right. However, modern air mattresses are very comfortable, and can be blown up as far as you find comfortable to match your mattress's level of firmness.


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