There’s a lot of things we put unspoken age caps on, both individually and as a society – camping for senior citizens is one of them. How many times have you had something suggested to you and you’ve thought or said “I’m too old for that”? One of those things might well be camping. When you reach a certain vintage, the idea of roughing it in the great outdoors, sleeping under canvas on the ground, loses its appeal for many people. As you age, your creature comforts become more important to you.
However, if you’ve decided that your camping days are behind you, you may have had occasion to feel left out this year. Triggered by the COVID-driven slump in overseas travel and the subsequent huge hike in demand for UK holidays, camping has seen a resurgence this summer. Many families have taken to camping simply because they could not afford soaring UK hotel prices, or because everything else was booked up. If you were invited along for a camping trip with the grandchildren but couldn’t bring yourself to endure the cool, soggy mornings and midnight toilet trips, you might have to reconsider your position. Anyone who has invested in camping gear this year to get a post-pandemic holiday will be keen to make the most of their investment with lots of future use.
Plus, a lot of people have discovered that camping is really, really fun, especially for kids. Don’t be surprised if you get a repeat invitation next year. If that’s the case, maybe you should think again about your retirement from outdoor holidaying. After all, age is but a number, and there are lots of ways to ensure a camping trip turns out to be a fun, enjoyable and comfortable experience for all ages. Here’s what you need to know.
Big tents will help you avoid aches and pains
We get it. One of the main reasons senior citizens get to a point where they can’t face the idea of camping is because they envisage cramped little tents that they have to crawl into and lots of bending down when they’re inside. If you’re not as flexible and supple as you once were, this can lead to serious discomfort. Camping for senior citizens can often seem inaccessible and uncomfortable.
But tents don’t have to be small and cramped. With their traditional central pole structure, bell tents are designed to make it easy to stand up straight and move around freely inside. Not only that, but the more room you have in a tent, the better you can kit it out with the kind of gear that is going to increase the comfort of your stay.
You don’t have to sleep on the ground - so don’t!
Camping doesn’t automatically mean you have to sleep on the hard ground, which is another guaranteed way to end up with aching limbs and a sore back. The first thing you should think about after sourcing a large tent that allows for easy movement inside it is getting raised cots to sleep on. These are proven to help with campers who suffer from bad backs, and being off the ground will also help you stay warmer.
Create a comfortable living area
One issue people have with camping is that their tent gives them a place to sleep but that’s it. What do you do if you just want to take a load off for a while and relax? As you get older, you are probably less interested in being on the move from dusk til dawn and will appreciate somewhere to sit and relax.
Taking comfortable folding chairs is strongly recommended. Of course, you will hope the weather is fine enough to allow you to sit outside in the sun, but as you can’t always rely on the British weather, it is also a good idea to have an indoor space you can sit in. Again, this is a big benefit of larger tents. Models that have separate living compartments to the bedroom are particularly useful, as they can double up as a seating, dining and storage areas,
Upgrade your amenities
The standard view of camping is that to get into the spirit of things, you have to embrace the rough and ready. Cooking on gas stoves, lighting your way at night with torches, keeping warm with blankets and perhaps a campfire. Yes, it all has a certain romance to it. But not everyone wants to spend their holidays denied the amenities they are used to in their own home.
Camping doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your creature comforts. One thing you can do is choose a pitch with an electric hook up. With the simple addition of electricity, the whole camping experience becomes little different to staying in a caravan or motorhome. Camping versions of pretty much any appliance you can think of are available - kettles, cookers, refrigerators, even a heater to keep you toasty on chilly evenings!
Make sure you get travel insurance
One final thing to make sure you get for your camping trip is travel insurance. Yes, you might be travelling within the UK, but with COVID still very much a part of day to day life, the risk of testing positive before you go and having to cancel your trip is very real. If you’ve paid for your pitch upfront, you will likely lose your money. Senior UK travel insurance will pay out to cover the cost.