Camping is more than sleeping in a tent and trying to survive the great outdoors. There is so much more to camping with some incredible camping spots from designated campsites to wild camping. For the Army Cadet Force, camping means enjoying nature to its fullest while remaining respectful of local areas.
While camping, there’s a whole host of activities to do, and we’ve included some of our favourites below.
Wild swimming is an activity perfect for camping. Enjoy the great outdoors with a dip in natural water spaces especially on a hot summer’s day. Wild swimming is a fantastic way to cool down and enjoy splashing about with beautiful scenery around you, it definitely beats your normal swimming pool. It is important you stay safe as wild swimming can be dangerous, read our article on how to stay safe while wild swimming and discover some incredible spots. There’s nothing better than a long wild swim and a lovely night’s sleep under the stars to really clear your head!
We usually associate the outdoors with long hikes or scenic walks. But there are other ways to enjoy the countryside and have the same experiences, which is why rock climbing is a great alternative. Not only does it build up your strength as an all-over body workout, but it also trains you to be more resilient. Consider climbing the Peak District or taking a trip down to the coast to climb Dorset’s incredible cliff faces. If heights aren’t for you why not give bouldering a go, a low-level climb but still a challenging activity. After a long and adventurous rock climb, why not reward yourself by camping at the top!
A bike ride is a fantastic way to explore your surroundings and travel greater distances than if you were to hike. Explore on mountain bikes through rockier terrain or take a peaceful ride through country lanes. Whichever it may be, enjoy the cycle through new landscapes and appreciate being outdoors.
Building a Fire
Building a fire is a great way to wind down and relax in the evening especially when temperatures are dropping. Bring marshmallows, biscuits and chocolate to make famous s’mores and have the best time singing campfire songs and eating! When building a fire, ensure you’re in a safe place to do so and be sure to follow the area regulations. If it’s your first time read our tips on how to build a fire pit and campfire!
Building a Bivouac
A bivouac is a temporary shelter for sleeping outside. Often used as an alternative to a tent, you can set one up with large branches, and other items found in nature. If you want to plan ahead, bring some string and a camping knife, to tie together the foliage you find. The idea is that it should completely protect you from the rain! It’s also a fun activity to find and collect all the items and be inventive on how to build it, plus you’ll be learning essential survival skills out in the wild. It can be a great way to work together and the satisfaction of completing the bivouac is like no other!
When out in nature, deep in the countryside why not give stargazing a try! There’s nothing quite like looking up at the stars and seeing what you can discover. Look for constellations, your star sign or even try and navigate the North Star. Summer is the best time to go stargazing as the sky is often clearer and away from city lights. Whether you’re an experienced stargazer using a telescope or a beginner with your unaided eye, there is so much to explore in the world above us.
If you find yourself in one of the outstanding areas of natural beauty, you can be sure to discover endless wildlife around you. From wild deer to tiny bugs, see how many animals you can spot and don’t forget to document it with a photo! Dust off your camera for a real offline experience or take them using your smartphone. Remember with wildlife to keep your distance and respect their habitat – this is where the zoom function comes in handy! Create memories too by capturing the moment while in nature, whether documenting photos with friends and family or stunning landscape photos of your surroundings.
Enjoy fishing in the great outdoors! Head outside and enjoy a peaceful afternoon on the lake whether you’re fishing for fun or for dinner. See how many different types of fish you can catch and make it a fun afternoon for the whole family! Remember to pack a fishing rod and bait for your next camping adventure!
Have the best time this summer camping and don’t forget to pack everything you need with our ultimate camping checklist, and be safe, wherever you are. To experience camping and more fun outdoor activities why not find an ACF detachment near you and join the Army Cadet Force!