When it comes to UK breaks, in 2013 camping or caravanning proved 78% more popular than staying in a self-catering property or so say the latest figures from VisitEngland. I expect that in 2014 the number may be slightly higher, considering the rather great summer we have been having (up to now anyway), the glut of summer festivals popping up from no where and the opportunities to have a weekend out in the wilderness running or hiking as I did a few weeks ago at Thunder Run 2014.
So what is it that makes camping so appealing? Well I put it partly down to the success of outdoor adventurers such as Bear Grylls and also the fact that equipment is so much more accessible. Back in 2004, I was living in France as part of my studies and I was always amazed by the range of camping stuff that I could find in Decathlon – a French outdoor store where you can buy anything. It was a completely different story back home.
I had either to pop to a specialist camping shop, Millets, Army store or try and find a cheap-as-chip tent from the Argos catalogue. Anything you could find was always way too specialist for happy campers and also pretty darn expensive for a student. Fast-forward 10 years and you can easily find decent camping stuff that will not cost a packet. One of my favourite stores that helps you carry on camping, hiking and enjoying the great outdoors without blowing your budget is Mountain Warehouse.
Founded in 1997, Mountain Warehouse seems to be going from strength-to-strength. Back in May, they reported a 44 percent hike in profits, which they put down to quality products at competitive prices. And I couldn’t agree more.
Having tried and tested a number of their products, I have to say I have been thoroughly impressed. I was so grateful for the Merino wool thermal pants (was £49.99 now just £19.99) at the recent Latitude Festival. Comfortable and easy-to-wear, they kept me warm throughout the night. The Trek Mat (was £15.99 now £9.99) added an extra layer between myself and the ground so I could get some much-needed kip. As for running, the light-weight Sprint Hydro Bag (was £34.99 now £16.99) has been roomy enough to stuff a change of clothes, shower gel, cards, phone and keys. And Leah’s purple Mountain Warehouse tent, which she used at Thunder Run was a real hit. In fact, I find myself constantly heading to Mountain Warehouse to pick up some camping- or outdoor-related stuff because I know it will be good quality at reasonable prices.
So if like me you find yourself venturing into the wilderness in the next few weeks, it’s worth checking out what Mountain Warehouse has to offer.
Where do you go to buy your camping equipment? Have you been taking advantage of the great outdoors?
Mountain Warehouse sent me a bunch of stuff to try but I have also purchased a microfibre towel, light, ponchos, whistle, tent pegs, waterproof trousers and various other pieces since taking those photos above.