Camping has moved on since the 20th century era – a military style canvas ridge tent, sweaty groundsheet and heavyweight, lumpy sleeping bag was your lot. Nowadays you can opt for accommodation which is both close to nature and also extremely comfortable, guaranteeing a good night’s sleep between days of exhilarating outdoor activities.
The range of options is huge. On our holidays, even the most basic camping set up, suitable for remote locations on a trek, for example, may involve state-of-the-art lightweight tents, easily erected, and thermarest-style inflatable or memory foam mats. Bring (or hire locally) a super-soft down sleeping bag, weighing less than a couple of kilos it will not take up much room in your luggage. You will have porters to carry most of your gear, pitch your tent and toilet facility and have a hot meal simmering on the stove when you arrive.
If you don’t want to be on the move, but still hanker after an outdoor experience off the beaten track, you can opt for a more upmarket version - “glamping”, which has been soaring in popularity over the past few years. Putting a bit of glamour into camping, glamping is inspired by long-standing African safari-style camps, where accommodation is in fixed tents, many as spacious and well-furnished as hotels. There's a variety of styles: domes, yurts, airstream camper vans - take your pick. They are usually found in more remote rural or coastal settings and a stay based there may involve hikes, kayaking , cycling or other activities appropriate to the location.
At one end of the glamping scale are simple cosy domes with proper beds, some with shared facilities. At the other end are relatively luxurious camps where you have a beautifully appointed tent with private facilities and heating (where appropriate) and where you’ll be offered good food and service at the highest level.