The best way to camp

This past weekend I went away to a Christian conference and we were camping.

As some of you may know, I don’t rate camping in England particularly highly. In fact, I think it borders on ridiculous that you have to pay to put up a canvas dome 3 feet away from strangers in someone’s field.

If I’m going camping I want it to either be incredibly nice or like I’m in nature, not on an opportune farmer’s spare land. Take this camping plot in Canada for instance:

Canada camping

Exactly how I remember it…

It has trees, it has a fire pit, it has a picnic table and your neighbours are now at least 20 feet away, it works well.

But if camping really is what you want to do, then the best way to camp is to use a tent you can stand up in.

I know this sounds simple but it really is so important.

Remember all those times you had to crouch down just to fit in your tent, or when you had to the body shimmy to put your trousers on whilst you were lying down? They will be a part of the past if you can stand up.

It also provides you with a sense that everything is normal and it will all be OK. When you’re in a tent half your height it feels pretty unnatural and you know you will have a bad back after a while. Whereas a tent you can stand up in is a real blessing to your spine as you are able to stretch to the best of your abilities.


This man is sad because he spent so long in his low tent that he has now forgotten how to stand

Finally, when the rain comes, you don’t have to sit cross-legged feeling sorry for yourself, you can stand up tall and proud, doing some jumping jacks if they take your fancy.

We all know the rain comes often in Britain and if you have to spend your entire weekend in Cornwall being protected by some fabric, you had better hope you can stand up. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures.

I hope I have convinced you that you really need a tall tent when you’re camping. I certainly appreciated it this week.

Before I finish, let me leave you with a cautionary tale about a man named Craig.

Craig loved camping but knew little about it. Craig also had a bad back. His friends suggested that they all went on a camping trip. Tent-less Craig went shopping and bought a tent without seeing if he could stand up in it.

Once the troupe had arrived to their depressing field, Craig unfurled his tent and found he had to crawl to get in because it was so short. Craig thought it would be OK. Craig thought crawling in would be fine.

Craig's tent

Poor Craig and his poorly drawn, levitating tent

Craig was wrong.

Craig died later that trip from a bear attack. His back had been so stiff from not being able to stand that he couldn’t run away. The bear got Craig because of the tent.

Next time you purchase a tent, please do not take that decision lightly.