We're a nation of campers – and only the best will do...

We're a nation of campers – and only the best will do...

12 June 2017

It’s official. We Brits love camping. According to research by retailer Halfords, this summer almost half of us will set off on a camping holiday – as more than 43% of Brits look forward to spending a summer sleeping under the canvas.

As the temperature soars, staycation camping holidays are on the up, and we love it: 54% said exploring the great outdoors is their main motivation for camping, while one in two (50%) said they’ll be camping because it is more affordable than holidaying abroad. For 41%, camping is the perfect way to spend time with family, while almost a quarter (23%) look forward to getting away from the stresses of modern life and switching off from technology.

Halfords’ survey of 2,000 people revealed that when it comes to camping, we’re a competitive bunch: like those who rise early to reserve their sun loungers when holidaying abroad, 25% of those polled like to arrive early to the campsite to snag the best spot and set up their tent early. A competitive 16% like to be the first to pitch their tent, racing friends or loved ones to claim bragging rights. And one in 10 race to get to the shower blocks first every morning, before the hot water runs out.

It’s not just cars and houses that we see as status symbols, as almost one in 10 of campers (9%) want to have the biggest tent at the campsite so they can show off to the neighbours, and 8% admitting to scoping out what gear their fellow campers have in advance so they might one-up them. When it comes to kitting out their pitch, 9% can’t wait to set up an epic fire pit, 8% bring their own portaloo and 7% decorate with flags or fairy lights.

But, despite the competitive spirit that seems to descend on us however we’re holidaying, we are a friendly lot at heart, with 16% keen to meet their camping neighbours as soon as they arrive, and 12% cracking open the bubbly as soon as they’re set up. A savvy 6% even say they get to know the on-site staff for extra perks.

The research also revealed that despite being a nation of campers, we’re not always happy… pet peeves include having to go outside to use the toilet, 42% citing this as the most annoying part of their camping trip. A third (34%) said disruptive neighbours tend to get on their nerves, including 6% who’ve overheard nookie noises – those campers obviously not bothered by the lack of privacy (something that 15% admitted was the worst bit about camping).

Despite wanting to explore the great outdoors and get away from the daily grind, 20% admit to missing domestic creature comforts while they’re on the campsite, 18% struggle to sleep under the canvas, and 19% complain that they’re either too hot or too cold and can’t get comfortable. Kids – our own or others’ – can be a bit of a pain too for 19%, who say that kids running amok are the most annoying thing while camping.

David Howells, Halfords motoring and leisure accessories expert says: “Sales across camping and outdoor leisure were up 45% on April to May last year, and it’s no surprise that Brits are choosing to holiday in the UK rather than travelling abroad, which can be expensive and stressful. And it’s really easy to forget that we live in one of the world’s top tourist destinations. I’ll be holidaying at home in Cornwall this year, making the most of the beaches and tranquil life of the south west, but there are plenty of hidden gems to discover, like cycling in the Lake District’s Whinlatter Forest or family camping at the Cotswold Farm Park. It’s a great time to get out and explore.”

And many have an embarrassing story to tell – camping stories that make us giggle. Some highlights from the survey include:

  • Seeing a tent moving from side to side as neighbours indulged in a night of passion
  • A storm blowing away a tent while the camper was sat there naked
  • Tripping over camping guy ropes and crashing into a neighbour’s tent
  • Slipping off to the toilets in just underwear – and being seen
  • Doing anything – innocent or otherwise – with the lights on, and realising the whole site could see the silhouette of what was going on
  • Going back to the wrong tent – a neighbour with exactly the same set-up
  • Overhearing a neighbour loudly breaking wind
  • Getting caught out with an upset stomach

This summer, whether you’re off for the school holidays with the family, heading to a festival or want to make the most of the good weather with an impromptu trip, save big with Halfords’ 20% off staycations essentials summer camping promotion, which includes discounts of up to half price.

For further information please contact Halfords@z-pr.com or 020 7896 3404

Or visit www.halfords.com or www.halfordscompany.com