Camping is a great way to enjoy some much-needed time away with the family and immerse yourself in the great outdoors. You can get away from the tedium of daily routines without the risks associated with going abroad. Camping is a very different way to embrace the humble ‘staycation’. However, we know that lots of older people might think their camping days are behind them. From mobility issues to aches and pains, several things could get in the way. With this in mind, we’re sharing our top camping tips for older people.
Camping Tips for Older People
We believe that age shouldn’t be a barrier to enjoying the great British countryside. However, we know that lots of us might need a little extra preparation to get the most out of a camping trip. So, without further ado, here are our top camping tips.
1. Choose the Right Tent
When it comes to camping, what could be more important than your tent? You should make sure that your tent is comfortable and easy to pitch and put away. It’s particularly helpful to opt for a taller tent that allows you to stand up to your full height. Bending, stooping, or even crawling on hands and knees for a couple of days could leave you with some nasty backache for weeks after your trip. Glow-in-the-dark guy ropes are a handy feature too, as they are less of a trip hazard at night. Above all, make sure your tent is waterproof. Double-walled tents are the best choice here. You can buy tents online, but it’s a good idea to pick one up in person. Stores like Go Outdoors often pitch tents and display them on site, to give you a sense of scale.
Luckily, modern tents are relatively easy to pitch. Therefore, we would say it’s worth investing in a tunnel tent to give you maximum standing room, with enough floor space for a good air mattress. This leads us nicely onto the second of our camping tips…
2. Sleep in Style
We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep. That’s why it’s so important to find the best sleeping arrangement for your camping trip. You might struggle to get comfortable with just a thin foam sleeping mat and sleeping bag. Instead, we would advise opting for a foldaway camping bed, air mattress, or even both. Similarly to choosing a tent, you should consider the height of your camping bed, as it might be difficult to get in and out of a bed that is particularly low to the ground.
Some of the best options for older campers include double-height air mattresses – many of which come with built-in pumps. Lots of campers swear by the combination of a foldaway camping bed and a self-inflating sleeping mat on top. There are a few things to consider here: how you would pump up an inflatable air mattress, how much space you have in your car and tent for bulkier foldaway beds, and how much you are willing to spend. However, if you are willing to shop around, you can usually find a bargain or two.
Once you’ve chosen your sleeping setup, just make sure you don’t forget the pillows!
3. Keep it Cosy
Despite the soaring temperatures we’ve seen recently, it’s crucially important for older campers to keep warm at night. This goes double for people with joint problems, as the cold can wreak havoc with troublesome joints. Next on our list of camping tips is: make sure you pack plenty of jumpers, blankets, and a good cosy pair of pyjamas. Layers are key! It might also be worth bringing a hot water bottle or two, which you could fill up with a handy camping stove and kettle.
In addition, be sure to zip your tent up fully before you turn in for the night. For maximum warmth, your sleeping bag could be a major factor…
4. Sleeping Bag for Life
While sleeping bags are available cheaply in high street shops and supermarkets, we would argue that it’s definitely a purchase worth splashing out on. A good quality sleeping bag will keep you warmer and last longer than a budget model. If you are someone who feels the cold especially keenly, try looking for a mummy-style sleeping bag that you can pull snug around your face and neck. For optimum comfort, choose a cotton or cotton-lined bag, rather than a nylon option.
5. Have a Practice Run
If you have the space, perhaps in your garden or even in the living room, it’s worth practicing pitching your tent before you go camping. This will give you an idea of how long it will take you, how easy or difficult it is, and whether you might need an extra pair of hands on the day.
Stay Safe With Carelink24
It’s great to do adventurous things like camping as you get older. While you stay active and busy, it’s also important to stay safe. A Carelink24 alarm can help you continue living safely in your home, by connecting you to our 24-hour Care Team. If you ever have a fall at home, all you need to do is press your Carelink24 alarm button. Our Care Team will answer your call and send help directly to your home.
You can also order your Carelink24 alarm online, alongside a range of helpful accessories.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 8th August 2022 to reflect current information.