Bear Grylls on camping

Chief scout, adventurer and enthusiastic camper, Bear Grylls. © National Trust magazine

Chief scout, adventurer and enthusiastic camper, Bear Grylls.

Name:
Bear Grylls
Job:
Explorer, author and Chief Scout
Location:
Under canvas

There's something about spending a night in a tent that restores a great sense of peace and simplicity to your life.

It doesn't cost much, it doesn't take much planning and if you don't like somewhere, you just collapse your tent, pack up your things and move on. Perfect. And have you noticed what happens at campsites? People talk to each other.

Camping brings people together. It also makes for great memories. Think about all the holidays and trips you've been on. Which ones do you remember? Chances are it's a small tent at dawn in a field in Norfolk with a flock of migrating birds settling in the next field, the sun climbing in the sky and the prospect of a day stretching out ahead of you. You make your first cup of tea and decide whether you're going to have a swim in the sea or pull on your walking boots and investigate the windmill on the horizon. Or maybe it just poured with rain and it became a memory that still makes you laugh today!

Really camping is about the outdoors. When people go away for a weekend's  camping in the summer it can sometimes feel much longer. That's because you're spending over 15 hours a day outside. For someone who loves the outdoors, the UK in summer becomes a sort of adventure playground. July and August are the classic summer camping months joining friends around a crackling fire enjoying the long nights. The moon is bigger and the world is full of possibilities again.

Any tips for novice campers?

Keep some spare, dry clothes with you! That's the secret. It doesn't matter
how hot or cold it is, if you can't get dry, chances are you'll soon be miserable. So keep spare kit with you and waterproofed, and then you can to change into it after your adventure. Make sure you take a ground mat with you to sleep on and keep your kit away from the sides of the tent. Oh, and if it all goes wrong then borrow someone's else's clothes - that all part of the fun!

Scouting
Anyone who enjoys camping is also likely to enjoy helping other young people get out there too. In Scouting we have over 30,000 young people on joining lists who can't become Scouts because of a shortage of adult volunteers. If you love the outdoors and have even just two hours to spare a month, you can help us give these kids the opportunity of a lifetime.