The 10 Benefits Of Camping & How To Do It Right
At Valley & Peak, we’re passionate about people getting outdoors and enjoying nature as it was intended. Whether you’re a camper, a backpacker, or a hiker, we stock over 60 dedicated brands offering everything from tents to head torches.
Camping has a whole host of benefits, so we decided to shine the spotlight on a few to really get you thinking about pitching up sometime soon. If you’re a camping novice we’ve included some expert knowledge on exactly what you’ll need for a great experience, as well as answering some frequently asked questions.
Increased exposure to natural light
Natural light can help to restore your circadian rhythm which will contribute to greater sleep quality. A circadian rhythm, also known as a circadian cycle, is a natural internal process that regulates your sleep and wake pattern.
Cells in your brain react to light and dark stimuli. Your eyes capture environmental changes that send signals to cells in your body about when it’s time to be sleepy or awake.
In nature, we follow the environment's natural cues for when it’s time to sleep and wake up. Often starting to wind down and relax when the sun sets and making the most of the day by waking at sunrise. At home we’re exposed to artificial light late into the night with many of us even taking our mobiles to bed.
Mobiles emit blue light which can suppress the production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. This pushes back the time that people go to sleep, as it makes them ignore their body's natural signs of tiredness. Becoming overtired and overstimulated from TV shows and phone use can make it harder to fall asleep.
We recommend saving your phone's battery and putting it away in the evenings when camping. Allow yourself to wind down and sleep when the sun sets, traditionally around 9pm during summer months in the UK.
Studies conducted in 2022 show 95% of people feel external pressure to overwork. Hustle culture was coined in the 1970s, however, it has increased in popularity over the last two decades.
Hustle culture centres around the idea that working as many hours as possible and sacrificing self-care and family time is a requirement for being successful. This is not the case. You can be incredibly successful and have a healthy work-life balance.
When we’re too focused on our work life it can be easy to neglect our relationships at home. Our family and friends are the ones that miss out on spending quality time with us.
Camping gives you the opportunity to reconnect, whether it be with your partner, children, friends, or other family members. Create memories and bond through shared activities.
Research by Harvard University states that camping can make us feel closer to one another. Physical proximity to the ones we love can help us feel like we know them better, subsequently ensuring we enjoy the time we spend with them even more.
Camping allows us to partake in activities that we don’t usually do in our day-to-day life. Rounders, hiking, bike rides, picnics and so much more can be enjoyed together. This time away from work will be greatly beneficial for you and your loved ones.
Developing new skills
It’s common to learn survival skills when on a camping trip. These skills will provide you with basic necessities such as water, food, and shelter. Many outdoor activities that people take part in during camping trips, hiking, fishing, and horse riding, require an element of basic wilderness survival skills.
Survival skills include basic first-aid, being able to build a shelter, starting a fire, sourcing food and water, and navigating potentially rough terrain.
Accidents caused by the environment are not rare on camping trips, therefore having basic first-aid skills is imperative for survival.
Animal and plant recognition will help you to recognise potential dangers such as poisonous flowers. Building a campfire will enable you to cook or keep warm. It’s also a fun activity to do together.
Camping can help to build fortitude and encourage problem-solving. Mental stamina is something many of us lack, living a very urban lifestyle we’re often not put into situations that test our resilience. Getting used to being in uncomfortable or difficult circumstances can help you to make reasonable decisions and stay calm in extreme situations in the future.
You could even take up a new hobby such as abseiling, mountain biking, skiing, or hiking. These are all great skills that will get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping and ensure you have a really memorable trip. These are also activities you can partake in even when you’re not camping.
Increasing physical fitness
On average adults spend between 4-6 hours a day sitting down, this figure increases yearly. It is said that over 25% of adults are considered physically inactive. Office jobs and working from home push many people to have sedentary lifestyles.
After working long hours, spending time with family, and ticking everything else off the to-do list, exercise can often be put on the back burner. Camping offers many opportunities to get active without even trying.
Going to the gym or partaking in gruelling home workouts isn’t for everyone. Strolling in the countryside, hiking up mountains like Snowdon or Cheddar Gorge and taking the scenic route on your bike are all enjoyable things to do with friends and family or even solo, that get your body moving whilst remaining fun. Camping trips allow you the time needed to participate in these kinds of activities.
Connecting with nature
We’re all guilty of feeling disconnected from time to time. In a world where we’re all instantly connected through the devices in our pockets, it’s alarming how many people feel disconnected from the ‘real world’.
It’s positive to see that government official websites suggest there has been an increase in the amount of time people spend doing outdoor recreational activities since 2020. Doctors suggest that as little as two hours a week can have a positive effect on mental-wellbeing and overall health.
Camping gives us the opportunity to put the ‘out of office’ message on our emails and be present. Breathe in the fresh air and exhale stress. Walk barefoot in the grass, trust us on this one.
Walking barefoot on grass can help you to connect with the Earth. It has been found to help reduce white blood cells and increase red blood cells, which can help with immunity. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation, increase antioxidants and improve sleep.
Exploring new surroundings
With work commitments and busy schedules, it can sometimes seem like months go by without visiting somewhere outside of your catchment area.
Whilst it’s nice to have the comfort of knowing your surroundings like the back of your hand, it can get boring.
Here are some ideas of ways to explore what's on offer in your new environment:
- Locate local eateries within a 10-mile radius and try them all or at least a couple.
- Set yourself a walking challenge. Can you and your fellow campers hit a combined 200 miles during your time away?
- Sign up for a National Trust membership and get access to over 500 locations whilst supporting historic spaces and green places.
- Abseiling, rock climbing, canoeing and potholing are all activities that are sure to leave you feeling elated.
Feeling grateful for home comforts
Camping often has the stereotype of ‘roughing it’ for a few days. The advancements that have been made to camping equipment mean ‘roughing it’ is a thing of the past. However, even with the highest quality tent, down sleeping bag, and ultralight stove, you can still miss your home comforts.
We’re all guilty of taking things for granted. We live in a society where instant gratification is expected. If we need anything we order it and it arrives the next day.
Our homes can be heated within the hour and we have immediate access to hot water. Sometimes it takes stripping us of these things to make us appreciate what we have.
Camping allows us to go home with a newfound appreciation for the simple things in life we take for granted on a daily basis.
Peace & Quiet
Silence can have a significantly positive psychological effect on you. Quiet time allows a sense of peacefulness which can help you to reduce stress, listen to your inner self and focus on your goals.
Hectic lifestyles can get in the way of having a moment to yourself. On a camping trip, there are lots of opportunities for you to have time alone. Whether you want to sit peacefully around a campfire or go for a walk in tranquil nature.
Peace and quiet can allow you to channel your inner energy. Give yourself clarity to focus on challenges that may have previously been draining you. You shouldn’t underestimate the power of silence and how peace permits growth.
A new focus
People who are dedicated to a hobby are less likely to suffer from stress and develop mental illnesses such as depression. Outdoor hobbies are linked to increased relaxation and feelings of contentment.
Doing something meaningful outside of your day-to-day life can help to give you a profound sense of purposefulness and life satisfaction.
A new focus can be just what people need if they feel they’re stuck in a rut or their day-to-day life has become mundane.
UK holidaymakers spend an average of £4,000 on holidays per year. It can be easy to think you can’t put a price on fun and memorable experiences.
However, with the cost-of-living crisis, everyone is having to find ways of saving money. Once you have initially invested in durable, high-quality camping gear, you’ll be set for years to come.
Whether you decide to camp in the UK or go abroad you’ll still be saving money on expensive hotels. Many campsites can cost as little as £15 per night.
The activities on a camping trip are often free or inexpensive. You can even learn to cook new things on the stove to cut down on eating out expenses.
What you’ll need for a successful camping trip
A great camping trip starts with great equipment. Having everything you need to make your camp feel like a home away from home. At Valley & Peak, we’re a family-run business that supplies a range of tried and tested products for outdoor lovers.
Our friendly team is always happy to offer expert help and advice and would recommend the following products for a seamless camping trip.
A tent is an essential part of camping. Helping you sleep peacefully whilst protecting you from the elements. It also allows you to safely store your camping equipment whilst you’re out enjoying yourself.
We understand that buying a tent can be an investment, so you want to ensure you get it right the first time. There are so many things to take into consideration, such as size, shape, and included features.
Whether you’re looking for a backpacking tent, bikepacking tent, ultralight tent, mountain shelter, or family tent, at Valley & Peak we have something to suit your needs.
Whether you’re setting up camp to reconnect with your partner or you’re about to have an action-packed adventure with a friend, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 person backpacking tent is ideal. This tent can do it all whilst remaining lightweight and compactable. The non-tapered floor maximises space and the integrated, adjustable stake-out loops make setting up fast and efficient.
If you’re looking for something larger to enjoy with your family the Roben Double Dreamer 5 person family tent should more than cover your needs. It’s also a great tent for adventurers who are looking for space and comfort.
The rain-safe side door entrance allows for water-free access. The double low vents are enhanced with mesh for insect-free ventilation. The mesh window helps natural light penetrate the tent, whilst the water-proof curtain provides privacy and keeps the inside of the tent dry in wet weather.
We also offer tents and accessories for solo campers and smaller groups, check out our range of tents and shelters from trusted brands such as Exped, Sierra Designs, and Big Agnes.
You’ve packed the car with your tent, sleeping bags and camping chairs, you haven’t even forgotten the portable charger. However, you spend the week feeling uncomfortable, wishing you’d spent more time contemplating your wardrobe choices.
Camping is by no means a fashion show, but you need functional clothing that will work with changing and often unpredictable weather and demanding activities. Our range of outdoor clothing means you don’t have to compromise on style for comfort and durability.
The Outdoor Research men's helium rain jacket is the perfect match for an overcast day where rain is likely. Don’t let bad weather get in the way of enjoying your camping experience. This coat has been a bestseller for over 12 years. It’s tried, tested and reliable.
Packing down to the size of your palm for easy storing when the sun comes out. This breathable, lightweight jacket takes waterproof protection to the next level. The Pertex Shield with Diamond Fuse technology makes it tear-resistant so you can feel protected on the toughest of trails.
If you love to camp, we’d be smart to presume you may enjoy other outdoor activities. If you love to partake in ultra-races or other high-output alpine pursuits such as skiing or climbing, the Black Diamond Mont Blanc Gloves are a must-have.
They’re named after the renowned ultra-trail du Mont Blanc Race. They allow your skin to breathe whilst keeping your hands warm in temperatures as low as -4. The textured grip and digital fingertips let you carry and use anything from trekking poles to your mobile.
If you’re hoping to feel ultra relaxed and don’t fancy taking part in an ultra-trail, the Therm-a-rest Honcho Poncho needs to find its way onto your packing list. It can be used as an insulated adventure poncho, accompanying you on any outdoor activity where you may need extra warmth or water resistance.
However, it can also be used as a cosy blanket. Worn as an extra layer when relaxing around the campfire or if you’re feeling the cold during the night. Made using easily compressible eraLoft insulation that uses hollow fibres to reduce weight without sacrificing warmth.
Outdoor gear takes a bit of a beating, tasked with keeping us warm and dry time after time whilst getting covered in dirt and harmful residue. Treat your clothing to Granger Performance Wash, it removes dirt and eliminates odours that have built up. It does this whilst maintaining any remaining water repellency. We recommend using it as a pre-treatment ahead of reproofing your gear.
We stock both down and synthetic sleeping bags. We’re often asked what the differences are and which are best. We think both are great so we’ll tell you the differences and let you decide for yourself.
Synthetic sleeping bags absorb less moisture than down and are known to dry faster. They’re said to be a great option if you’re camping in wet conditions. They’re also great value for money if you’re looking for a high-quality sleeping bag to suit all budgets.
For a synthetic sleeping bag built to last and keep you dry even during the rainy season we have the Therm-a-rest Saros 20 sleeping bag. This sleeping bag ensures wet conditions don’t dampen your sense of adventure.
Made with easily compressible and highly efficient eraLoft insulation to reduce weight without compromising on warmth. The W.A.R.M fit means you’re able to move into multiple natural sleeping positions whilst maintaining the thermal efficiency of the sleeping bag.
The SynergyLink connectors allow you to connect your sleeping bag to a pad for optimum comfort. In order to maximise warmth there is zoned insulation intentionally placed where you need it most. Potentially one of our favourite features is the ergonomic Toe-asis foot warmer pocket made to rapidly warm feet.
Down sleeping bags are lighter and have warmer insulation, they’re best for cold-dry weather conditions. Down sleeping bags are extremely resilient and can last up to 10 years with the correct care whereas synthetic lasts around 3-4 years.
The Kelty Cosmic Ultra 0F (-18C) Dridown Sleeping Bag is an ultralight mummy sleeping bag. Offering fantastic value for money, with features usually seen on sleeping bags with a much higher price tag.
With a comfort limit of -8 and a limit of -18, Kelty has been inspired by their top-selling Cosmic sleeping bag and has added 800 fill Hydrophobic Dridown for incredible warmth.
The trapezoidal baffle construction helps to retain heat along with the natural-fit foot box for toasty toes, even in extreme weather conditions.
If you know you’re going to be camping during the coldest seasons, potentially when it’s snowing and you’re dealing with temperatures below 0, you may wish for an extra layer. Alternatively, you may prefer sleeping under a quilt to allow yourself more freedom of movement.
The Enlightened Equipment Enigma 850 Quilt is the lightest and most minimalist quilt in their collection. This is the perfect quilt for those who always get cold feet. The 850fp down used in this quilt is ethically sourced from an RDS certified supplier.
Extraordinarily warm and exceptionally light, offering upper body freedom whilst keeping feet structured and warm. You will need to use this quilt with a sleeping mat/pad to provide insulation underneath you, between yourself and the ground.
A sleeping mat or air pad, whatever you choose to call them, can help you get a better night’s rest. You can have the cosiest sleeping bag but it doesn’t always make sleeping on the cold tent floor any more comfortable.
The new Therm-a-rest Neoair Xlite NXT Sleeping mat has an improved internal construction that reduces noise by 83% in comparison to their previous model. It’s 7.6 cm (3 inches) thick, but just because it’s thicker doesn’t mean it's heavier.
The ThermaCapture technology and Triangular Core Matrix construction radiates your body heat, which reduces convective heat loss. The low bulk material that the mat is made of allows it to pack down to the size of a 1L water bottle.
Whilst this sleeping mat comes with a pump pack if you’re looking for an alternative pump or you’re wanting a pump that does a little more, the Exped Widget is an affordable and handy gadget to pack.
This effortless and fast electric pump can also be used as a camping light for up to 72 hours or to charge devices such as your mobile phone. The widget has a silent mode that allows you to inflate sleeping mats late at night without waking up your fellow campmates. An ideal gift for any budding camper.
Head torches are great for activities such as caving, hiking, skiing, backpacking, biking, and so much more. Ideal for when you need to be hands-free at night or in dark conditions.
Our range of head torches come with different strength lumens. In simple terms lumens are a measure of the total amount of visible light. The more lumens the brighter the light.
If you’re looking for a light to use whilst reading in your tent, a torch with lower lumens is recommended, so you don’t blind others. If you plan to be walking at night, a more intense light, so higher lumens, will help to keep you safe.
The Black Diamond Spot 400-R Headlamp offers a range of impressive features in a compact package. Powered by an integrated 1500 mAh Li-ion battery with a micro-USB charge port. With an impressive 400 Lumen max output, don’t let its small size deceive you.
It’s designed and tested to operate at least 1.0 metres underwater for 30 minutes. The recycled elastic headband features comfortable next to skin reprieve fibre construction for comfort even when wet.
The settings include full strength and distance modes, dimming, red night-vision, and strobe. The PowerTap technology allows you to instantly adjust between max and dimmed power.
The integrated battery display shows a % of power remaining so you’ll never be caught out unexpectedly.
The Petzl Tikkina Headlamp offers 250-lumen brightness making it ideal for reading at night or for short trips to the toilet. The hybrid design means it comes with three standard batteries. It’s compatible with the CORE rechargeable battery to help you cut down on sending batteries to landfill.
The headband is easily detached so you’re able to wash it between trips. Often people don’t think of washing their head torch band, but faces and heads can get extremely sweaty during hikes and other outdoor activities. We recommend washing between trips to get rid of unpleasant odours and bacteria.
The glow of the campfire is beautiful and emits enough light for sharing stories. However, it’s not recommended to carry the campfire to the toilet or take it into your tent.
A camping lantern is easy to carry with you wherever you need it. Whether you want an original candle lantern that can reduce dampness/condensation in your tent and act as an insect repellent when using citronella candles or a modern lantern that’s lightweight and rechargeable, we have you covered.
The UCO Gear 9 Hour Original Candle Lantern Kit includes the Original Candle Lantern, a side reflector to direct light and a cocoon to help prevent scratches, dents, and glass breakage when on your travels. The carry handle and hanging hoop make for safe hanging and carrying.
The spring-powered candle tube pushes the candle up into the lantern as it burns, this keeps the flame burning at a constant height. You can use UCO 9-hour, citronella, or beeswax candles depending on your preference.
If candle lanterns aren’t for you, the Black Diamond Apollo Lantern with 250 lumens of bright, glare-free, and fully adjustable light might be what you’re looking for. It runs on either an internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery or standard alkalines.
You can use it to charge handheld devices via the external USB port. The folding legs and double-hook loop mean you can place it on a table or hang it from your tent or a tree.
Whether you’re cooking, playing cards in your tent, or packing up camp, this is the ideal lantern. It even has strobe mode and a unique dimming function for adjustable brightness.
There are so many delicious meals you can cook on a camping stove. Think chilli con carne, mac ‘n cheese, stew, and chicken noodle soup.
One of our favourites is the ‘One pan big breakfast’ it serves 4-5. All you’ll need is:
5 large free-range eggs
Ripe cherry tomatoes
2 medium potatoes cut into small chunks
1 tbsp of olive oil to cook
Heat your oil in a large pan and add the sausages, once cooked through add in the potatoes and cook till softened, then add your tomatoes. Move all ingredients to one side and crack in your eggs. Serve with fresh orange juice for the perfect pre-hike breakfast fix.
Of course, if cooking isn’t for you we have a range of easy high-energy camping meals from chicken tikka to pasta arrabiata and so much more.
The Soto Windmaster w/micro regulator stove allows you to boil two cups of water in under two and a half minutes, ideal for that much anticipated morning coffee.
The stove is designed so the pot sits close to the flame, making it efficient even in windy weather.
The MSR Pocketrocket Deluxe Stove is ultralight and the premium features ensure a consistently excellent cooking experience. With a pressure regulator it is ideal for all-condition environments. A faster boil time than non-regulated canister-mounted stoves.
It has the most durable push-start Piezo Igniter and a broad burner head for better heat distribution and simmering.
Other kitchen essentials
We recommend the following products to make your cooking/eating experience simple and enjoyable.
The Cascade Wild UL Folding Table is an ultralight backpacking folding table that you can set up quickly to keep your cooking or camping gear off the ground. You can put two together to make a larger surface too.
You can turn the table upside down to create a convenient tray to eat your dinner off, use to play games, or store items together in your tent.
Each table has a 5” strip of high-intensity micro-prismatic reflective tape, this acts as a reflective beacon for when you arrive back at camp after dark.
The Tetra Drip Collapsible Coffee Dripper weighs just a few grams when stored flat. If you’re a coffee connoisseur and want great coffee even when you’re outdoors, you need this. It combines stability and portability, taking up virtually no space.
Compatible with cone filters, it can brew up to 1.5 cups of coffee and can be placed on a cup/bottle with a mouth diameter of 48-95m. Also available in stainless steel.
If you’re looking for an ultralight pot for your stove the Evernew Titanium Untralight Pot is made of 0.3mm paper-thin titanium making it 20% lighter than the conventional model. This lightweight pot is hand-pressed by highly experienced Japanese craftsmen and doesn't compromise on quality.
At Valley & Peak we’ve been using this pot for over 10 years now so we have the confidence to say it’s an excellent piece of kit. It may look like it’s initially a bit of an investment, but we know seasoned campers who have used this product for 20 years and can confirm that other than a slight dint, it’s just as good as the day they purchased it. That works out at just £3.25 a year which we believe offers impressive value for money.
Backpacks are multi-purpose, a great way of bringing your clothes, toiletries, and clothing essentials on your camping trip. Once you’ve arrived and unpacked they can be used for hiking trips and other adventures to carry your water, snacks, first aid kit, and other relevant equipment.
At Valley & Peak, we have a large range of comfortable backpacks renowned for their durability and dynamic versatility.
The Gregory Focal 48 Backpack has unrivalled carrying ability due to its FreeFloat hip belt, odour-fighting mesh, and fully ventilated back panel. Helping you to stay cool even during the highest intensity pursuits.
The ultralight suspension with flex panels enables the bag to move with your natural movements. The hip belt pockets are ideal for mobile phones and wallets that you may want quick access to.
The integrated safety whistle and hydration clip are just some of the features this backpack offers.
Whether you’re looking for something big or small the Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor 25-40L Backpack does it all. It won’t come as a surprise that this bag was designed by well-known long distance backpacker Andrew Skurka.
This backpack features adjustable volume meaning it works for all of your trips, whether you’re planning on camping for a few days or a week.
The range has three sizes, these are 25-40L, 40-60L, and 60-75L capacity. This innovative design offers a nice airflow through the gap created by the shoulder and lumber pads keeping you cool during the summer months.
If minimalist, comfortable, and functional are at the top of your list of backpack musts, the Bonfus Iterus 38L Ultra200 Ultralight Pack is a dream come true. Ideal for multi-day trips and ultralight adventures.
Made with the most technologically advanced waterproof materials and some of the best pack fabric on the market, it’s a lightweight and durable backpack. This bag is highly water resistant, not waterproof, so a pack liner is recommended to ensure your backpack content remains dry.
The stretchy spandex/nylon front mesh ensures you can store as much gear as you need. The comfortable 11mm thick shoulder straps are padded with EVA-foam and 3D spacer mesh.
The Important Parts
We’ve discussed a lot in this blog and we hope you’ve found something valuable to take away with you. Our main points are, take up camping to boost mental well-being, build relationships, get closer to nature, and increase physical activity.
Shop our range of tents, sleeping bags, outdoor clothing, head torches, lanterns, backpacks, and cooking essentials to ensure you have everything you need for a relaxed and enjoyable trip.
Below we’ve answered some questions we’re frequently asked by our customers. If these don’t answer your questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing our friendly team with over 40 years of camping and backpacking experience on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you send us your phone number and a time that’s convenient for us to call, we’ll get back in touch as soon as we can, even if it’s out of our business hours.
Answering some frequently asked questions
How should I store my sleeping bag?
It’s tempting to keep your sleeping bag compressed to save space at home. However, this can make your insulator less effective over time and decrease its longevity.
When you’re backpacking and pulling your sleeping bag out every night, compression isn’t a big deal, but if you’re storing it for months in between trips you need to let your sleeping bag hang up in a dry space.
Don’t store in a musty loft, non-breathable bin liners or storage containers.
What do I need to know about camping?
- Always check the weather forecast and pre-plan for bad weather.
- Use a packing list, this will make sure you don’t forget that all-important portable charger.
- Always pack a first-aid kit, and include insect repellent.
- Don’t pitch under a tree. Falling branches can be dangerous and cause damage to your tent. Also, no one likes cleaning bird poo off a tent.
What are the 10 essentials I need for camping?
- A good quality tent
- Sleeping bag, down or synthetic dependent on your needs
- Camping chair
- Portable charger
- Water bottle
- Map / navigation device
- Weather-appropriate clothing
- Tent pegs
What is the first rule of camping?
Respect the natural landscape. It’s important to leave a place exactly as you found it. This ensures you and others can continue to enjoy it for years to come. LEAVE NO TRACE!
Is it better to sleep with clothes on in a sleeping bag?
In short, yes. Clothes add an extra layer of insulation to keep you warm on cooler nights. It’s also easier for middle-of-the-night toilet trips. Opt for breathable light materials to stop you from sweating or feeling too warm.
All pictures used within this blog can be found on our Instagram page valleyandpeakuk where credit is given to any pictures not originally taken by ourselves.
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