22/05/2015
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"When we start camping I want my kids to have a happy, nice experience"

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Ben Fogle has yet to take his family camping. It’s true. The adventurer and all-round good guy has still to get his wife and two children – aged five and three years – out together for a canvas break.

This is the guy who has camped himself from early childhood, going on to trek across deserts, lead expeditions through places like Uganda and the Black Cat Trail in Papa New Guinea, cross Spitzbergen, climb Mount Kilimanjaro etc. Then there’s also all the swimming, racing across Antarctica, rowing the Atlantic. It’s awesomely endless.

For his children, however, he’s planning a slightly more gentle introduction to tent camping.
As he explains: “We haven’t actually done a family camping yet. We do like to travel, a lot, so when we go out in the UK we go everywhere from Norfolk to Devon to the Peak District to Wales.

“When we start our camping, I don’t want to put them off. I want them to have a happy, nice experience and I think, because of the nature of the slightly more predictable weather, I would go for somewhere in the south west.

“I know the children will love it and I know it doesn’t matter about the weather. I learnt this very quickly (as a parent) but, as long as you have a smile on your face, the kids will enjoy it. That’s key.

“The old stereotype of the pressurised camping and everything leaking and Mum and Dad getting agitated simply rubs off on the kids.”

In fact, their first camping experience will take place sooner than that. Ben is off to Africa for a new TV series and the plan is the rest of his family will come and join him in Tanzania, when they’re looking to go camping with some friends.

It will certainly be different to Ben’s first adventure, which he describes as “classic. In the garden, when I was probably seven or eight years old, in Sussex, waking up in the tent terrified and running into the house.”

Ben gets a grilling from Camping's very own Jeremy Paxman, Nick Harding

Ben was speaking at the launch of a new network of glamping tents called Ready Camp.

The new product is aimed at adventurous young families, and couples who don’t want the hassle of pitching a tent and is operated by the Camping and Caravanning Club.

The Ready Camp tents can be found on 17 of the club's sites close to many of Britain’s favourite tourist spots.

The network stretches from Luss and Scone in Scotland, to Bala in Wales, Sandringham in East England, and Veryan in Cornwall. And the Club says the sites were carefully selected to ensure there are plenty of local activities nearby for all the family to enjoy.



The Ready Camp accommodation is for up to six people, and comes fully furnished with a double bed, triple bunk bed and single stow-away bed. There’s also a kitchen – with a fridge, microwave and hob – basic cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery, a sofa, dining table and chairs, a lockable storage cabinet, electric sockets and lights. All you need to take is bedding and towels.

The holidays cost from £20 per tent, per night in low season. For more information and to book online, visit www.readycamp.co.uk.


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