Love it or hate it?

Camping is like Marmite – you either love it or hate it with a passion, which your columnist Duncan Barkes obviously does!

Camping can be as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it – rather like comparing a B&B to seven-star luxury hotel in Dubai.

Calls of nature – don’t pitch your tent three miles from toilet block and use these new-fangled devices, called torches, to combat the dark.

Like anything in life, you can make things as difficult or as easy as you care to.

We choose to camp in a tent very well equipped, with a gas fridge (keeps beer cold and makes ice for the G&Ts), inflatable mattresses for comfort and a tent large enough for a family to chill and relax in.

Over the past 12 years camping, we’ve met people from all walks of life and our girls have had a wonderful experience making friends along the way.

Our eldest daughter has enjoyed our family camping experiences so much that she and her boyfriend have made it their holiday of choice.

In the fast-paced hustle and bustle of the 21st century, and with the pressure and demands of work life, it is literally a breath of fresh air to arrive at your carefully chosen campsite, set up and crack open the first beer of many. From a hotel room, you can’t usually see a myriad of shooting stars, watch bats at night, hear owls hooting or listen to badgers bumping against your tent.

All of these things have provided such unique memories for our children and us. Camping instills some long-forgotten values where, in our experience, other campers always look out for each other and offer help or advice without any expectation of reward.

Sue and Steve James

Lincoln Road