Walking and Camping - A Guide to Combining Your Hobbies

Camping is more than a cost-effective way to go on holiday. For many, it is a way of life and a hobby in itself.

Whether you like to caravan, take a road trip in a motorhome, camp or love glamping, once you get bitten by the camping bug, it's hard to stop! It is easy to see why. When you camp, you can travel the world over, see beautiful sights and spend lots of time with family and friends.

While camping is a hobby in its own right, it is a gateway hobby. What we mean by this is that camping encourages you to try new things or indulge in a hobby you don't usually have the time in which to partake.

Some hobbies are just made for a camping holiday. Whether you love nature or are fond of exhilarating outdoor sports, time spent travelling and camping allows you to do both. Pick almost any outdoor pursuit, and it seems to suit combining with your camping holiday perfectly.

Although many hobbies are perfect for a camping trip, there is one that compliments it perfectly - walking and hiking.

Passionate about walking or hiking? Book yourself a walking holiday, pack up your tent or caravan and head out to enjoy the best that the natural world has to offer. Whether driving to a campsite and using it as a base or packing your tent on your back and walking from campsite to campsite, these two activities are perfect together!

If you are planning on combining your two favourite hobbies, there are a few things to consider to make sure you are adequately prepared for your trip.

Pack all your walking essentials

If you plan on doing some serious walking or hiking, it is essential to ensure you have everything you need. In general, casual walking doesn't need too much in the way of equipment, but if you are planning on walking most days or for a long distance, then you do need to make sure you have everything you need to keep yourself safe and healthy.

  • You will need a good set of walking boots that have been worn in and fitted correctly. These will be your best friend on a walking and camping holiday.
  • Walking socks and plenty of spares. There is nothing worse than having wet and uncomfortable feet when walking. It's bad for your feet and can cause blisters and pain. Good quality walking socks can work wonders for your comfort, and having lots of spares will ensure you can always change them if you need them.
  • Suitable clothing and outerwear. Make sure your clothes are comfortable and won't chafe and consider things like waterproof jackets and trousers to keep you dry if it rains. This is especially important if you are walking in hills. Hilly areas can have radically different weather at the top of the hill than at the bottom.
  • Layer up. Make sure you have plenty of layers of clothing. This means you can control your temperature and remain comfortable. The layer next to your skin needs to be a non-wicking material, then a fleece or warm layer and finally a waterproof or windproof layer.
  • Your walking kit. These are things like a GPS, compass, map of the area, first aid kit that includes a survival blanket and kit, phone and sunscreen. You may also want to include things like sunglasses and hats to help keep the sun off your skin and help with any windy weather. A pocket knife or swiss army knife can also be handy but check the rules for where you are staying on what is allowed.
  • Make sure you take food and drink. You will need to keep hydrated and your energy up. Protein bars make great snacks that don't take up too much space in your bag.
  • If you are using a campsite as a base and plan to do different walking routes, you will need a large but comfortable day bag in which to keep all your equipment.

Pack your tent in your bag and walk from campsite to campsite

It is lovely to have the option of picking a base and planning lots of pleasant routes, knowing you have a place to come back to in the evening. But, if you want a little adventure, consider a walking holiday where you walk from place to place with everything you need in your bag. This type of holiday isn't for the faint-hearted as it includes a lot of walking and you have to put your tent up every night before bed.

For this type of holiday, you need similar equipment as you would for any walking and camping holiday except you have to be a little more clever with how you pack because you have to carry everything you need on your back.

As with any hobby holiday, you need to consider what you need and how you plan the holiday.

  • Your tent will be a bit smaller, but there are many small, lightweight tent options available. 
  • You will need good quality camping equipment that is warm, safe and lightweight. Think about your sleeping bag, clothing, and all the other equipment you might need.
  • Food can be tricky on this type of holiday, but you need to take a few food and drink options and consider how you will cook them. One option is to pop into local pubs, restaurants and shops to buy food as you go. It is still worthwhile having a few quick and easy food options such as noodles or food that requires nothing but hot water. Protein bars are also a good option. You will need a drinking bottle for water and can get some good collapsable water carriers that fold up small enough to pop into your bag.
  • Take advantage of washing facilities at your chosen campsites. Then you can pack fewer clothes and make your bag a little lighter. 
  • Make sure you have good safety equipment with you. You will need a good first aid kit and a survival kit that includes things like a space blanket. On top of this, make sure you take blister plasters and antiseptic wipes in case you need them. Of course, you will also need torches, GPS, compasses, and maps to ensure you don't get lost.
  • Plan your route carefully. Make sure you keep your walks within your limits and book your campsites ahead. There is nothing worse than arriving at your chosen destination, tired and ready for rest and finding there is no space.

Plan your walks and routes

Even if you choose to stay in one place, it's a good idea to plan out some routes before you head out. That way you will know that where you are going has lots of walks and you have a plan before you get to your campsite. It's easy to plan walks on the internet, or if you prefer, grab some walking guidebooks on the area and start planning.

When you get to your campsite, the locals may also be able to advise you on some great walking hotspots too. Those who live in the area often have the best knowledge, after all. If you want to eat while out, make sure your walks have a restaurant or pub en route.

Add in pit stops and rest days

When you are doing a lot of exercise, it's important to rest every now and then. Take a day off to do something different. You could laze by a pool or even on a beach if the weather is good. The rest will do you good, and you will be ready and eager to get walking again the next day.

Useful information

Find out more about how spending time outdoors can benefit your mental health on our Mental Wellbeing Hub.

Start planning your next adventure. Browse our campsites online or buy our market-leading guide to camping in Europe.