Camping is perhaps the only activity left in this modern age in which you can almost cut yourself from your everyday life and go out to have an adventure. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, there will always be a great place with a great view where you can set up camp, cook up a forest meal and share stories by the fire with your friends or family.
1. Alaska’s national parks
Camping in Alaska is the ultimate treat for the senses. Set up camp among mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, and more mountains – and take in a big lungful of that fresh, crisp air. Go kayaking, hike near quiet lakes with magnificent views of the sub-arctic tundra, try your hand at fishing for grayling. Keep an eye out for the locals, too: you’ll likely encounter caribou, Dall sheep, marmots, innumerable birds, and – hopefully – even Orca whales.
2. Bryce Canyon, USA
The fresh, pungent smell of pine hangs in the air, daring you to explore beyond the confines of your simple teepee shelter. Step outside to discover Bryce Canyon’s gigantic jagged rock formations, their vermilion hues bright against the deep blue sky. According to legend, the 250 million year-old rock formations were once the creatures of To-when-an-ung-wa, who were turned to stone by a tricksy coyote. Bryce Canyon’s camp-site and surrounds are home to the rare Utah prairie dog, birds, foxes, as well as the occasional black bear.
3. Amazon Rainforest, South America
Everything about this experience is intense: the density of the jungle, the clamour of the heat, the sounds of the wildlife hidden just out of sight. Under the rainforest canopy – so thick with foliage, it’s like a giant emerald tent – you’ll learn from your Amerindian guide about life in the jungle. Hear tales of the yajé vine, used to make ayahuasca, a drink with psychoactive properties used in shamanic rituals by the native tribes. By night, under canvas, you’ll listen to the calls of the wild – Was that a toucan? A spider monkey? – and marvel at nature at its rawest.
4. Wadi Rum, Jordan
Imagine someone crystallised the moon and then took a hammer to it, shattering its surface into millions of sparkling fragments of silvery-white, cast across a dark indigo sky. If you’ve ever wondered what the skies over Wadi Rum in Jordan look like, it’s this.
At camp, underneath this twinking sky, a blazing fire burns, spitting out sparks of gold. Men and women, clothed in the long folds of their jalabiyya, dance and clap around the glow of the fire, and a curious Arabic melody fills the air. After a hearty meal cooked on the fire, you sleep in one of the Bedouin tents, breathing in the scent of sand and listening to the rustle of camels.
5. Northern Territory, Australia
When you wake up at the crack of dawn (because you will) the intimidating rock formation known as Ayers rock will be standing at your feet. It is still dark, and you can see its maroon shape from your sleeping bag. As the sun starts to rise in the endless indigo skies, the age-old rock slowly begins to transform from a dark wine red, to a simmering scarlet. Uluru eventually becomes a single, immense ember, glowing as though it hides fire within.
6. On Safari in East Africa
A beige canvas is all you have for a roof, and all that separates you from the African jungle outside. Yet, still it touches your ears, an organic symphony of sound composed of soprano shrills, squawks, cries, chirps and trills, a melodious cacophony played over that low hum omnipresent within all jungles, the bassline of distant animal calls.
Towering structures of ice encircle you, emitting a strange, yet peaceful, bluish white light. Your kayak skims over the still, icy water with your heart racing, pumping both from the physical effort of rowing and out of the sheer exhilaration of the scene that surrounds you. You land near a glacier, and this is where you set up camp; on one of the coldest, driest, windiest – yet most magical – regions of Earth.