‘It’s a subject I love and am passionate about’: Daventry district author’s book on camping

Simon McGrath
Simon McGrath

The Easter holidays provide a great opportunity for some family fun – and camping is certainly one of them.

Simon McGrath, editor-in-chief of Camping & Caravanning magazine, has collected hundreds of ideas into a new book aimed at inspiring parents to get outdoors and camp with their children.

Writing ‘Camping With Kids’ was a labour of love for Simon, who lives in East Haddon with his wife Paula and teenage sons Elliot and Tom.

“There were times when the pressure was on because I wrote this book outside of office hours,” he said.

“At times it got pretty daunting knowing you have so many words to fill but at the end of it there was a fantastic sense of achievement.

“To be able to say that I have written a book is brilliant, especially when it’s a subject I love and am passionate about.”

The book contains 400 ways to have fun as a family, reconnect with nature and learn new, and old, skills.

Each chapter has a colourful introduction and they cover everything from getting to your campsite, pitching up and all-weather activities to games and traditional skills like whittling your own tent peg or building a fire.

The last decade has seen such rapid advancements in technology that today’s younger generation seem less inclined to spend time outdoors, opting instead to sink hours into a new video game or on social media. Simon’s book aims not to ignore technology, but to embrace it.

“Many kids these days seem to be spending longer and longer on screens of one sort or another,” said Simon.

“One of the messages in the book is, as my kids told me a few years ago, that you can’t disinvent technology, you can’t pretend it doesn’t exist.

“Part of ‘Camping With Kids’ looks at ways to embrace and use technology to enhance the experience of getting out there.

“People can use GPS devices, learn how to navigate, have fun with photography on your phone or download an app to help you identify the leaves of a tree, and therefore the tree itself.”