The Art of Camping: The History and Practice of Sleeping Under the Stars Paperback – 26 Apr 2012
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Does for camping what Roger Deakin did for wild swimming (Independent)
A delightful combination of history and memoir with a generous dollop of guidance thrown on top . . . read this gem of a book(Economist)
An elegant ode to the joys of camping. All sorts of tips on campsite etiquette, lore, equipment, and best practice, and his advice is convincing and honest. He is a lovely writer and his history is enlivened with tremendous flashes of wit (Daily Telegraph)
Teaming witty anecdotes with a potted history of what sleeping under the stars means sociologically, De Abaitua makes learning how to create a tented home away from home fun (Elle)
De Abaitua will soon have you believing in this consistently engaging and enjoyable book. It's a fine writer indeed who can seem authoritative, approachable and just great fun(Metro)
About the Author
Matthew De Abaitua is editor-at-large of the Idler and a committed camper. His Twitter feed and popular website, cathandmathcamping.com, provide amusing and useful information on where and how to camp in Britain. He is also the compere of the Free University of Glastonbury and the author of the novel The Red Men, which was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and is currently being made into a film by Shynola. Matthew lives with his wife Cath and young family in Sussex.
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Top Customer Reviews
It was a brilliant read, funny - where the other was annoying - and the tales are real and believable. The book gives a dash of history, one of humour and one of advice mixed together it makes a really interesting and enjoyable read.
I’m pleased to report that The Art of Camping: The History and Practice of Sleeping Under the Stars by Matthew De Abaitua is written by someone who is steeped in camping having also camped as a kid and who never stopped. This book is a winning combination of memoir and history, and I was frequently struck by how many experiences we had shared, for example lugging kit for an entire family from a festival car park to the campsite some considerable distance away, or contemplating driving off a site in the wee small hours.
Matthew De Abaitua has done a wonderfully thorough job of creating an accessible and insightful history of camping, peppered with some great personal anecdotes, and also solid practical advice.
As with many great books that are ostensibly about one thing (camping in this instance), in many ways it is also about everything. Peppered amongst this camping memoir are many a philosophical nugget which touch upon that age old question of what it is to be human.
Even if you don’t like camping I think this book would be worth a read, and if you are already a convert then you should find loads to enjoy here - not least the youth movements spawned in the 1920s and 1930s like the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, the Woodcraft Folk, and The Order of Woodcraft Chivalry.
An interesting, witty, helpful, well written, passionate book, and an unexpected gem. Well worth reading.
1 This book is probably not what you think it will be
2 It is rich book and I found it best in small doses
3 Reading it was mind-altering for me
4 The reviews on the cover are right
5 I found just a few of Matthew's ideas were not one's I agreed with, but that didn't spoil the book for me
6 How could anyone write such a high quality book about a seemingly bland subject?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
From reading reviews and comments, I had high hopes for this book. but was a little disappointed.
I expected some history, mixed with personal stories and practical... Read more
Preparing to camp is not so much about what items to bring - more about bringing the right state of mind. Read morePublished on 16 Feb. 2013 by Mr. S. C. Fadhley