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on 24 August 2011
This was recommended in a magazine andd having just read the awful and over hyped 'The Tent the Bucket and Me' I thought I'd give this a try.

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.
9 people found this helpful
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on 16 February 2013
Preparing to camp is not so much about what items to bring - more about bringing the right state of mind. I can think of no book that is a more perfect preparation for a week at a campsite than this.
5 people found this helpful
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on 18 December 2016
Very pleased with the product at this price.
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on 10 March 2014
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 guidance. In practice, I found it to be very heavy on the history, quite light on personal stories, and very little practical guidance. A very good book if you're particularly interested in the history of camping.

The author writes well, sounds like a nice bloke, someone you'd want as a camping neighbour, and is witty.
One person found this helpful
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 February 2016
Most of my family holidays as a child involved camping, and my love of camping has continued through my five decades on the planet. I am well aware not everyone shares my enthusiasm, indeed until relatively recently camping was something of a minority activity. Somewhere in the early 2000s, probably after a financial crash, camping in the UK enjoyed a surge in popularity, getting coverage in newspaper weekend lifestyle magazines and with the publication of books like “Cool Camping”.

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.

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on 1 January 2018
I bought this book after hearing Matthew on a Radio 4 programme about camping - the book was billed as a mix of the history of camping with some personal stories and anecdotes about his adventures camping with the family, however I gave up on the book half way through as it became bogged down with increasingly dull history. Some of the historical information was interesting, but page after page was about foreign figures in the history of camping, the history and politics of institutions which were precursors to the Scouting movement etc.

For me there was too much worthy and dull history of these types of figures and institutions and far too little of the social history of camping and how it has evolved through the years.

A shame, as I had high hopes for this book. Maybe the passion for camping and the anecdotes and useful tips were there, but the history bored me so I didn't continue to the end.
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on 1 March 2014
This book attracted my attention having done quite a lot of wild camping myself: having run a little wild and being that sort of person... Without sounding like a weirdo and which I certainly am not, I think that:-

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?
4 people found this helpful
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on 7 July 2011
Funny, thoughtful, entertaining and inspiring. The book intertwines personal accounts and thoughts with a history of camping. We meet plenty of fascinating, some left-field, characters along the way. It's a great book for all of us who've ever thought that they maybe more to life than staring at a screen. I'm off to get my tent and start up my own camp-fire.
10 people found this helpful
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on 25 January 2012
a great book!

we are going camping a lot more this year - it's fun and is affordable for us, and very flexible with the children

this book is a great read
One person found this helpful
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