Glamping on the go: a wild ride through Cumbria in a camper truck

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TV presenter and naturalist Steve Backshall finds a camper truck the ideal way to give children an outdoors experience in untamed parts of northern England

Camping trips with a young family can be thoroughly challenging, especially in the UK, when the weather often skips from sunshine to deluge in the blink of an eye. My extra challenge is that my wife, Helen, can’t join us for our Easter break (she’s away training for her fourth Olympic Games – reasonable excuse). My three kids (twins of four, and an older brother not quite six) are a tornado handful at the best of times. I definitely don’t want to be flying abroad with them, but I want to give them a memorable wild outdoors experience. So what to do?

Inspiration comes in the form of Wild Camper Trucks, a small enterprise set up by entrepreneur Andrew Clark, who rents out a fleet of four-wheel-drive campers from bases in Kendal and Inverness. The vans are go-anywhere robust and reliable, but kitted out with enough home comforts that they feel like glamping on the go. Thanks to the additional roof tent, they’re set up to sleep four, but with kids as young as ours we could definitely push it to five. There’s a bijou kitchen and eating area, plenty of lounging and kipping space, and a huge amount of storage, which allows us to take all the outdoor toys we want.

Andrew has teamed up with websites Off Grid Camp and Nearly Wild Camping, which connect 4×4, campervan and canvas wild campers with landowners. Campers subscribe to the websites, and pay their hosts as they would at any campsite.

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