Families more likely to watch films and stream music than tell stories around campfire on a camping trip

Singing songs and telling ghost stories around the campfire are a thing of the past, as families swap camping traditions for streaming films, listening to music, and browsing social media.

A study of 2,000 camping and caravanning fans found 37 per cent of the parents polled said their kids consider traditions such as putting up a tent or sitting around a campfire to be ‘boring’.

Instead, families are now more likely to gather around in the evening to watch a film together on their gadgets than share scary tales before bed.

As many as 83 per cent of campers and caravanners will take their gadgets and devices away with them, with 41 per cent admitting they wouldn’t feel comfortable going away without their phone.

The research, commissioned by EE, found half said devices are their first port of call when stuck in the tent because of the typically wet British weather.

And, as a result, age-old camping traditions are dying out, with six in 10 adults having cooked marshmallows over a fire, but just 40 per cent of children can say the same.

And just a third of youngsters have made their own fire compared to two-thirds of adults.

Pete Jeavons, director of marketing communications at BT and EE said: “Camping and caravanning is a British institution – and with many foreign holidays off the cards this summer, it has seen a huge resurgence.

“While we are enjoying the great outdoors more than ever, it seems a staycation is no longer just about enjoying tales and marshmallows around a campfire, but instead, tech is playing an ever more important role in the experience.

"Some may relish the opportunity to go off-grid and get back to basics, but our research shows that others like a home away from home – somewhere to escape to with familiar comforts still to hand.

"That is the beauty of the British staycation, you can go as minimal or luxury as you like, with tech and gadgets close by to keep campers connected.”

The study also found two-thirds of campers rely on their gadgets to keep them updated on the weather forecast, while 51 per cent use the internet and maps to find things to do in the local area.

Others update their social media pages on their camping and caravanning exploits, stream music or use a map app to go on walks and bike rides.

Almost four in 10 said they would be lost without technology when they went camping, with 56 per cent admitting they enjoy it more with their gadgets to hand than if they were to go off-grid.

And while 28 per cent would be pleased to go away somewhere with no phone signal or Wi-Fi, 14 per cent would be unhappy, while almost one in 10 would ‘dread it’.

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found the average camper and caravanner heads off on two trips a year.

But despite a love for a holiday under canvas, nine in 10 have gripes about camping trips – including hating the traditional British weather, having to pack away the tent and not being able to make a brew at the flick of a switch.

Having to walk to the toilet block in the middle of the night, missing their favourite TV shows and waking up to a wet tent in the rain also emerged among the most common grumbles.

While others get annoyed by having to say goodbye to their Wi-Fi, sleeping on hard ground and being able to hear everything in neighbouring tents.

To celebrate the launch of the Full Works Plan for iPhone, EE is giving people the chance to win the ultimate staycation weekend, from Saturday 5th until Sunday 6th September, for them and three people from their household or support bubble – staying in the grounds of the Walled Garden at Syon House in the technology-enhanced EE Full Works CamperPlan with unlimited access to Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade.  

To be in with a chance of winning the unique staycation weekend, follow @EE across its social channels and comment how you would most like to spend your staycation by 23.59pm on September 3rd.

Top 10 activities Brits always do using technology when camping or caravanning:
1. Look at the weather forecast online
2. Search online to find things to do in the local area
3. Use the internet to keep up to date with the news
4. Post pictures on social media
5. Use the Google Map app to go on a walk
6. Stream music on their iPhone/ phone/tablet/ iPad
7. Listen to the radio on their iPhone/ phone/ tablet/ iPad
8. Play games on their iPhone/ phone/tablet/ iPad
9. Stream movies to watch together
10. Order a takeaway to their campsite online

Most annoying things about camping
1. British weather
2. Having to get up for the loo in the night
3. A leaky tent
4. Putting the tent away at the end
5. Waking up to rain
6. Having to put shoes on to visit the loo
7. Putting up the tent
8. Sleeping on the hard ground
9. Hearing everything from the tent next door
10. Lack of showers
11. Not being able to stand upright in the tent
12. Sharing a tent with a snorer
13. Not being able to get signal/ WiFi
14. Not being able to find your torch in the middle of the night
15. Not being able to just put the kettle on for a cup of tea
16. Not being able to charge devices
17. Finding a good place to put the tent up
18. Getting lost on the way back to the tent from a day out
19. Missing your favourite TV shows
20. Trying to get a fire going

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