If the word “˜camping’ brings to mind nightmarish childhood memories of being forced to sleep in a cramped leaky tent in Wales for a week when all your friends were at Disneyland, then you might very well wonder why anyone would ever choose or even want to go camping.
Camping on Tenerife is a completely different experience ““ dark threatening clouds are replaced by twinkling night skies, muddy fields replaced by fragrant pine forests and soggy sandwiches replaced by sizzling barbecues.
Why go camping in Tenerife?
In today’s world where you’re constantly bombarded with futile Facebook status updates and trivial Tweets, it’s nice to be able to completely switch off from the online world. If it’s not Facebook or Twitter constantly in your face, it’s your online calendar letting you know that you’re 30 minutes late for that really important meeting and your extended deadline that you promised you’d make flew by last week.
Fortunately, you won’t find any WiFi hotspots in the campsites in Tenerife ““ you probably won’t even have mobile phone coverage ““ making it the best place to unwind and leave your responsibilities behind for a least a couple of days.
The best part of camping ““ and the only reason I go back again and again ““ is the food. Huddling around an open-flame barbecue with a glass of sangria, the smell mojo-marinated chicken gliding through the air gets me every time. Don’t forget to take marshmallows ““ a camping trip doesn’t count unless there are toasted (or burnt) marshmallows dripping molten goo all over your hands.
Where can I go camping in Tenerife?
If you don’t have any of the equipment, you’ll need to take a trip to Decathlon in La Laguna. From April to September you’ll find a large portion of the sports shop dedicated to camping equipment ““ this is the best time to get everything you’ll ever need in one place.
I recommend getting as large a tent as you can afford ““ you’ll really appreciate the extra space. Try and grab a mini gas hob, too ““ they’re great for cups of tea and coffee first thing in the morning. An inflatable mattress will be a lot more comfortable than the forest floor. Don’t think you can make do with a pool inflatable ““ you’ll wish you hadn’t and your back won’t let you forget it. When you’re all kitted out, you’re ready to choose the campsite that’s right for you.
All of the government-run campsites are located in forestal areas throughout Tenerife. You can find a map with information about them all here. Whilst the amenities do vary, most campsites provide running water, a recreational area complete with barbecue pits, and toilets ““ although whether you’ll want to use them or not is up to you as they are usually nothing more than ceramic-lined holes in the ground. Some campsites even offer small bars, showers, and children’s play areas, so it’s definitely worth doing your research before you head off.
How can I go camping in Tenerife?
You need to obtain permission if you want to camp in Tenerife. There are rangers patrolling the areas that will ask to see your permit and will happily kick you off if you haven’t got one, so avoid the hassle and make sure you’ve got permission to camp before you go.
You need to go to an Oficina de Registro y Servicio al Ciudadano (Registry and Citizen Service Office) ““ you can find a list of them all here ““ and request a username and password which will allow you to obtain permission to camp. You’ll need to take your residencia and passport with you to complete this process.
Once all your details have been tapped into the computer, you’ll get a sheet of paper with your username and password which will allow you to log on to www.Tenerife.es. Through this website you can book all your camping trips online and print off the permits seconds later.
So that’s it, you’ve got the gear, packed the marshmallows and have your permit tucked safely away ready to brandish when faced with an inquisitive forest ranger. All that remains is to take to head into the hills to make friends with Tenerife’s wild side of life.