Brits Carry on Camping but Leave the Laptops at Home

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New research from Argos says camping enthusiasts prefer to leave gadgets and other technology behind

Our recruitment levels defied all expectations last year and our aim is now to keep that momentum going in 2010. From our early advance booking figures, which are up 5% on this time last year, it looks as though this season could be just as busy, if not even busier.

British families are choosing camping holidays as an opportunity to go without their gadgets according to new research from Argos, one of the UK's leading retailers for camping. Despite the advent of portable technology, one in five families claim their camping breaks are less stressful than other holidays because they provide a break from modern technology.

The research found that more than half of us go camping at least once a year and traditional camping essentials were favoured over high-tech gadgets, with torches (38%) and camping stoves (35%) rated the top must-haves. Topping the list of items people were most likely to go without while camping was a TV (62%), a laptop (60%) and a games console (47%), demonstrating that items such as handheld consoles and netbooks, while popular at home, are left behind when people get the call of the wild.

Despite the obvious advantage of a GPS device when heading off for a trip into the great outdoors, only 1% of people considered them important for a camping trip. Campers also admitted to relishing the chance to relax their beauty regime with hair straighteners, hairdryers and make-up favoured by less than 3% of those surveyed.

Mark Steel, freetime trading manager at Argos, said: "The study found that not only does camping offer a less stressful holiday as we turn off our technology, but many parents are keen to pass on the great memories that they have of childhood camping to their kids.

"Today's technology savvy children love TVs and computer games but are always eager to go back to basics on a camping trip. It provides a great escape from modern life for them."

When asked why respondents had started camping, nearly half said that they got their first experience of sleeping under the stars as a child, either with their family or with a local group like Scouts or Brownies.

Ben Fogle, outdoors enthusiast, added: "I'm a huge camping fan. It offers the chance to be part of the great outdoors, to go back to basics and to relax. It's important to prepare and get the right gear before you go, but once you find your pitch and put up a tent camping offers a chance to take a break from technology, to de-stress and spend quality time with your family or with your mates."

The UK Camping and Caravanning Club saw 31,000 families join in 2009 and Jon Dale commented: "Our recruitment levels defied all expectations last year and our aim is now to keep that momentum going in 2010. From our early advance booking figures, which are up 5% on this time last year, it looks as though this season could be just as busy, if not even busier."

Argos has 457 products in its camping range - from tents to portable toilets, solar showers to mini washing machines. It offers products for first-timers, families, experienced campers and festival goers, including brands such as Regatta, Vango, Vacanzza by Outwell, Karrimor and own brand Pro-Action.

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For more information please contact the Argos press office at iris PR:

Press office: 020 7922 8111
Rosalyn Kelly: 020 7101 7887, 07779 781 075
Jo Lippold: 020 7922 8125, 07767 817 460

Notes to editors:

The research was carried out in April 2010 on behalf of Argos with 1 425 respondents

About Argos
Argos is a unique retailer recognised for choice, value and convenience. It sells general merchandise and products for the home from over 700 stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland, online and over the telephone. In the last financial year, Argos sales were £4.3 billion.

Argos serves over 130 million customers a year through its stores. On average, 17 million UK households, or around two thirds of the population, have an Argos catalogue at home at any time.

Argos expects to add around 10 stores this year. Its internet site, http://www.argos.co.uk, was the most visited high street retailer online in the UK in 2009.

Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK's leading home and general merchandise retailer.

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