Previously Editor of Camping magazine and News Editor of the Camping and Caravanning Club's magazine, a love for the outdoors runs deep for Clive Garrett. He currently works for Oase Outdoors on some of the industry's major brands, including Outwell and Easy Camp.

Hi Clive, thanks for joining us. After a career defined by a love for fresh air, can we start by asking what the Great British outdoors means to you?

I always marvel at the Great British outdoors and its people. This small, beautiful country of ours packs some of the world's most fascinating history, culture and scenery. And it provides the best and most varied outdoor experiences to be had.

There are plenty of picturesque and remote places in the world but few have the deep emotional hold on me as our own countryside.

Exactly right, there's something very special about the UK. Do you have a favourite camping memory, either at home or abroad?

I've lots of superb memories of camping, but backpacking in the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland one early Easter is one of the best.

The weather was awful and near white out conditions. My camping partner, Alan, and I hunkered down in a grough for a brew when a hare appeared just feet away. It did not see us and stayed for a while grooming itself. A little later we pitched our tent on the hill. As we left the tent for an evening comfort call we realised that a herd of red deer had surrounded the tent, with the nearest deer just yards away and silhouettes of the rest going off into the distance.

In that ethereal half-light that is unique to dusk in winter snowy conditions it was truly a magical moment on Lugnaquilla. You felt part of Irish mythology.

Wow - sounds like you were in the right place at the right time there! What about harder times. Do you have a worst camping experience you can share?

I was testing a Ferrino mountain tent at the Beddgelert Forestry Commission campsite when we were hit by a thunderstorm. I fought that tent for almost an hour in high winds and pouring rain. My wife says she learnt a whole new vocabulary that day, made more inventive by the realisation that the 15ft aluminium poles that I was waving around were threatening to become lightning conductors.

I look back at this with amusement. However, a true nightmare was the time Alan and I backpacked in Kerry early one year and caught a heavy cloud in the middle of the Macgillycuddy Reeks. Sharp edges, major cliffs and no paths with visibility down to around five foot. To cap it all I was going down with food poisoning.

To this day I cannot work out how we made it down safely and I still shiver at the memory. But we did. We pitched camp and Alan lit the stove for a brew. It blew up. We went home the next day...

Pushing boundaries isn't always fun then! What other micro adventures have you enjoyed?

I've always enjoyed participating in SLMM (Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon) but the best adventure has to be when my wife, Tricia, and I crewed Pindar, a Vandée Globe round-the-world yacht, in the Solent. We had just passed our Day Skippers and this was a prelude to us taking a 37ft yacht around the Ionian Sea. It was an amazing vessel and a privilege to helm - those sails were hard to bend though!

Who is your ideal camping companion?

An old friend, Alan Haynes. As youngsters we shared many great adventures that ranged from motorbike camps, to winter whiteouts, to backpacks, to wild parties on the trail. We were out almost every weekend throughout the year. He always combined a vivacious approach to life with humour, patience, stability and loyal friendship. Unfortunately, I do not see him as much as I would like nowadays.

Aside from the right people, what do you always take with you on a trip?

One of my Gerber mulitools and a Victorinox knife are always close to hand.

Is there something strange you always pack?

Now I am older and normally use a car to carry camping gear, I will often pack my three-string cigar box guitar, a bottle of brandy and a good Cuban cigar. Bliss for me - hell for neighbouring campers!

Tut tut! And what about things that everyone should leave behind?

Hang-ups and negativity. You should be planning fun so dive into the experience and leave the rest behind.

Good advice! There seems to be a lot of variety in what you do. What about your favourite place in the UK?

It is always tempting to say the Lakes but it is rapidly becoming a Disneyland. For me it has to be the Welsh Marches, Dark Peak or Lincolnshire depending on mood. I've a soft spot for the Brecons, too.

The road less travelled then. Is there an 'undiscovered' spot you'd be happy to share?

I was a safety boat coxswain on Rutland Water and this has to be one of my favourite spots. But my allegiances lie across the border in Lincolnshire where I now live. Unspoilt by tourism and a county in which I instantly relax. Er, hang on. Nothing to see here, folks. It's flat and boring. Please go elsewhere!

Haha! We've been singing Lincolnshire's praises a while ourselves! What one thing would you recommend everyone has on their bucket list?

I now work for the Danish outdoor manufacturer Oase Outdoors and one of its core values sits close to my heart. I truly believe that everyone should experience the joys of outdoor living at least once in their lives and, preferably, explore Brandon in Ireland to the full while they're doing it. There is some good wild camping on the beaches to be had there.

Do you have a favourite view?

Oh so many. So I am going to cheat and say my favourite view in the British Isles archipelago is from Brandon in County Kerry. It is a stunning coastal mountain with great views all round.

That is cheating, but we'll pretend we were asking about the whole of Great Britain and let you get away with it! What about a favourite beach?

Lincolnshire's Donna Nook when the seals are calving. And it is within easy reach of the Batemans brewery for an excellent pint, Sunday roast and campsite.

That's better. Do you have a favourite holiday trail? Cycling, walking or touring - your choice.

I've enjoyed every long distance or challenge walk I've done and all seem to be favourites. As do my off-roading escapades. So, I'll choose something a tad different - a two-night circular canoe camp along the River Idle and Chesterfield Canal. Lots of variation includes a couple of small weirs, a long canal tunnel and several pubs!

My wife and I completed this with the Canoe Camping Club, a Camping and Caravanning Club's special interest section. It is an annual trip and one I should do again if time allows.

Where are you planning to explore next?

I've been chatting to Dave Wise over at Trek and Run and he has really whet my appetite for a canoe camping trip to explore the Medway Estuary. There are Victorian forts on lonely islands and U-Boats in marshes - with canoe the only means of access. Combine this with few people and lots of history and wildlife. Perfect!

Finally, what is the best piece of camping advice you could give?

Many people call themselves campers and they are right in the fact that they stay in a tent. But being a camper is much more than spending a few weeks of a year safe on a nice campsite.

A true camper has the right mindset and skill base to meet any situation. The former grows with the latter and the latter has to be learnt. Yet so many people appear to be more prepared to blame the tools of our pastime for bad experiences rather than admit their lack of knowledge.

So my advice is to learn those skills and keep a sense of humour. Both will see you survive many a bad situation and make you a better person for it.

Thanks for joining in with our expert interview series Clive!

You can follow Clive on Twitter at @outdoorgonzo.