These days when folks go camping it's assumed that for overnight shelter a tent is required, and while this offers a convenient and practical shelter it may not be to everyones tastes. At the other end of the spectrum is the natural shelter made from branches, sticks and leaves or other plant material. This can be a pleasent challange and clearly removes a large item from your kit list, but it's not always possible on our crowded little island, nor will it be desirable on sensitive sites, so only use them with discretion!
The camping styles I find myself using the most regularly are; in a tent with the family; with a surplus bivy bag, usually with a tarp; and a tarp and hammock, which is by far the most comfortable. To be honest, it's a rare thing to find me out without a tarp, even if it's just my '58 pattern poncho as a quick dry spot for a brew can be the difference between a good time and what Bill Mason called 'adversity'. We started to use one to compliment our tent years ago and despite having a, modest sized, family tent, we still find a tarp makes for a good cooking and chilling area.
More soon folks :)