5 Camping Tips and Tricks

From the end of July I have my first summer off for around 22 years. My very own Endless Summer, it’s not really endless as it will finish after six weeks.  As much as I would love to be glamping it up in a gorgeous yurt or a beautiful abode  from my absolute favourite Canopy and Stars, six weeks means I have a tight budget so it’s regular camping for me.

 

Serentipity- Tipi in Pows bookable through Canopy and Stars here 

My past history with camping wasn’t always a happy one. From being caught in a flash flood in the middle of the night in December in the Lakes,  to once being so hungover I tried to set fire to my tent so I didn’t have to take it down and pack it away. Long Legs wouldn’t let me burn it down so he packed it for me hehe, skills!

I once described camping as a succession of forlorn walks to and from the car. Despite this, I still love it, being outside and waking up to lush, green grass,  sitting outside the tent in the pitch black, hoofing red wine out of a plastic wine glass and watching the stars,   I even love the sound of rain when I’m wrapped up and cosy inside my sleeping bag.

I’m determined to make my mammoth camping trip as comfortable as possible. I’ve done a fair bit of experimenting with camping kit and I’ve tested out the new tent .  From the many camping trips I have done in the past,  I learnt  that roughing it is ok for a few nights but,  a bit of comfort goes a long way on longer camping trips.

I’ve come up with a short list of things that should be on your list for a super  comfortable  camping trip.  With budget in mind  none of these cost more than £20.

Stove and Kettle

I am a tea addict, so for me this is a must. I bought a stove from Blacks for £10, a canister of gas is £1.50 from Halfords and I bought a kettle for £3 from Tesco. Throw in a flask for taking to the beach or out on a hike at £5 also from Tesco and at a total of £19.50 you’ll get your moneys worth after just 10- 15 cups a tea. I drag my tea making kit everywhere. I know I sound like everyone’s Nan.

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A Mattress Topper and Quilt

Get a cheap inflatable bed, air is air after all but,  for extra comfort that will get you through more than a few nights, a mattress topper is just the job, big supermarkets do good ones from £10. Also bring the quilt from your bed, a fitted sheet and a nice pillow and hey presto, a proper bed.

solar Powered Radio

You can spend two days putting all the music you want on your phone or to ‘use offline’ on Spotify but, your battery will die before the end of the night. With no electric hook up and not wanting to be driving around charging things, I decided to look for a solar powered radio.  After a lot of research and reading reviews I found this one and you can even plug your phone into it AND it has a torch, check me out testing it in the wardrobe. This is a Dronic Apex  as recommeded by Uk Preppers Guide . It cost me £15 including post and although it’s only been tested at home, it’s ace.

 

Rugs

I have to thank Surf Bloke for this idea as he always brings off cuts of carpet on camping trips to line the tent floor.  A rug makes a world of difference to the temperature on chilly nights, it’s lush to walk on instead of crinkly, cold groundsheets and makes a tent home. Actual tent carpets are a rip off, don’t bother with them. A cheap Argos Colour Match one will do or ask around mates if they have any old rugs they don’t use. Or do what I do and just drag your living room rug down to the car.

Non Electric Lighting

Ok before I start, do not burn your tent to the ground.  I am not suggesting you fill up a two man tent with tea lights. These options are for light outside the tent when you are sitting in your camping chair supping red wine. Again it means you don’t have to rely on charging things or batteries. Candles and a hurricane jar give of a gorgeous light and won’t blow out of it’s windy and candle light makes everything look beautiful so if you meet a Silver Surfer it”s a good idea to place your face near the jar.   There’s a decent one here at Asda for £10. Other options are paraffin lanterns or solar powered fairy lights, I have some for the outside of my tent.

 

 

 

Hot Water  Bottle

hot-water-bottlesThe humble hot water bottle has saved many a camping trip for me , especially if I’ve been surfing . Sometimes you don’t quite get fully warm, stick the kettle on your campfire or fire up the stove and have a warm night with it on your lap or throw it in your bed before you get in. Yes, Nanna strikes again.

Im certainly no wuss, I’ve done some rough camping in my time  It’s because of all the rough nights that I started adding these little comforts.

I’ll be at Hill End,  Gower most of the summer, I’ll be arriving in Wales fresh from a week in Cornwall from the start of August ish,  come and find me and say hello if you are down there . I’ll post a picture of my tent and pitch location when I’m all set up, or just look for the tiny orange car with a Surfabella and Surfsenioritas sticker on the back.

Aberavon Yoga and Surf Session Saturday 6th August

4620505018_220x341Would you like to join me on a girls Yoga and Surf session at Aberavon on 6th August? Goto events on the facebook page HERE for more info

 

 

 

 

 

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Storm Katie in a Caravan Alone in Cornwall with a Spider

me no likeI’m currently being battered by Storm Katie on the Cornish coast. I’m  cowering inside a caravan and my friend went home today so I’m scared and alone with my wild imagination, great combination.

I’ve never experienced a storm like this, I mean heart pounding stuff, not my usual exaggerations. I’m half expecting to be a news story in the morning. The caravan is shaking as if it were about to take off like the house in the Wizard of Oz and the noise, sounds like a train coming full speed towards me.

 Adding to this a massive spider has taken up residence in the corner and keeps moving in my eyeline.  I suppose we have in common that neither of us are enjoying this storm so perhaps we are on the same team for tonight and at least it’s some company.
There’s never a phone signal here, there’s only one other caravan occupied and the 5 chalets are right down the hill, out of sight and  too far for their lights to provide a little comfort. It’s pitch black when I look out. I’ve tried getting attention on Facebook with alarming status’ so I can at least interact with a humans but, the rest of the world apart from one or two are asleep so it’s me, Storm Katie and the spider, who I’ve named Toto  for the night.
Spider 'friend' Toto
 So far and I’ve no idea how we haven’t lost the wifi or the power but, I have an emergency bag of essentials I made up including a head torch, candles, car key, waterproofs and welly boots and I’m about to go and get the half bottle of red wine left over from last night. How am I going to cope alone in a tent for 6 weeks in summer if a storm while I’m in a caravan has scared me this much? Oh heck.
Right then , hopefully morning will come soon and without incident, see you on the other side.   Come on Toto, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home ………