All the camping gear

Suncream and thermals – what you need to camp in May

On Monday we returned from our first camping weekend of the year. We were tired, dirty, a little sun-burnt, but we’d had a pretty good time. So good, in fact, that Husband declared the weekend “acceptable”. I do hope you were sitting down when you read that, I was glad I was when he said it.

I’ll review the site separately, but we stayed at Callow Top in Ashbourne in the heart of the Peak District. True to form it rained on Saturday morning, so we’ve maintained our 100% rain record, despite temperatures peaking at 22 degrees on Monday. We did at least get to pitch and break camp in the dry, which is genuinely a first.

Things I learnt while camping this weekend:

  • You need both suncream and thermals to camp in May
  • I should have packed shorts
  • We should put the carpet down before putting the bedroom pods up
  • Eye masks were heaven-sent. When The Tinies slept til 7.30am (I know!) on Saturday I was only still asleep due to the new, very thick one I bought for myself before we went
  • Buddy likes to pose in his mask, but not wear it for sleeping, meaning he was mostly up at 6.30am despite not hitting the hay til nearer 9pm
  • Husband will not, ever, wear his “I love camping” eye mask
  • Waiting for the rain to pass can be fun
  • I should have packed sun cream. I actually burnt the tops of my hands on Saturday in the few sunny spells. Good job I was wearing a long sleeved top or the damage could have been much worse
  • A camp fire, some wine and good friends make for some pretty perfect evenings
  • We cannot arrive at the campsite at 6pm on a Friday and expect to eat or put the kids to bed at a decent time. Not sure what I was thinking when I calculated we could eat around 7pm!
  • It is a very cool idea to create the sounds of trains in a disused railway tunnel. You should visit Ashbourne Tunnel to give it a try
  • The Bakewell Spectacular is, in Mimi’s words, “Not at all spectacular.” I wouldn’t bother if I were you, it’s basically a glorified fairground that you pay to get in, and then pay to do most other things once you’ve in there
  • There’s always an exception to a rule. Traditional Punch & Judy and a beach in the middle of the field complete with free buckets & spades plus a boat to climb in are two such exceptions
  • Memory foam is really comfy to sleep on but takes up too much room. We’re buying self-inflating mats for everyone instead
  • A clear sky and panoramic view of the cosmos can stop you in your tracks no matter how desperate for a wee you are
  • Washing up can take the Husband nearly an hour if there’s a micro-brewery on site and the pub’s open
  • Husband might actually smile if you give him wine or fire. Give him both and you’re on to a sure thing (see above for proof)
  • The camping shopping does actually never, ever end

5 thoughts on “Suncream and thermals – what you need to camp in May

  1. Phil Daniels

    Sounds like a great time was had by all! Hopefully we won’t need thermals (or waterproofs) when we go to south Dorset at the end of this month. We will be taking three of our grandchildren who have never been camping. It’s going to be interesting!

    1. admin

      Have a fabulous time Phil and yes, let’s hope we don’t need thermals by then.

      My tip for the kids is bubbles – depending how old they are of course. They’re cheap & kept our two occupied while we put up & took down the tent.

      1. Phil Daniels

        The kids are 11, 10 and 8 so maybe a bit old for bubbles, but the site we are going to (Highlands End, Eype, Bridport) has a pretty good adventure park that will suit them. On the subject of self-inflating mats: we have bought the Gelert Adventure XL. This inflates to 10cm and is very comy (on our living room floor). It packs down to a reasonable size and costs £45 online from Campmania.

  2. Kay

    Thanks for the bubbles tip, We are taking our 23mth old camping for the first time next week! you have just solved my biggest problem. Thanks x

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