SUNNY DAYS AND COLD NIGHTS IN WALES, SUVIVAL BLANKETS & THE AIRBED REVELATION
We love All The Camping Gear (Ed’s note: Aw shucks), and after an insightful Easter weekend camping in Wales, we thought we would share our story of ‘air-bed revelation’.
We are a ‘blended’ family of 6. Three teenagers, one tweenie (5) and of course two parents, who, it is fair to say, have differing opinions of what camping looks and feels like.
Jamie, the dad, would much prefer to have a camping experience which he would describe as ‘wild camping’. Head out into the hills and drop your tent by a river when you’re ready! However, myself, I prefer what Jamie describes as Princess camping. I like to feel the atmosphere of the great outdoors with a few home comforts.
In my humble view, the Princess camping approach works when you have such a mixture of ages in the family too. So before we set off to Riverside Camping near Caernarfon, North Wales we invested in new airbeds for all of us, including a deep double for myself and Jamie.
We already had “all the camping gear” from previous trips, however now the older kids are growing, a new bed would help a good nights sleep.
We’ve stayed at Riverside before, only a short drive from Caernarfon and Llanberis (Snowdon’s base) the landscape is mesmerising, and the site is nestled in a valley, by a river side (surprise surprise) surrounded by woods. Just lovely! The camp site has great facilities, including a gorgeous cafe/restaurant – that has a bar! (Which shuts around 20:00). And the compulsory play area, the heart of a family camping holiday.
We arrived Thursday, set up our tent – which is a monster 8 sleeper – in record time. The “kit” was put out, including the newly inflated air-beds, and finally the chairs were placed by a fire pit and the wine opened! Ah bliss.
After a busy day, and couple of glasses of red, we decided to turn in…the sun had been shining, but the night was clear. It was a quick change (for me as many layers as possible, including fingerless gloves) and jump into bed…however all too soon the air-bed revelation came to being.
Prior to camping, my vision = blissful sleep off the floor, keeping us comfy and cosy. Reality = the drop in temperature outside also meant there was a drop in temperature inside, and the air inside the airbeds was freeeeeezziiing. Our sleeping bags were keeping us warm on the parts that weren’t touching the bed, but the bits that were just wouldn’t warm up. Jamie, at one point in the night, went to his “wild camping” bag and fished out a tinfoil survival blanket (even he was freezing) in the vain hope it would warm us up…
…as the sun rose on the next morning, we all started to rise with it, bleary eyed and shared stories of freezing cold beds and lack of sleep. (All except the little one, who was toasty and slept like a log!) We were never so glad to see that sun shine! And I, well, I just kicked myself for not even thinking of the air that sits under you…keeping you warm…or, of course, cold!
So, we wanted to share our revelation and tip with you, from our sunny bank holiday…if you have a preference for airbeds, and decide to camp when the nights are still cold…cover your bed in a throw, or even a two sided beach blanket (type with a water proof side) that can also be used during the day, even warm it by the fire before you jump into bed (if thats how you roll). Then place it under the sleeping bag before you tootle off to sleep. Et voila, no need for foil survival blankets after all!