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New year’s resolutions, camping style

I debated whether it was too predictable to write a blog about New Year’s Resolutions but thought “sod it”, so here goes.

20131229-093037.jpg In 2014 I want to continue camping. That’s the very basic one. Husband is currently revolting (I’ll set ‘em up, you knock ‘em down) and threatening to renege on a commitment to join friends in Cornwall for a week or so in August. Apparently his New Year’s Resolution is to learn how to use ebay so he can list the kit. Don’t worry, it’s not happening.

We will need to do something in the school hols as we’re going on a big metal bird in May for a special holiday for our 10th wedding anniversary. We’ve discovered we like it better if we have some company when camping and N & C and their two daughters are great fun. The kids get along brilliantly and so do us grown-ups. We were the ones that converted them to camping, but they’ve taken to it far better than Husband has. They were in Cornwall this summer and plan to go again, so we’re tagging along too. (Note I still say we are tagging along, Husband can get with the programme).

Another resolution is to find a campsite close enough to home to go on a Friday evening on the spur of the moment. We are slowly working out our criteria for the dream campsite. For us it has a playground or open space we can see from our pitch. It’s probably more like a field than one with marked out pitches. We can safely walk to a town or village, both to stretch our legs and to get supplies. Camp fires are allowed. The showers are preferably not on a timer. There should be a pub serving real ale within walking distance. Maybe it also does food. There is also no restriction on the size of tents (owing to our massive 8-man Vango). Somewhere to fly a kite would be good. So, if you know anywhere in Yorkshire which fits the bill, please do leave a comment.

In 2014 I will learn to properly fit the porch we bought in the middle of last year. It has been attached various ways – and did actually survive a massive storm plus earthquake when we were in Wales – but I’m not sure any of them have been the “right” way. Preferably it will be good enough so that it doesn’t rain in, because we have STILL yet to go camping in the dry.

I will also crack our sleeping problem. There must be a solution out there which will give us a good night’s sleep and I’m determined to find it. I think this will be the thing that makes all the difference to Husband’s attitude as he’s not at his best when he doesn’t sleep well – who is? All of the other elements of camping suit him – the beer, the fires, the good company, the outdoors – but not sleeping is affecting us both. We’re going to try single sleeping bags instead of our double and I’ve a cunning plan to use the kids’ big foam jigsaw as extra padding under our self-inflating mats. If that doesn’t work then I’m out of ideas. Got any?

Finally I’d like to look a bit more stylish while camping. It’s vain and I don’t care. I do not like looking like a sack of spuds who has been to the Go Outdoors sale, coated myself in glue and come out wearing what stuck. So I will develop a core wardrobe of comfy & warm kit which I feel nice in. I already have some basics – a duck & down coat (good for the cold, less good in the rain), some stripy wellies and thermals (I know you can’t see these, but they are essential as I’m quite a cold person) – so I need to add practical but stylish stuff to my options. Perhaps a new waterproof coat and some warm jumpers that aren’t cheap fleeces. Oh, and some trousers that aren’t jeans, but aren’t those walking trousers that make you sound like you’re wearing carrier bags. If you’ve got stylish camping sorted, please feel free to point me in the right direction.

Finally, I will finish off the article that I’ve been writing for a certain outdoors magazine since this time last year. Seriously, I’m awful if I don’t have a deadline to work to.

Well, I think that’s enough camping-related resolutions. Have you got any? Or any words of wisdom to help me with mine? Please?

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7 thoughts on “New year’s resolutions, camping style

    1. Louise Post author

      Thanks Lisa. It’s too far for an impromptu weekend, but close to my brother’s so could def give it a go and meet up with them on the same weekend.

      Thanks for the suggestion.

  1. kate

    As far as sleeping goes why not just chuck out the self inflating mats and go the whole hog with a proper thick airbed. Can inflate it with a small pump using either the car’s engine or a plug if the campsite has a room with a socket and you will feel like you’re sleeping on a proper mattress. Takes up no more room then roll mats and so much more comfortable.

    If you’re still not comfy after that leave the kids at home to make room in the car for loads of pillows and duvets.

    1. Louise Post author

      Thanks for reading Kate.

      We have tried airbeds, but it was a double and we rolled around quite a lot. I think the key is probably separate sleeping bags & mats/airbeds, so we’ll give that a try next time.

      Love the idea of leaving the kids at home for space but I suspect Husband would volunteer to stay if given half a chance!

  2. Rob B

    In my experience, a good nights sleep is all about insulating between yourself and the ground. Too many people pile layers on top of themselves to little effect.

    To be warm and comfy all you need is the right kit and it needn’t be expensive. First up, use a footprint with your tent. If you dont have or dont want to go to the expense of the one made for your tent then get yourself down the local camping shop and get a length of breathable awning ground sheet. This will keep the bottom of your tent clean and provide an all important barrier.

    Next, get a length of foil backed insulation roll from the local diy, put this in the base of your inner tent to provide further insulation between you and the ground and to reflect body heat back up towards you. Over the top of this you want something soft, so a foam roll mat, an old duvet, a thick blanket etc.

    Then put your sleeping mats or airbed over the top of this. If using an air bed remember that the air contained in the bed will absorb the cold from the ground so its a good idea to stick another blanket over the top of it rather than just your sleeping bag.

    If you are restless sleepers or just value some wriggle room then separate bags are a good idea. You can get a good nights kip on a double air bed but you get what you pay for. You want one with lots of small air chambers in it so that you dont roll in to each other in the night as the bed sags. Coleman make some excellent ones. You can also get single air beds that zip together to make a double which will give more support and can obviously be used on their own if needed. If you really like your comfort then a folding camp bed might be worth a look.

  3. Perry

    I only get my wife to go camping by taking an old futon mattress to sleep on…there really is nothing better…so comfy… warm too…and doest take up a huge amount of space in the car. Her, my toddler and myself snuggle-up on it… It’s fab :-) It’s super roomy too

    1. Louise Post author

      Sounds lovely, but we don’t even have room for duvets.

      Our friends are constantly amazed at how full our boot, roof box and trailer are. Maybe I need to try to slim down the kit, a bit like a camping spring clean

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