I honestly thought we were done – buying camping gear that is. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of shopping, but browsing outdoor shops doesn’t have quite the same appeal as looking for clothes, shoes or, best of the bunch, jewellery.
We thought we were quite careful to buy only the essentials before our first foray under canvas, as I explain here, and to be fair, we did have everything we needed for our first wash-out of a camping trip. Now we find ourselves facing our second trip in a fortnight’s time and we decided there were a couple more things we needed.
In searching for information on what really was essential for camping I discovered it pretty much boils down to something to sleep within, something to sleep in, something to sleep on and something to cook on. Everything else is just a frippery, a way to be more comfortable, a want, rather than a need. So we were very careful when sourcing our equipment, especially as we were by no means certain it wouldn’t all end up on a well-known auction site as a job-lot.
So far we own:
- a very large tent which came with porch, carpet & footprint
- three airbeds
- two single, one double sleeping bag
- a camping stove
- a fold-up table & four chairs-in-bags
- a camp kitchen (I believe that’s the technical term. Get me and my camping lingo!)
- a coolbox
- assorted pans, cutlery, utensils and plates
- an electric hook-up (EHU)
- a light for if we have EHU
- three UFO lights
Today we supplemented this list with two giant (yes, they’re actually called giant) microfibre towels – a blue one for the boys, a purple one for us girls – and two special camping pillows in funny little bags (more stuff to fight back into too-small containers). We’re also deliberating about whether to buy a bag to put the cooker in, as this would make it much neater and easier to pack away. Think we’ll wait til there’s a mega discount weekend at a certain large outdoor retailer before we spend money on that though. It was Husband who reminded me we’d talked about that, so despite all his bluster about dropping me and the kids next time and then going home, I wonder if he can still be persuaded.
We’ve had a few bargains throughout the process of sourcing our camping gear, but none more than the item we collected today. I wrote about our attempts at packing the car and it was even worse trying to fit that particular square peg into the round hole with everything wet on the way back. So we were delighted to be offered a barely-used roofbox by Husband’s brother. Today we extracted it from a damp and dusty shed at the bottom of a garden and brought it home in the back of the car. Now we only need to sort new connectors and we’ll have extra space in readiness for our next trip in a fortnight.
We’re going here, by the way. After more than five unsuccessful attempts at booking into the campsite across the river – including a number of broken promises about returning calls and a frankly downright rude response when I called them – we gave up and it took all of ten minutes to book into the CC&C one. My parents will be at a caravan rally a few fields away, so the convenience and company will be most welcome.
Maybe this increase in capacity means I can pack a little more than the vanity case I was allowed last time. I do hope so, especially if we’re in for another damp one. I’d like to think I make a little effort with what I wear and matching mud-splattered t-shirts to mud-splattered jeans is not my ideal way of co-ordinating.