- After buying a new tent, test it out at home first.
This is something we know very well. But for some reason, we didn’t bother after our first air beam purchase earlier this year. Cue 2 looooong hours of tension as we crawled our way to full erection! Not advisable at any time, but definitely not with two small and increasingly grumpy children!
- Check the weather forecast.
We have had a simply amazing summer this time and in July, it felt that the sunshine would never end. So, when we came to the end of our planned holiday in Somerset, we thought heck, we’ve got some clean clothes left, we might never experience another summer like this again…let’s carry on for a couple more days! So down to Devon we went and the skies turned from the bluest of blues to the darkest of greys.
Two full days of rain plus a night storm of epic proportions later and we squelched our way home.
- Prepare your tent before a storm rather than during.
This is greatly assisted if you have done point 2 beforehand.
So, we woke up in the middle of the night to what can only be described as the stormiest storm in Stormland on national storm day. Our tent was stable but there was no denying the severe wind buffeting it and I did what anyone would do…kicked the husband out of bed to deal with it. Much double pegging later and we eventually felt able to sleep again…although this was trickier as we had two extra small people in the bed.
- Help the helpless.
As we arrived at the camp still full of holiday cheer and totally unaware of the storm to come, we came across a family of a lovely dad, uncle and three children all looking hopefully at some poles and canvas. It became apparent that this was their first ever camping trip with borrowed equipment and they had not completed point 1 or 2. They had been in the same position for 2 hours. So, with our travelling buddies we helped them to erect their somewhat complicated tent and they were really happy and grateful. We had that wonderful glow that comes with being useful.
Then came the storm.
Come the morning, their tent half caved in and they hadn’t slept a wink. They decided not to stay for the second night. I would imagine they will never camp again.
Perhaps we should have just left them to it and they could have found a B&B?
- Timing is everything.
When packing away your tent, ensure it is thoroughly dry beforehand.
When it came to packing ours away, the rain never blooming stopped. The tent was sopping and weighed the same as approximately 5 elephants, hubby and I dripped all over the Landy and it’s safe to say that we had no more spare clothes left.
The rain didn’t stop at home all week either, so tent had to be aired in a farm shed and I needed a holiday by the time we had sorted everything out.
- Camping with friends is the way forward.
We had two trips with different sets of friends this year and it was brilliant! The children always have people to play with, someone else always has something that you forgot to pack, there are more eyes to watch little people and most importantly, lovely people to share wine with at the end of the day!
Despite all these trials, will we be going camping again next year?