Sunday 15 July 2018

CAMPING ... and the best festival toilet camping tip.

Look at that, that's the camping dream isn't it?
Note the cunning use of a straw beach roll as a door mat.
It'll stop that tent turning into an absolute midden,
(the likes of which you wouldn't have cared a jot about a 'few' years ago).

I love camping, and always have (as long as it's hot and sunny).

Nuts In May  Apparently a movie, I'd say more of a documentary of camping in the 1900's.

About 10 years ago though, every thing changed, there was a massive explosion of festivals and with that... an enormous explosion of camping.

Suddenly as one, a nation, previously happy with squashing in to a £25 supermarket dome tent went berserk... tepees with wood burners, inflatable mattresses, some the height of a divan bed, tent carpets, bunting...  

and I wanted the lot, I didn't get it all, financial restraints thankfully halted me buying enough stuff to require a lorry to take it to a camp/festival site but I was still a great admirer of  it all. 

Now the camping and festival madness has died down to a saner level.
I no longer feel inadequate if my tent is not an 8 berth inflatable one.
I skipped my ridiculous wire cooking shelves which were nothing short of a hassle to drag around just so I could cook standing up in my tent!
and plenty of other unnecessary cr** followed it.
Short of a camping mug? I'll just throw one of my less attractive mugs from home into my kit.

You have got to have some niceness around you
when setting up temporary home in a field.
So this is what I have my eye on when any of my current things, need  replacing
(see the madness has truly passed).
And I will pass on the best emergency toilet tip I have ever heard at the end.

Enamelled tin cups.

At the height of madness I had camping goblets for wine, like ornate plastic chalices for God's sake, and they were so big, you would think you had just had one glass of wine but in reality you'd downed nearer a pint! Needless to say, skipped or charity shopped.
So when the last few of what I now use, bog standard plastic beakers, are lost (everyone has them so the often go walk about, fingers crossed), I'm going to get some of these gorgeous painted tin cups.
I really like the plates and bowls to but to have everything the same would look a bit much do you think?  Too fussy and matchy?  I should probably stick to just the cups?

Tiny self inflating camping mats.

Having bought various standard blow up mattress, you know the blue flock covered ones which are hell on earth to sleep on, and various foot pumps (the sound of the campsite a few years ago, now rarely heard) and even a couple of electric pumps, battery and car plug in, I saw the light and skipped the whole sorry lot and bought self inflating camping mats.
So easy, so perfect for camping.  However at that time, they were pretty expensive for a decent brand so when I saw these Coleman's below for just £10, I couldn't get them into my eBay cart fast enough.

and they are absolutely brilliant!
But... if you have a trek from car to camping spot, they don't fold down that small, so when they die, and they are Coleman so they may possibly live forever,
I'm going to get tiny self inflating Vango mats.

Vintage camping chairs

Most camping chairs are absolute rubbish,
most are falling to bits after one season, campsite bins are full of them! 

I have a friend, Jo a paper florist, who rummaged in her parents garage and dug out their old 70s camping chairs and uses those. They look fab and are absolutely brilliant, no sign of giving up yet, even after all this time.
So I am on the hunt for vintage camping chairs, which hopefully pack small and don't weigh a ton (the hunt may be long).
I also think when I see people dragging them to the camp fire, they look pretty cool in a not trying to hard way.

Fancy lighting.

The one thing you really don't need but I think it massively adds to how good your camping area feels is, a bit of fancy lighting.
Just one solar powered paper ball light or a battery powered string of lights can take your camp from normal to oooh.

I already have a string of battery powered globe lights for my tent that I paid a massive £1 for!
Purchased from that emporium of thrift Poundland.
If you are looking for camping equipment (and your obviously not on an Everest expedition) check Poundland first... blow up pillows, water carriers, all a pound!
I should be an official ambassador for that company, I go on about it that much.
But should you take my advice and think, a bit of fancy lighting is what I need . . .
Stings of globe lights? A paper lantern to adorn your campsite?
All £1.


It's possibly the best and most practical of festival camping tips ever.
I found it on The Thrifty Magpies Nest blog.

You know when you go to a festival and your not 20 and mad,
and you see a sea of rammed in tents and two portaloos
and your first thought is
how will everyone/me have a wee?

Here is the answer... this is what The Thrifty Magpie recommends,

Zip lock freezer bags!
I kid you not.

Just open the freezer bag
erm, hold it in position.
Zip lock it up and throw it into your
outside black rubbish bag, usually tethered to a tent pole.
The beauty of these things is, they are designed not to leak,
so can be thrown in with the bins.
So when it is the middle of the night and it's lashing it down or you have a sleeping toddler and the toilets are at the other end of  the field...
This is the solution!
Thank you Jennifer Tulip for that life saver of a tip.

PS ... this tip a camper, at the height of camping madness may have found to be of some use...
All our camp were envious of a neighbouring tent,
a bell tent, festooned with bunting, beautiful chairs for sitting in whilst chinking their gorgeous glasses, it looked exactly like something from a Cath Kidston (at it's height) photo shoot.

Not the enviable campers obviously but it wasn't far off. 

However, the illusion was shattered as we were awoken in the middle of the night to the sound of the girl roaring and swearing at her boyfriend who had, it seemed - drank all the f**** whisky, despite being warned not to and had then peed over everything in his sleep.
It happened on the first night and we were avid viewers as to how it played out for the rest of the festival.
(mostly him doing all menial chores whilst handing her gin in fancy glasses).

Happy camping!


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