Wednesday, 16 September 2015

How To Enjoy Camping When You Don't Enjoy Camping

Now, I won't lie: camping's not really my favourite activity.  I much prefer spending my weekend nights in the comfort of my own bed after spending the earlier portion of the evening parked on the sofa.  However, camping is LT's favourite past time, and I'm generally happy enough to go along as long as a few basic conditions are met.

These are:
  1. Must have wine;
  2. Weather must be OK;
  3. Must be somewhere fairly safe to cut down on the prospects of being murdered in the night by some crazy who's out combing the countryside for suitable victims. It happens.  I saw it on CSI.
We’ve lived in North Wales for 3 months now and I was kinda hoping, what with all the time we’ve spent settling in to a new life, a new home, and new jobs, LT might be too preoccupied to give it much thought.  Turns out, I was completely wrong.  In the same way a small child wears down their parents when they MUSTHAVESOMETHINGNOW, I was convinced*, over a period of several days, that I would love nothing more than spending a night sleeping outside.

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The view from Cae Clyd Campsite

After spending a fabulous day exploring Nant Gwrtheyrn and Plas Glyn on the Llyn Peninsula, we headed up the coast and checked ourselves in to Cae Clyd Campsite.   We were shown round the facilities and left to get on with the seemingly never ending process of unloading a full car’s worth of ‘essentials’ that we’d only loaded in a few hours previous.  One of the main reasons we have so many essentials is because some of the kit we’ve bought has been purchased with the sole intention of making me want to go camping in the first place.   If you, like me, are ‘just not that into it…’, you will absolutely, definitely, need the following:

Inflatable Camping Bed:
I can’t stress this enough.   Sleeping on the ground, no matter where that ground may be, is just not fun.  Sleeping on the ground on a proper blow up mattress is much more, well…what you’re used to, no?

Automatic Pump:
No one wants to be put off the idea of sleeping on their shiny new inflatable camping bed by the prospect of blowing it up with a foot pump.  Splash out, get yourself an automatic, and sit back and watch as it works its magic.

Comfy Camping Chairs:
There are masses to choose from, but I like to have one with arms and a nice wine glass/bottle holder built in.  I also like one that’s easy to dismantle and pack away the following morning. 

Baby Wipes:
I use them at home all the time anyway, but these are an essential part of my pack – particularly if we’re wild camping and I have no access to showers and toilet blocks.  Not only are they great for cleaning humans, but also brilliant for cleaning equipment.  I hate feeling manky after camping, so these allow me to show my face in public the following day if we stop off for a coffee on the way home.  

Flint Lighter:
I’ve watched for many an amused hour while LT tries in vain to battle against the wind and light the fire pit.  I found him a flint lighter in a camping store in Glasgow, which lights regardless of the conditions (they must sell MILLIONS of these in Scotland).  Now, he points it in the general direction of some cotton wool balls, strikes it and watches it go up.    All very handy when you’re starving and can’t eat because you’ve got no fire to cook your sausages.

Sturdy Plastic Wine Glasses:
OK, so they’re not essential essential, and they’re also not made of glass, but they do make me a much happier camper.   I’ve been seriously impressed with the ranges on offer at my local supermarket, as well in many high street stores.   I’d have no problems using some of the ones I’ve found at home.  This is mainly because I’m not to be trusted with ‘real’ glasses.  

Note: always go for one that fits into the cup holder in your camping chair… also; get one that won’t be blown over in the wind.  There’s nothing more likely to harden my anti-camping stance than losing a glass of wine to lousy weather.  

copyright @ sightseeingshoes
Testing out how sturdy the wine glasses are.    Someone has to do it... 
copyright @ sightseeingshoes
OK, so I'd probably have missed this if I'd stayed at home.  

*bribed with wine

Do you have any camping essentials that you can't live without?