You can find details of my first garden camp here…
I’ve developed an insatiable yearning to go camping. I’ve done a bit in the past but not since having children. My Vango F10 Helium 200 (An old version of a Nevis I think) can’t really handle four people and my eldest daughter’s additional needs mean that we’d need an electric hook-up and to give some consideration to storing her milk… as well as buying a new tent and mattresses etc.
Anyway, I digress, initially it’ll be just me. This time the birds weren’t quite as raucous and settled down early enough. I think that an impending storm last time might’ve contributed to their mighty performance. To be clear, I love birds and appreciate hearing the even wider variety of sounds than I’d previously noticed… but I do want to sleep! The late night hum of the odd speeding car and motorbike travel across school fields and residential areas with ease too!
I enjoyed reading a chapter of Jeremy Wade’s How to Think Like a Fish. You can read about it here when I’m done!
I probably fell asleep around 10:30pm and was woken bang on 4am. The birds! Did I fall back asleep? Possibly, but I think I was up, content but tossing and turning a little. I didn’t actually get out of the tent until 8:10am. I was cold when I woke. I hadn’t been at night (I believe the low was 9 degrees). This may be more to do with the ground than than the air. I had my ground sheet, bottom of my tent and my mattress beneath me. In the early hours, I had to add my fleece t-shirt that I recently bought. Come night two, I’d add my insulated foil sheet underneath my inflated mattress.
I’m struggling to fully inflate (With my lungs) an expensive sleeping pad that I bought. It’s a shame because it’s small and light as a feather. The Levin one that I’m using is a bit heavier but has a built in pump. It still require a bit of (Noisy!) effort though. My back felt a little hard when I woke up despite the mattress feeling extremely comfortable.
My new Fathom EV 300 sleeping bag performed okay. The zip gets caught when you pull it from the outside, less so from inside which is slightly more awkward. It’s snug at the top for the head and I slightly prefer my previous one in that regards but my new one is 3-season and packs down extremely small.
I have plenty of space on one side of my tent to put spare clothes as well as my torch and book etc. The inner does droop a little, in fact more than a little but it’s bearable for one person who is sleeping in the centre.
I tried my old cooking unit again but the ignition button wouldn’t work. It still works with a match but then this possibly makes the new unit that I bought preferential. My water boiled (In a camping whistle kettle) with ease… and makes a beautiful whistling sound. That said, the tea I bought was horrible! Despite using water instead of milk, my porridge was fine.
On the second night, I didn’t get into my tent until around 10pm. The birds were quiet but my neighbours weren’t. They we’re playing loud music! The hum of boy racers pierced my ears too.
Eventually I fell asleep (Maybe around midnight) and that resulted in me not waking until about 6:10am. Again, I heard bird calls that I hadn’t heard before. A woodpecker may have been amongst the sounds but echoed differently to those that I’d heard before.
There was condensation on the inside of the outside (The flysheet) of my tent. I think that’s the idea though. Any moisture on the outside was already dried by the sun. The inner and outer don’t touch at all so the inside of my tent was fine. Like I say though, the inside of the outside was moist which is a bit awkward in regards to drying it before packing it away.
All in all my garden camps have been valuable experiments to get back in the groove with camping. I’m booked for a weekend stay at a campsite in a few weeks so hope to post about both the camping experience and another hike. Look out for those posts come late June.