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Happy Campers Happy Campers By Rebecca Penmore


Happy Campers


Copyright © Rebecca Penmore 2011 Printed: Ripe Digital, Unit 1, Park Lane Industrial Estate, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9LG United Kingdom Paper: 170gsm HP Indigo Binding: Coptic Bound Hand bound by Rebecca Penmore ‘Happy Campers’ title typeface: Lobster 1.4 48pt, Regular Designed by Pablo Impallari Title typeface: Futura 14pt, Light Designed by Paul Renner Body typeface: Chaparral Pro 8pt, 10pt, 14pt, Regular, Italic Designed by Carol Twombly Project produced for: The Type & Print Module 2011 BA (Hons) Graphic Design University of the West of England, Bristol

Book designer & editor: Rebecca Penmore www.rebeccapenmore.co.uk All text, illustrations and photography by Rebecca Penmore unless otherwise stated. Special thanks to: Mum, Dad, Ness, Grandma & Grampy, Grannie & Grandad, Abbie Vickress, Amy White, Katherine Wood, Rebecca Gibbs, Helen Kidwell, Jana De Brabant, Guy, Richard & Jean Buxton, Jerry Ellis, John Jameson, Ripe Digital, Waterford County Museum, The Camping and Caravanning Club


Happy Campers By Rebecca Penmore


in the fiel t s r d Fi The history of recreational camping

Introduction

08

First in the Field

12

Gentlemen’s Sport

14

The War Years

20

Fabulous Fifties & Smashing Sixties

24

Happy Camper Profile: Pam & Brian Appleyard

28

The Demise

30


GLAMP UP YOUR CAMP A guide to camping equipment

CARRY ON CAMPING AN INVESTIGATION INTO MODERN CAMPING

Carry on Camping

36

Glamp up your Camp

58

Camping Today

38

What to Bring?

60

Happy Camper Profile: Bekki, Helen & Myself

40

Camping Checklist

64

Perfect Pitches

52

Where to Purchase Equipment?

76

Happy Camper Profile: Guy, from Attwoolls

78


COOL C MPING

in the thick of it!

A look at how festivals changed the face of camping

A guide to the sports & activities taken part alongside camping

In the Thick of It!

82

Cool Camping

106

Camping Activities

84

Festival Fun

108

Happy Camper Profile: Richard & Jean Buxton

86

The Do’s and Don’ts

114

Which Festival?

120

Games Galore

94 98

Happy Camper Profile: Jana De Brabant

124

Savvy Sports Camper Happy Camper Profile: Nick Penmore

100

Too Posh for Mud

128


Appendix Valuable advice, helpful hints and other useful resources

YURTS, DOMES, BELL TENTS & BENDERS AN INTRODUCTION TO GLAMPING & THE ALTERNATIVE CAMPING SCENE

Yurts, Domes, Bell Tents & Benders

130

Happy Glamper

132

Happy Camper Profile: Jonny Clothier

136

Camper for Life Happy Camper Profile: Jerry Ellis

Appendix

154

Words of Wisdom

156

Camping Checklist

161

Top 10 Campsites

162

144

Other Uses

170

148

Useful Websites

172

Bibliography

173

Happy Campers?

174

Index

176


9

I n t r o d u c t i o n Camping: why do I persist? Why do I regularly, voluntarily, drive four hours to a wet field? I only have to unpack my tent to see how much of a hurry I was in to get home last time. And yet, despite these warnings from history, I’m actually excited about the idea of putting up my tent. Again. As a girl, my Mum enjoyed many a happy family holiday under canvas and although my Dad did not go camping with his family, he went on regular trips with the Scouts, just as many adventurous young boys do. When they met in 1981 they began to go on camping trips together as a cheap way of getting away. Rather than just the ordinary British camping trip, my parents explored further afield, travelling to the South of France and then onto the USA. The photograph opposite was taken at Yosemite National Park, California in 1984, a year into their American travels. Whilst researching camping, my Mum revealed this photo to me, explaining it is her favourite photo of herself; she says she remembers the moment vividly as one of the happiest times of her life. My parents have been an important factor in my interest of camping and spending time outside. They have always encouraged a love of the outdoors and nurtured a sense of adventure. From a very young age I have been taken away on regular camping holidays around the UK.

Enjoying a camp out Yosemite National Park, California, USA, 1984


10 | Introduction

My first camping trip was in 1992 when I was two years old to Swanage, as shown opposite. Since then, I have made many a fond memory camping. Playing in streams in The Brecon Beacons, feeding wild ponies on the beach at The Gower and even the odd camp out with friends in the garden; wherever we were we always had great fun. This book has given me the opportunity to explore camping in all its many forms. Beginning with its history as a recreational activity in the Edwardian times, to its rapid growth in popularity today. I have looked at all aspects of modern camping including traditional family camping trips, the phenomenon of glamping (glamorous camping) and everything in between! Throughout the book are various guides and resources aimed to help you prepare for you own camping trip. At the end of the book is the appendix, which contains a detachable checklist, a guide to campsites, amongst other useful information. Currently, I probably go camping about four times a year. As well as a cheap alternative, I really enjoy going back to basics and spending time outdoors. I hope that this book will remind those who have been camping before of all the fun that can be had, and encourage those who have not been before, to go out and give it a go!

R e b e cca Penmore Designer & Editor

My first of many camping trips away with my family Swanage, Dorset, 1992


h t e n i f t i e s r l i d F The history of recreational camping


15

G e n t l e m e n ’s The idea of camping for fun first came about at the S p o r t end of the nineteenth century. Before this it was primarily only soldiers who camped, since it was a practical solution for armies on the move. Camping was developed by the Edwardian upper-middle class at the turn of the Twentieth Century, who wanted to escape the city. It was a highly aspirational activity, only for well off professionals. It was definitely not seen suitable for the working class. This often comes as a surprise to many people today as camping nowadays is synonymous with the cheap family holiday. The idea of recreational camping was born off the back of the bicycle. The bicycle was revolutionary technology, opening up the countryside and giving a sense of individual movement. There was a logical progression from cycling to cycle camping; with cycling came the ability to carry your own equipment and explore wherever you wanted to. The man behind the cycle-camping revolution was called Thomas Hiram Holding. Today he is considered by many to be the father of modern camping. He was a tailor by trade and used his skills to develop a lightweight tent that could be carried about by bicycle. In 1901, along with six other men he founded the ‘Association of Cycle Campers’, today the club is known as ‘The Camping and Caravanning Club’ and now has over half a million members.

A group of gentlemen posing for a photograph Waterford, Ireland, Circa 1910 By Edward Brenan Copyright: Waterford County Museum


16 | First in the Field

Although camping quickly began to grow in popularity as a leisure activity, it was still seen as a gentlemen’s sport. It was comparable with hunting, fishing and boating; it was only seen suitable for the upper-middle class. It required you to be able to have time off work, which most ordinary people would not have been able to do. For the majority of British people it was unheard of to have paid holiday leave and in most cases they would have no holiday at all. When you look at the early list of members of ‘The Camping Club’ it was all working professionals such as lawyers, doctors and clergymen. As well as the financial aspect of camping limiting those who got involved, it was also key to have networks of land-owning friends in the countryside, so that they had land they were allowed to camp on. Normal working-class people would have not been given permission to camp on private land, as the owners would have worried they would damage it. One of the biggest drivers for the early campers was the need to get out of the growing smokey cities. People wanted to get up close and personal with nature and away from the stresses of modern life. The industrial city life was viewed was unhealthy. It was seen as a place that disease easily spread and generally very unpleasant. Camping allowed people to explore their physical health in beautiful surroundings unfamiliar to them. It was the simple delights of the countryside that was at the heart of camping’s appeal.

Camping and boating Circa 1885 By W.T Richardson Two ladies with their dog enjoying campsite life Waterford, Ireland Circa 1910 By Edward Brenan Copyright: Waterford County Museum Next page: Time for tea Circa 1900-1905 Copyright: Lovely Day Lemon, Flickr


20 | First in the Field


21

T h e Wa r After World War One there was a new enthusiasm Ye a r s for the great British outdoors. People wanted to rediscover nature, which they felt would make them better people both physically and spiritually. Camping was no longer just a pleasant pastime but part of a social revolution in reaction to World War One. War triggers worry about health and people were set on improving the fitness of the nation. There was a drive to look after the beautiful healthy young bodies, since so many had been destroyed in the war. The popular uprising lead to a rediscovery of mans connection with nature. The aim was for people to feel at peace with themselves and to find their place in world. Changing fashion styles also added to the appeal of camping; twenty years ago at the turn of the century men were wearing ties and suits and women were wearing large impractical dresses to go camping. It was now acceptable for both men and women to wear shorts and more revealing comfortable outfits. These changes meant that camping became more casual and therefore accessible to the masses. Camping started to gain popularity with the working class and by the 1930s the camping industry experienced rapid growth and innovation. New technologies were being developed and it became easier to source the equipment needed to go on your own trip.

Hungry Campers Circa 1930 Copyright: The Camping Club


22 | First in the Field

Man-made fabrics were now being used as a lightweight and practical alternative to heavy canvas. There was also now also an increased demand for camping paraphernalia such as sleeping bags and stoves. This new enthusiasm for camping was transforming Britain. Major cities were now ringed by campsites giving people a new sense of freedom. Britain was transformed from a grey urban sprawl to an open, brighter vision of society. As well as physically, this new shift was happening socially too, with a far less rigid class system in place. One of the key figures in the growth of the camping was Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout movement as shown opposite. He set up the Scouts during the late Edwardian era and emphasised camping’s importance. He talked about camping with a purpose and a goal as opposed to an indulgent and frivolous activity. In 1919 he became president of ‘The Camping Club’ as well as simultaneously the head of the ‘Scouting Association.’ In 1920, Baden-Powell organised the ‘First World Scout Jamboree’ held in Olympia in London, where 8,000 Scouts from 34 nations attended. The arena was turfed, enabling the Scouts to pitch tents within the glass-roofed hall. However, around 5,000 of the Scouts were encamped at the Old Deer Park in nearby Richmond as they could not all be accommodated. The Scouts rotated in and out of Olympia to give them all the opportunity to participate in the events.

Caption for illustration reads: “I was nearly losing hope, but the sight of all you boys gives it back to me.” Referring to the ‘First World Scout Jamboree’ in the context of the aftermath of WWI London, 1920 Copyright: Punch magazine


25

Fabulous Fifties & Smashing Sixties

Social development added to the popularity of camping holidays in the 1950s and 1960s. Improved working conditions and increased car ownership meant people were a lot more mobile. Ordinary British families could now pack up and escape to the countryside and coastline. In the fifties, holiday terms were greatly improved and 90% of people were now entitled to two weeks paid holiday leave. By 1960, one in ten people had access to a car and so could independently make decisions about where they holidayed. Coupled with an improving road network campers were very much more mobile. It also improved the breadth of places people could access, allowing for camping trips to be taken off the beaten track. Camping was no longer just a hobby for the rich, but a means to a cheap family holiday for anybody. Before camping, working class families stayed in boarding houses, where strict rules and regulations were enforced upon them. Camping introduced a new freedom that allowed families to go on holiday and do things the way they wished to, without being judged. Plus it was a very affordable option, a family of six renting rooms in a guest house would cost a fortune, but to take them to a tent in a field would be comparably cheap.

A family campsite showing the combination of tents, caravans, campers and cars Worcestershire, 1969 Copyright: The Camping Club


26 | First in the Field

Another factor influencing camping’s increased popularity was the development of tent technology. The ‘frame’ and ‘continental’ tent with extended living areas opened camping up to mass markets. The tent was reinvented as a domestic space with windows, awning’s and separate bedroom compartments. Campsites were seen as a haven of lots of little homes, no longer as an intrepid site of adventurers roughing it. It was at this time that manufacturers responded by developing the campervan, trailer tents and camping trailers. It was during this time that campers began to head off to pastures new and experience foreign camping holidays. People packed up their cars and made the long journey across The Channel to popular European camping destinations such as the South of France. Campsites started opening all around the country and in the 1950s membership of ‘The Camping Club’ went from 15,000 to 50,000. The club gave welcoming structure for members, organising activities and events for all tastes, including fancy dress parades, folk dancing and pageants. It encouraged camp life and camaraderie, allowing people to make friends and then to continue to keep in touch. People no longer went camping just to escape to the countryside but now with the desire to bond with each other, hence the dramatic increase in membership of the club. They liked to be a part of a club with a shared ethos and to be given the opportunities to celebrate camping with like-minded people.

Camping Club Membership Card from 1955 when subscription was only £1 Copyright: The Caravan and Camping Club Selection of family Camping images from the late 60’s Copyright: Vikiing Man, Flickr & Wikipedia


Pam & Brian Appleyard Long time happy campers

Although Pam and Brian Appleyard (aka Grandma and Grampy) do not go camping anymore, they have been on many trips over their years: they went as a children, as a couple and when they had children. On the 1st of April I went to visit them to ask them about their memories of camping holidays. P: Pam, B: Brian When was the first time you went camping as a family? P: I think we first went when the children were little and we wanted to go abroad and we thought the only way we could get abroad really was camping. We found this wonderful company that had sites all around Europe and the tents were all already there. So all you had to do was travel there and there would be your tent. I think we may have had to take sleeping bags but all the cooking facilities were there. Ah okay, to me that seems like quite a modern idea? You get quite a lot of sites like that now. P: Well, yes, a lot of them have probably kept going. I know when we went it used to be called Canvas Holidays. I think we went to France and we also went to Italy and it was lovely because these camps were so, you know, multi-national. The kids just used to go off and it didn’t even matter that they didn’t speak German or French or whatever. And how long did you go for? P: It was generally a fortnight. I can’t remember how we used to hire the camp whether it was by the week or not. I mean the continent from taking a ferry across, it didn’t take very long to get to. Italy was a bit longer, so we stopped overnight. When do you think this would have been? P: Neil was quite young, he must of been 8, so would have been early 70s. During the 1970s we must have been at least a couple of times…

Pam and Brian 2010

Left to right: Aunty Sarah, Uncle Neil and Mum The South of France, 1970


Happy Camper Profile: Pam and Brian | 29


Mum and Aunty Sarah playing on the beach The South of France, 1970 Grandma soaking up the summer sun The South of France, 1970

(Grampy walks in) B: My camping started when I was in the Cubs, when I was at Charlton King’s Wolf Cubs. Cranham was the place we used to go, all the Cubs and Scouts went there. Oh yeh, thats where I used to go with the Brownies as well. P: (to Brian) Were you under canvas? B: Yeah! Of course we were! I remember one year we went there and it poured. The camping site used to be at the top of a big hill, and we were up there camping and it poured on the last few days and we had to go back. We had a big bell tent and packed it all up and we came down the slope, just on the top of the bell tent, sliding down in the mud. How old were you when you went on your first camping trip? B: In those days loads of people camped, because it was all they could afford really. I started off going down there with the family. P: What with your mum and dad? B: Yeh P: Ah I didn’t know that. B: That was when they went across the channel to bring back all the army, you know, the invasion of France P: That would have been the 1940s then? B: Yeh. We were up at the camp and saw all the shipping boats and smacks that were going to bring all the soldiers back. I remember that.


Wow, that must be quite a memory. Any other thoughts on camping? B: So that was the early days of camping. I think it was good. Those days I think it was educational, you got to know different people, it taught you things. There was inspections for looking smart, brushing your teeth and hair, it was an education for life really. I used to enjoy it. What about your thoughts on campers? P: We found when we were camping on our own, they were always very friendly. Campers are always friendly B: We went down once didn’t we and we couldn’t get the tent up P: I know we had this new tent and in the end they came and took pity on us and helped us. B: It got to the stage were we were laughing too much, all the poles looked the same. P: The people came down from the top of the field, they said they had such a laugh watching us and felt sorry for us. So you did eventually get it up! Any other interesting stories? P: We had a hairy time in Italy, we were camping in Italy with the children, and it was on a slope wasn’t it, and there was a storm brewing, we saw all these people digging trenches around their tents. B: I said this is stupid, I don’t know why they do it, I’ve got no idea! P: But when it stated raining in the night… B: The water came flooding down the field. That was the holiday when Neil was drinking the water out of that tap. P: Oh I know! B: He was ill, really, really ill! P: Really ill! B: We had to call the doctor because he was hallucinating. P: He would go and play football, and go and drink from this dirty sand pipe on the beach. I would imagine your Mum would remember that. It sounds memorable, I’m sure she would. Well, thank you very much for talking to me and sharing some of your camping experiences, it’s been really interesting. P: Yeh no problem. I’ll go and put the kettle on shall I?

Mum, Aunty Sarah and Uncle Neil with some of their new holiday friends The South of France, 1970


33


35

T h e D e m i s e As the 1980s came around camping’s image suffered as the economy picked up and the realities of the British climate set in. Camping became dowdy and drab and it’s popularity plunged. Air travel peaked in the late 1970s and the success of the package holiday offered cheap alternative to a traditional camping holiday. There was a social shift and people wanted to do something a little bit flash on their holidays; camping did not sit well with this. People wanted to jet off to Spain or Greece and experience the exotic lifestyles seen on their television screens. Camping had lost popular appeal with the wider British public and was viewed as a down-market option. It experienced a severe image problem and people were not prepared to ‘rough it’ anymore. It was thought to be damp and boring. People had better things to do with summers and wanted to go abroad instead and experience top notch modern conveniences and a warmer climate But unexpectedly camping’s popularity has had a revival in the last ten years. Music festivals introduced a whole new generation to camping and it finally became ‘cool’. Coupled with the new subculture of glamping, holidaymakers are once again interested in getting back to nature and partaking in an eco-friendly holiday.

The great British weather can make or break a camping trip...


CARRY ON CAMPING AN INVESTIGATION INTO MODERN CAMPING


38 | Carr y on camping


39

C a m p i n g When you visit a modern campsite today it’s clear To d a y that there is no set type of person that goes camping. You will find all kinds of people: teenagers, groups of 30 something’s, families and the retired. It now appeals to all demographics and classes. Some are doing it to save cash, others just like the experience of waking up in nature. Huge multi- room tents with 4x4’s parked outside overlook tiny pop-up tents with no room to stand up. It is not often you can go on holiday and experience such a wide variety of people all enjoying the same experience. Camping provides people with the opportunity to do things they never usually experience. Whether this is being with loved ones, exploring the outdoors, spending time away from their laptops and mobile phones or just simply spending time doing nothing. In our technologically dependant world, many people are anxious for their youngsters not to miss out on the type of experiences they themselves enjoyed as children. With the popularity of computers, video games and social networking, some children rarely spend time away from their screens. It is becoming a worry that children might be getting too used to having fun that relies on virtual surroundings and ready-made entertainment. Camping allows families to get back to basics and properly engage with each other and their surroundings.

Being able to get so close to nature is one of camping’s major appeals The Forest of Dean, 2011


Bekki, Helen & myself A group of happy campers

On the 18th of April, Bekki Gibbs, Helen Kidwell and myself went on a camping trip to ‘Bracelands’, a campsite run by ‘The Forestry Commission in The Forest of Dean. At the end of the trip I asked them a few questions about the trip and how it compared to their experiences of camping in the past. H: Helen, B: Bekki Have you camping before? And if so when did you last go? H: Yes, a few times with family and friends. I last went when I was 18 with family in Wales - this only lasted a day because the weather was so miserable we couldn’t bear it any longer! Tent poles snapped, that’s how windy it was! So the last proper time was when I was 15, with 3 friends, to Newquay for a typical ‘post-GCSE’ trip. B: It would depend on your definition of camping! I have been, on what we call camping, before which mainly just consists of going away for one night, in a field consuming a lot of alcohol in the great outdoors! Other than that, I haven’t been on any real camping trips, it wasn’t our choice of holiday as a child. How did they compare with our trip? B: It wasn’t too different from our trip, except we visited an actual campsite and took all the equipment to cook food ourselves. When I’ve been camping before, we have just bought readily prepared food and it wasn’t at a campsite, just in one of the fields that surround where I live at home. H: Our trip was so much nicer! I was pleasantly surprised by how sophisticated it was. I think the weather helped a lot, sunshine equals happy camping! The campsite in Newquay was a fiver for one week, it was aimed at young people so you didn’t expect to get much sleep, and our meals were pretty much cold beans and very al dente pasta!

Bekki and Helen 2011

Trying to work out where the poles go... The Forest of Dean, 2011 Next Page: The tent starting to take shape The Forest of Dean, 2011


44

An essential camping skill: knowing how to tie a knot! Opposite: When knotting goes wrong The Forest of Dean, 2011


45


46 | Chapter Title


Enjoying our well-earnt food in the sunshine The Forest of Dean, 2011

What did you think of the campsite? H: Great facilities and even though it was quite close to the town it still felt like you were getting the camping experience. The ladies of the reception were so nice and informative. The cycle hire place is a really clever idea, and if we were there for longer I would have definitely been tempted. Felt like a very family orientated place so quite peaceful. B: I was actually really impressed by the campsite we visited, I didn’t expect it to be as nice as it was. The interior design of the reception was comparable to a hotel and the on-site shop was surprisingly good too. And like Helen said, even though we didn’t use it, the onsite bike hire was a great idea. What was the highlight of the trip for you? B: I think the highlight of the trip for me was sitting out in the sunshine eating the food we had cooked on the little camping stove. It was such a lovely experience for me because as I said before, I haven’t used one before, and it made me feel like it was a proper camping trip! H: Probably sitting outside the tent having lunch in the sunshine having just put up the tent with (relative) ease! Something that could’ve been potentially quite stressful was actually quite fun and satisfying when the job is done!


What was the worst aspect of the trip? How could of these been improved? H: Flies. Flies. Flies. Which I’m sure we could improve with some sort of repellent. And also got colder than I thought I would during the night so next time will bring thermals! B: I didn’t actually not enjoy any aspect of our trip. The weather was beautiful, the company was great and I had a surprisingly comfortable night sleep! What did you think of the location? Did you enjoy the sculpture trail? B: I really liked the location. I don’t live too far from it when I live at home with my parents, so I was familiar with the area but I did really like it. I love forest areas and combined with the weather, at times it felt like we were a million miles away from home. It was a peaceful and relaxing location and I really appreciated, and needed that. The Sculpture Trail was a lot of fun too, it was really interesting to have a look at the artwork and take a walk through the woods. H: Yeah good, it took a lot faster for us to get there than I expected. Having a car was a big help for us, because for the activities, apart from cycling were a little drive away. The Sculpture Trail was just as fun as I remember it from a school trip 8 years ago. My favourite was the chair at the beginning - it somehow fitted into the landscape and if I was a lot younger I’m sure I would have believed a giant sits there to look at the fantastic view! Has it made you want to go camping again? H: Yes! I really like the idea of camping by the coast because it’s my favourite place to go on holiday. B: Definitely, I probably wouldn’t go for more than a long weekend though, I like my home comforts and hair dryer far too much! And I would only really enjoy it if it was sunny. But yes I would love to camp again in the summer sometime. Thanks very much girls, I will make sure I organise a seaside summer camping trip very soon!

We had a lot of fun whilst walking the Sculpture Trail The Forest of Dean, 2011 Next Page: The sculpture ‘Cathedral’, designed by Kevin Atherton The Forest of Dean, 2011


50 | Chapter Title

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Image Title When the image was taken, and if its not by me who its by


Sub Divide | 51

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52 | Carr y on camping


53

P e r f e c t Camping can be seen as an almost cult-like hobby. P i t c h e s Many people find a campsite they like and visit it religiously, sometimes even on the same week every year. For these people, especially families, camping is a familiar and sociable experience. Campsites are usually family owned, although there are a growing number being operated by specialist organisations such as ‘The Forestry Commission’ and ‘The National Trust’. Some of these commercial campsites can be vast, with up to 500 pitches on one site, it is therefore widely accepted that for a more personal experience a family owned site is best. Some campsites are part of working farms, which adds to the charm and interest. These sites are especially good for families with young children as they often provide activities such as milking cows, collecting eggs and picking fruit. Since camping is an outdoor activity, many campers decide to bring their dogs along. Dogs discover interesting features you might otherwise overlook and are thrilled at the new smells and sites of a campsite. If you are going to take your dog camping, it is vital that the dog is well-behaved with other people and animals. Some campsites are extremely accommodating towards dogs, but before arriving at a site with your dog it is important to contact the campsite to check that dogs are permitted on site.

Dogs enjoy camping too! Rodborough Common, Gloucestershire, 2011 Next page: The view from within Rodborough Common, Gloucestershire, 2011


56 | Carr y on Camping

Camping is a very personal experience and the service you receive is paramount. Passionate campsite owners develop and create quality campsites. From the moment you enter the site it’s important that you feel welcomed and at home. Although camping is about going back to basics, a standard campsites is expected to provide basic facilities such as working toilets and showers. If these are not up to scratch it can really ruin a holiday. When looking for somewhere to pitch up your tent, it can often be overwhelming deciding where to go. Although this book is by no means a guide to campsites, it would be mindless to have a book about camping, without a small section looking at some of the best spots to camp. At the back of the book in the ‘Appendix’ is a guide to some of the best campsites around England and Wales. These have been purely picked out of experience, whether it my own or through recommendation of friends and family. For a more in depth guide to campsites in the United Kingdom, ‘Cool Camping’ published by Punk Publishers is a fantastic resource. The campsites selected stand out as being truly the best. They are all very different in terms of location and atmosphere, yet all equally provide the keen camper with the environment necessary to have a great camping experience. Although mainly traditional campsites, a couple of ‘glamping’ sites are also included, which whilst fairly expensive can be a great choice for a more luxurious trip.

Taking in the views Rodborough Common, Gloucestershire, 2011


Sub Divide | 57


GLAMP UP YOUR CAMP A guide to camping equipment


60 | Camping Equipment


61

W h a t t o You could be staying at the most beautiful campsite B r i n g ? in the world, but without the right camping equipment the trip will be a complete disaster. The success of a camping trip depends on bringing the right things with you. Even after the initial cost of equipment, camping is still one of the cheapest forms of holiday making. Although it is tempting to go with the cheapest tent on the market in an effort to save money, it is worth thinking about how often you plan to use it. It is much more cost effective to buy one well-made tent than a cheap poor quality tent year on year. You will find that a cheap tent you break at the first sign of wind or rain, will need replacing frequently and so not saving any money at all! If you are a complete beginner to camping, first things first: seek professional help at an outdoor or camping shop. It is important not to get carried away by all the gizmos. Remember to bear in mind is whether the gear you’re choosing will be suitable for the area and climate you are camping in. There’s no point buying an expensive four-seasons sleeping bag if you only ever intend to camp in France in July. As far as camping accessories go, there’s a huge array of devices designed to make your trip that little bit easier. But probably the most important single item is the one and only torch!

The car is packed up and ready to go Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2011


62 | Glamp up your Camp


What to Bring? | 63

Selection of Camping Equipment Adverts 1956


64 | Camping Equipment


65

C a m p i n g Whether a camping expert or someone wanting to C h e c k l i s t give it a go for the first time, there is no doubt that a camping checklist will make life a lot easier when it comes to packing up for a trip. Camping can often be an impromptu thing- a sunny forecast and a free weekend can be enough to inspire a trip. Because there is such a wide range of items needed, it is very easy to forget a key component whilst packing. For ease and simplicity, camping equipment can be divided into five main categories: ‘shelter & bedding’, ‘cooking & food’, ‘clothes & shoes’, ‘personal hygiene’ and finally the ‘other items’ that don’t particularly fit into the above categories but are essential for a successful trip. On the following five spreads are the camping essentials divided into their categories. The items are laid out for easy viewing, with a written key at the bottom of the page. These pages aim to help with the packing process and make assembling items for a camping trip much easier. At the back of the book, in the appendix, is a perforated removable copy of the camping checklist. This printed written list is divided into the five categories without any images. The list can be ripped out and used as a checklist for your next camping trip.

Slowly unpacking the car, hoping that nothing has been left behind The Forest of Dean, 2011


66 | Glamp up your Camp

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Shelter & Bedding:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Sleeping bag Sleeping mat Tent Blanket Pillow

Image Title When the image was taken, and if its not by me who its by


Camping Checklist | 67

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68 | Glamp up your Camp

2. 1.

8.

6.

7.

3.

4.

Cooking & Food:

5.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Food Cooking oil Chopping board Cooking utensils Cutlery

6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

9.

Bowls Cups & mugs Plates Ice pack Cloth & tea towel

10.

11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Washing up liquid Pots & pans Gas Stove Water container


Camping Checklist | 69

12.

15.

11.

13.

14.


70 | Glamp up your Camp

1.

3.

4.

5.

6. 2.

Clothes & Shoes:

7.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Walking boots Wellies Trainers Waterproof coat Hat

6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Flip flops Socks Fleece Swimwear Underwear

11. 12. 13. 14.

T-shirts Jumpers Jeans & trousers Shorts


Camping Checklist | 71

11. 12. 13.

8.

9.

10. 14.


72 | Glamp up your Camp

1.

7.

8.

2.

Personal Hygiene:

3.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

4.

Wash bag Hair brush Razor Toothbrush Toothpaste

5.

6.

6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Shampoo Toilet roll Soap Dry shampoo Towel

9.


Camping Checklist | 73

10.


74 | Glamp up your Camp

10. 1.

6.

5. 2.

7. 8. 3.

4. 9.

Other Items:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Picnic blanket First aid kit Matches Money Mobile phone

11. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Camera Bin bags Duct tape Card games Bat and ball

11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Sun cream Lantern Kitchen roll Torch Other ball games


Camping Checklist | 75

13.

14.

15. 12.


77

Where to P u r c h as e Equipment?

Today camping is a multi-billion pound industry with a huge demand for the latest in camping equipment and technology. At one end of the spectrum are national companies like ‘Go Outdoors’ that have huge superstores in out-of-town locations. With everything you could ever want for a camping trip all under one roof, this is a very convenient option. There are sales assistants on hand to offer advice on the best options and often special offers to tempt people in. Some people who are confident in what they want, choose to purchase their equipment via the Internet. All of the superstores will have an online store, which is often cheaper than visiting a store in the flesh. There are also specialist Internet-only shops which offer the best value for money. These are popular as they offer a huge scope of choice as well as the best bargains to be had. Unlike many other areas of retail, there are still a lot of very successful family-owned camping shops. These shops provide a personalised service to a smaller, but more loyal following of people. Many of the customers like to support their local community by purchasing their equipment from a local store rather than supporting large corporations. Although not always cheaper, the smaller stores often provide a much better quality of service.

Looking at the wide range of tents on offer Go Outdoor’s, Gloucester, 2011


Guy A happy camping shop employee

Guy works in Attwoolls, a 36,000 sq ft privately owned outdoor super store in Whitminster, near Gloucester. They stock all things camping related with many tents on display. I visited the store on the 4th of April and spoke to Guy about his job and how he goes about helping customers who are looking to buy camping equipment. How did you come about working here? Oh crumbs, wrong person to ask! Um…I’ve worked in London, in the outdoor industry, I’ve worked in Aviemore in Scotland in the outdoor industry. I’ve got a place in Stroud, was coming to back and rang them up. I am a skier, so I knew Attwoolls sold skis, so I literally called up and said I am going to be back in the area do you need ski sales staff and it just happened to be at the right time. I’ve been here 18 months now. And do you enjoy working here? Yeh, yeh, it’s a friendly atmosphere. So I know you just said you’re a skier, but do you ever go camping? I haven’t been for a while. But yes I’m a backpacker so I take small tents away rather than big tents. Okay, so say I was a first time camper and I came and asked you: “what do I need?” How would you advise me? First question I would ask, is it just for yourself? Are you a backpacker? Are you a festival camper? A car camper?—What are you looking for? So for example, if you are looking for a tent for Glastonbury festival, then basically a cheap and cheerful tent, that isn’t going to cost a bucket load and if it gets trashed you can just leave it on the site and not fret that you’ve ruined your best tent.

Guy Attwoolls, Gloucester, 2011 The team are on hand to help with any enquiries Attwoolls, Gloucester, 2011


79


If you are looking to spend most of your time on a seaside campsite and you want something that’s easy to put up, but of a reasonable space. So that if it’s a rainy day you can sit inside and read a book or whatever, then you’re looking for something with good head height. We have lots of four to six man tents which will easily accommodate one person obviously, just to give you a bit of extra room for spending leisure time inside, as well as being easy to put up. If your looking for something and you are a Scout group or a keen outdoors person and you want to go West Wales, The Scottish Highlands or the Lake District, or go overseas backpacking with a tent that’s compact, lightweight but is going to be giving you good performance in all winds and weathers and conditions, then we’ve got something to suit that as well. There are a lot of very, very good tents that we don’t sell, because they are for a different calibre of customer that we generally have. If it’s someone who is saying “I am going to arctic Sweden in the middle of November”, I’d say that we don’t have tents to suit that, but you can possibly try so and so place and that you are going to be looking to spend around x, y and z. So we really just need to find out what type of camper are you before we advise you on equipment. Would you say there are any common mistakes that first time campers make? I think possibly people don’t take advice. They don’t come to a specialist shop like Attwoolls, but go to Argos or Tesco. They see a tent and think ‘oh that will be lovely for the summer’, buy the tent and then start to have problems. We get a lot of customers who say they bought a crappy tent and it’s terrible and let them down. So go to a professional first, a store that specialises in camping equipment. Here we have 60/70 tents on display peak season, we can discuss exactly what the requirements are and try and match a person to a tent...and to the budget! The biggest criticism of customers is two-fold: One, they make snap decisions sometimes and later regret them. Two, a little bit of education in how best to pitch a tent and how best to look after a tent so that it lasts, goes a long way.


The store entrance Attwoolls, Gloucester, 2011

With regards to caring for a tent, what advice do you have? Not packing it away wet is number one. In particular, polycotton suffers more from mould and mildew than a synthetic tent. But even a synthetic tent will get musty and mildewy if you pack it away moist. Whenever I am selling a tent or discussing a tent with people, and they ask ‘how waterproof is the tent? How windproof? How sturdy?’ It just depends on whether you pitch it correctly. Tents have guy ropes all round them but if you don’t bother putting them out because it’s a nice day and then the wind picks up and your tent blows away, actually you’ve only got yourself to blame. Late summer, it gets very windy, and that’s when you get broken poles and ripped fly sheets. Quite often what lets a tent down is the person pitching it not the equipment! Thanks very much for taking the time out to talk to me, it’s been really interesting hearing about camping from an ‘expert’ point of view.


in the thick of it! A guide to the sports & activities taken part alongside camping


84 | Chapter Title


85

Camping Activities

For many camping trips, especially those involving groups of young people, a big part of the experience is the activities. Pursuits such as hiking, fire-making and fishing are all commonly found alongside camping. These activities add to the adventure and spirit of the outdoors, as well as teaching new key skills. There are many organisations that are based around outdoor pursuits and camping, the most famous being the ‘Scouts’. For over 100 years, they have provided adventurous activities and promoted the physical, intellectual, and social well-being of the individual. They believe young people develop most when they ‘learn by doing,’ when they are given responsibility, work in teams, take acceptable risks and think for themselves. This is why camping plays such a key part­—it allows the individual to undertake all of the organisations main objectives. Another organisation that encourages camping is the ‘The Duke of Edinburgh Award’. Expeditions are an important part of the award, with emphasis on survival skills in the outdoors. Each year over 275,000 young people take part, with around 12% of participants experiencing significant disadvantage in life. This means that for some young people, the award might be their only opportunity to take part in life-enhancing outdoor pursuits such as camping and hiking.

Maps and guides are an important part of any outdoors adventure holiday


Richard & Jean Two happy Scout camp leaders

Husband and wife, Richard and Jean Buxton, are longtime Scouting leaders from the Eastcombe Troop in Stroud, Gloucestershire. On the 27th April, I met up with Richard to find out what is involved in taking groups of Scouts camping. I also wanted to discuss how important camping is to the Scouting organisation in the present day. How did you get involved in the Scouts? Well I was a cub and a scout when I was younger, and there is a troop up here looking for volunteers 23 years ago! So I volunteered and I’ve been involved ever since. So you said you went as a child, do you have any memorable experiences? And did you go away often? Well just that the camps were very pleasurable in times of the holidays. We probably had the annual camp every year and then we would go away weekends here and there as well. How important do you think camping is within the scouting organisation? I think it’s very important, it helps to build confidence. Kids learn how to get on with other people, how to cook, how to cook by themselves. Better management of day to day life without their parents being there to tell them what to do. Do you find today that children still find going away on camps just as exciting as they did 20 years ago? Oh yeah. Even with all the technology. I mean some of them take some games with them. But camping is completely different to it, it’s back to basics. It’s about doing things for themselves and getting away from all the luxuries of everyday life. Camping is still as popular as it has ever been isn’t it? We do enjoy going away together.

Richard and his wife Jean Eastcombe, Gloucestershire, 2011 A group of Scouts on a camping trip, preparing and cooking their dinner the ‘old fashioned’ way Purbeck Peninsula, Dorset, 2004 Copyright: Richard Buxton


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88 | Chapter Title


Arriving at the camp Haarlem, Holland, 2007 Copyright: Richard Buxton

The opening ceremony at the Haalem Scouting Jamborette Haarlem, Holland, 2007 Copyright: Richard Buxton

So when you take the Scouts away on camps, what is the average format for a trip? It varies quite a lot. The international ones we’ve done have been about a fortnight each including travelling, normally an annual camp will be about a week, then you’ve got the weekend trips as well. This year our main camp is going to be two weeks in Holland, working with the Gloucestershire Scouts and them going out to the Haarlem Jamborette in Holland, to a camp that has got about 4,000 people. We went four years ago and enjoyed it so much, that this year we are part of the core organising team. With regards to health and safety regulations, are you finding that has much of an impact on how easy it is to do these trips? Yeah you’ve got to be more careful and aware of health and safety. You’ve got to do more written risk assessments, whereas before you did them all in your head. Now you’ve got to prove that you’ve done them by writing them down. But generally is doesn’t really restrict what we do. Do you have any memorable experiences of going away with Scouts in recent years? When we went to Harrlem last time, they had an open day where the public could come in. All the different Scout troops put on their own entertainment or activity, something like that, and on our camp we did artificial wounds. Unbeknown to us, this one child went off quite happily with his arm which was cut open and some member of the public wondered in and called emergency services. So we had the ambulance come in from the town. Haha, oh dear! That’s great. So what sort of things did other troops put on? Some of the dutch troops have a plaited cord that they wear as uniform for special occasions and they were making those and selling the for a euro. I think there was another English troop giving away small glasses of beer and then there was a Scottish troop doing the same but with whisky- so we did visit that troop quite a few times! So yeah it was all sorts of different activities that the troops either enjoyed doing themselves or promoted their own home country.


When you are on international camp is there much interaction with the other troops and leaders? Yeah well what happens in Haarlem is that you camp in sub-camps. I think there were five sub-camps, so there was probably about 800 or so in each sub-camp, so about 20 or 30 troops. There was a Danish troop we got to know quite well, and we went out and visited them two years ago for their national jamboree in Denmark and took 60 or so Scouts across there. That was a camp of 18,000 Scouts, so that was quite an experience. And they have also come back and visited us as well. That’s really good that you can build relationships with other camps around the world. Do you have any camping tips that you have picked up over the years as a leader? I think probably just being well prepared, in the way of taking waterproof clothing and that sort of thing. It’s very important to be hot on that. What we normally try and do is cook with them before hand so when they cook on a camp stove it is not the first time they have ever seen a stove and cooked on it. Anything else you wish to add about Scouting camping? Well there are different types of camps. There is the annual camp called ‘The Malvern Challenge’ that we always take the Scouts to. There are 2000 kids from across the UK, it’s the largest annual Scouting event in the country. I think we’ve been there for the last 10, 12, 14 years or something. That’s something we do every year and they always look forward to that. We also try and do our own annual camps, they tend to be what we call greenfield camps. There’s only ever a water tap somewhere close to the campsite and we’ve got to dig our own latrines, fetch our water, really back to basics. And how do they find that? They really enjoy it! Once they get over the shock of not having a hot shower everyday they love it! Great, that’s fantastic. Thanks ever so much for talking to me, I don’t think I realised quite how important camping was to The Scouts.

Digging the latrines on a ‘greenfield’ camping trip Purbeck Peninsula, Dorset, 2004 Copyright: Richard Buxton Next page: The campsite at the Haalem Scouting Jamborette Haarlem, Holland, 2007 Copyright: Richard Buxton


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94 | Camping Activities & Spor t


95

Games Galore

One of the reasons children love camping so much is that it feels like one long party. It gives them the chance to play games all day, without any real time constraints or limitations. Even on organised camping trips, time is always made for games in between planned activities. They encourage team spirit and motivate bonding, as well as providing a well needed release from structured events. There is always plenty of time in every camping trip for the usual ball games like rounders, tennis and cricket, so make sure not to forget bats, balls and rackets. Also remember not to overlook the simple ball games such as catch! You can’t always be so lucky to have a rain free holiday, especially if camping in the UK. For wet weather (which is bound to happen) bring along playing cards and board games, which can be used under canvas when it’s too wet to play outside. There are numerous card games suitable for children (and adults) of all ages, which can be a great way of keeping everybody amused on a rainy afternoon. The following two pages contains a selection of games which don’t involve any kit, so are perfect for kids wanting something to do without the hassle of any gear. Several of the games are also suitable to be played whilst on a long car journeys to pass the time.

A selection of bats and balls Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2011 Next pages: Playtime at the camp Copyright: Cool Camping website


96 | Chapter Title

Wink murder Tear a piece of paper into as many pieces as there are players and on one piece of paper write the word ‘murderer’. Fold the pieces and mix them up in a container. Each person (sat in a circle) takes a piece and checks whether they are the murderer, without letting anyone else know. The murderer then winks at each player, who will then ‘die’. The aim of the game is for the murderer to wink each player out without anyone guessing who the murderer is.

Capture the flag

Hide and seek

Divide players into two teams. Then divide an area in two, this could be part of a woods or field. The teams are given 5 minutes, to hide their ‘flag’ in their part of the area. The flag could be anything, colourful socks work well. When the time period is over, then you simply try to get the other teams flag. If you get tagged by the opponent on their area you go to ‘jail’ and can only be freed by a teammate who grabs you when your opponent isn’t looking. The first team to capture the flag wins.

This version includes ‘bases’ so adds an extra dimension to the traditional straightforward hide and seek version most of us know. First pick someone to be ‘it’ (the person to seek) then he/she turns around and counts with their eyes closed at the base, while the rest of the people hide. Then ‘It’ says “Ready or Not, Here I Come” and rushes to find everyone. The people hiding have to try to get back to base without getting caught. If they get tagged they become ‘it’ in the next game.


Camping Games | 97

My dad owns a grocer y shop... One player begins the round by saying, “My dad owns a grocery store, and in it he sells (something that begins with the letter A; e.g., apples).” The next player states, “My dad owns a grocery store, and in it he sells apples and (something that begins with the letter B; e.g., bananas).” It goes around and around with each player having to recite the entire list and then adding a new entry for the next letter of the alphabet.

Letter chaos Choose a category such as animals, food or girls names. The first player calls out a single item from the category, and the next player has to use the last letter of that word. For example, if you chose animals, it might go like this: tiger, rabbit, toad, dolphin. This game can be adapted for older children by using more challenging categories such as capital cities. This is a brilliant game to play on long car journeys or on lengthy walks.

Scavenger hunt Devise a list of possible treasures that each child has to go and hunt for. The list could include items such as a feather, a completely round stone, a bottle top and so on. Make sure you agree on a search area so that children don’t wonder off and get lost. It’s a good idea to give the kids a bucket or container to gather their items in (an empty yogurt pot works well). The winner is the one who has collected the most treasures after an agreed period of time. This is a great game for a day on the beach.


98 | In the Thick of It!


99

S a v v y As well as camping as a recreational activity, S p o r t s camping remains to be a convenient solution for C a m p e r people taking part in sporting activities as well as hugely adding to the social aspect of the sport. Outdoor pursuits such as fishing, motor-sports, walking and cycling often use camping as a practical and cheap method of accommodation. Camping allows the individual to regain a sense of independence as well as ultimate flexibility; they are completely free to camp where they want, when they want and how they want. For many sports, camping adds to the social aspect of the pursuit and is part of the appeal of going. It allows families to support a particular member of the family in an activity they enjoy, or in some cases, the whole family will participate in an event. In national events it also allows friends from different parts of the country to meet up and spend time together. Camps at social events are energetic places; people spend time socialising with friends and family long after the races or events are finished. Camping can be a way for spectators and competitors to interact. At multi-day and international events, camping areas are often provided for the public alongside the stars of the show. It brings the crowd together adding to the excitement and atmosphere of the event.

Camping scene showing a group of young men next to their bicycles New Zealand, 1910 Copyright: Tesla Studio, National Library of New Zealand


Nick Penmore A happy sports camper

As well as enjoying recreational camping, Nick Penmore (aka Dad) also camps within sporting activities. He has camped whilst taking part in motorcross, mountaineering, hiking and windsurfing. I spoke to him on the 3rd of April about some of his experiences of camping within sports and how it differs to standard camping holidays. So what is your main experience of camping within sports? Probably going on adventures up mountains. The latest trip was probably about six years ago, perhaps a bit more, I’m not sure. Whereabouts did you last go? We flew out to Grenada, we were going to go up Mulhacén which is the highest peak in mainland Spain. We rented a car and drove to a village called Trevelez in the Sierra Nevadas and camped in the village in a big tent, we did that for one night. What was the format for the mountaineering part of the trip? The following day we walked up the mountain, for a long time, about 8 or 10 hours and we had an idea of where to camp because we read some sort of guide. We left the big tent in the campsite at the village and we took one man tents and bivvy bags, which are a type of one man tent, up to this plateau, which was at about 10,500 feet. We based ourselves up at this little area by a lake up high for two nights. So while you were staying there, you using it as a sort of base camp? Yeh, we left our tent there, for a couple of days. We went up Mulhacén one day and the next day we went up another peak. The following day we packed up and went back down to the village with our bigger tent. I’ve done this a few times in North Wales at Snowdonia.

Nick Penmore 2010

A selection of images from Mulhacen hiking and camping trip Sierra Nevada, Spain, 2004


Spending time as a family at a Motorcross event Dorset, 1998

So with the walking, I guess the equipment is very important? Yeh, obviously it’s not like festival equipment that is cheap and cheerful. You do need some quite good kit, even in the summer at the south of Spain, camping at 10,500 feet it can get really cold. You need a good quality sleeping bag and a tent that can withstand a storm if needs be. And obviously we were walking for so long, all up hill, so it has got to be light as you’ve got to carry everything. Weight is crucial. What about within motorbike racing? How is camping used there? When I’ve raced motorbikes, some meetings that are quite a long way away, I used to drive to them with my motorbike because I didn’t have a van or camper at the time. I used to set up the tent and camp there. Did you find there was quite good camp spirit at the these events? Yeh it was all part of it, quite a lot of the bigger events, like I did the World Twin Shock Championship at Hawkstone in Shropshire. It’s not real top line stuff but more for older riders who are past their best on older type of bikes. On the Saturday night there would be a massive marquee with a band playing and a bar and everything. That was good. Did you have to pay extra to camp at these events? No I think it’s free, I think it’s all included in the entry and that was a two day event with racing on the Saturday and racing on the Sunday with camping in between. I’ve done this quite a lot in Dorset, Wales, well you know you’ve been to a couple. Do you think camping added to the event? Yeh, rather than a one day event it makes it more of a little holiday. It makes it more of an experience. How do you think camping within in a sport is different to camping just for a holiday? You’re there for a reason and you’re with like-minded people, a lot of which you know. So it’s quite different in terms of you are on more of a timescale, so you know, you have to have your breakfast at a certain time because you know practise starts at another time.


Have there been times you have camped at sporting events as a spectator rather than as a competitor? Many times. Most recently I have gone to Monza in Italy. I have done that about 4 times. We go with friends to watch The World Superbike Championship. We take an EasyJet or Ryanair flight to Milan. How does that work with taking camping equipment on the flight? Obviously weight is a limit. Normally four of us go so we take two tents, we split everything up to get the weight down and to stay within the limit. We wear as many clothes as we can and all of that sort of stuff. The campsite is actually at the race circuit, right at the end of the start/ finish straight. There is just such a fantastic atmosphere, it’s all bikers and a party going on all the time. There is a bar at the campsite. As a spectator it’s great. So it’s almost a mini-festival type set up? People bring sound equipment, amplifiers—there is all sorts going on. So again, you’re really there, taking in all the atmosphere. You really feel like your somewhere special. Whereas you could go and do it in comfort and stay in a hotel, but you would be so removed, you would miss out. So camping is definitely part of that experience? Definitely. As much of it is about the campsite as the race. In fact quite a lot of people, because it’s right by the track, you can actually see the race track, some people, the Europeans, some of them wont actually leave the campsite. They’ll bring a trailer with some scaffolding in, to make a tower. They can watch the racing from the scaffolding tower so they don’t even leave the campsite. Some people go just for the atmosphere rather than the racing. Great, well thanks very much for your time Dad, it’s been interesting to hear about your experiences.

The crowd rushing to the track after a race wit the campsite in the background, the scaffolding towers with spectators on visible Monza, Italy, 2010 Copyright: Petteri Kantokari

An inside view of the campsite Monza, Italy, 2010 Copyright: http:// img233.imageshack. us/i/img4452a.jpg


COOL C MPING A look at how festivals changed the face of camping


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F e s t i v a l One key factor in campings growing mainstream F u n appeal is the popularity of outdoor music festivals— it is an essential part of the festival experience. Get it wrong and you can have a truly miserable few days; get it right and you’ll remember it forever. If you want to stay clean, dry and comfortable, then like all good boy scouts you’ll need to be prepared. Although the equipment you need is the same, camping at a festival can be world’s apart from a traditional family camping holiday. Glastonbury is the largest British festival; last year there were over 200,000 revellers. Over the Glastonbury Festival weekend there are more people in the temporary tent city than live in Gloucester and Exeter combined. Huge amounts of camping equipment are left behind after every festival, last year over 5500 tents, 9500 roll mats, 6500 sleeping bags, 3500 air beds were abandoned at Glastonbury. After the 2007 festival when one of Michael Eavis’ cows died from ingesting a left over tent peg, the ‘Love The Farm, Leave No Trace’ campaign was introduced. This encourages people to take their rubbish home and if they do not want their tent, then to pack it up and donate it. The tents can then be recycled and sent to crisis areas around the world. Thom Yorke, one of the surprise special guests at The Park stage Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, 2010 Next page: The breathtaking aerial view Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, 2010 Copyright: Q Magazine


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It is a sad fact of life that with large groups of people comes crime— it is inevitable. There are always a few people who have to ruin it for everyone else. Since there is no way to secure a tent, there is often a lot of tent robbery at festivals. It is therefore advised not to leave anything in your tent that you can’t afford to loose. Be prepared that you’re not that likely to be getting much sleep in a tent at a festival. You need to be able to rough it and stay calm. Festivals are all about enjoying yourself so it’s important to be patient with people and understand they are only having fun. It is a good idea to get to know the people you are camping with as a big part of festival camping is about community spirit. So go ahead and make an effort to say hello and not only will this help you feel part of the camping community it will also add to your sense of security. You are going to encounter thousands of tents all very closely pitched. A festival site can be a very confusing place at the best of times and it is very easy to become disorientated, especially at night. To help find their tents many people fly flags over their pitch as a way of finding their way back. So even if you don’t bring one of your own, it’s a good idea to have a look out for any prominent flags close to your tent— this will really help out. You will be thankful you took note when you are stumbling back late at night after a few ciders and cant tell your budget Eurohike four man tent from the other hundred or so pitched in the same field!

Festival camp spirit Boomtown Festival, Buckinghamshire, 2010 Sun sets over festival site WOMAD Festival, Wiltshire, 2008


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T h e D o ’s & D o n ’t s

Do put your tent up in the garden before you go. That way you can make sure you know how it is put up and that all the parts are there. Do face your tents inward if you’re going in a group. That way you can stay dry and chat at the same time. Also, sleep with your head at the door end of the tent. This is good for both security and sociability. Do make friends with your neighbours. As mentioned previously, it’s great to have some community camp spirit plus they’ll be the ones you’ll rely on to watch your tent when you’re away from it. Don’t camp near the loos. It’s better to walk for a few extra minutes than to deal with the stench of overflowing portaloo’s in midday sun! Do take earplugs if you’re a light sleeper, but bear in mind that more than a couple of hours sleep is a luxury at a festival. Do customise your tent—it will make it much easier to find. A large, distinctive flag on a long pole works best. Do bring a large empty bottle for collecting water. Sometimes the nearest tap can be a long walk away, so it makes sense to stock up. Don’t bring anything you care about losing. If it’s precious, expensive or important to you, then leave it at home.

Do be open minded - you never quite know what you’ll come across! Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, 2009


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Don’t camp near a hedge - when the portaloo’s become unusable the hedges become crowded with people looking for a quick place to pee… or worse! Do take plenty of bin bags. They’re great for keeping things dry, getting rid of rubbish and storing bedding in when you’re not in your tent. Do take sensible clothes and more than you think you’ll need. Do remember your wellies—it only takes a few minutes of rain for the driest festival site to become a mudbath. Don’t camp at the bottom of a slope. If it rains, the water will run downhill and your tent will flood. Even if there is no flooding, the area at the bottom of the hill will naturally become muddier than that on higher ground. Do bring plenty of wet wipes. Usually you won’t have the opportunity to shower at festivals, so these are your only chance to keep clean. Do if you have long hair, then bring some dry shampoo. A brilliant way to keep you locks looking fresh without the hassle of washing. Do bring hand sanitizer and keep it on you at all times. You never know when you will need it.

Wellies are an obvious festival essential


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Don’t take any glass bottles. Most festivals have a ‘no glass’ policy, so make sure any drinks you bring are decanted into plastic bottles. Do pack some gaffer tape, it’s essential for repairing rips in tents. Don’t leave anything valuable on show in your car (if you are driving to the festival.) Festival car parks are notorious for break-ins. If at all possible empty your glove box as well, leaving it open to show you have nothing worth stealing inside. Do take enough cash. Have you seen the queues for the cashpoint? Do bring your mobile phone, and if possible a spare fully charged battery. You can replace the original battery when it inevitably runs out sooner than you hoped. Do bring ID, if you are lucky enough to look younger than 25. Most of the festival bars have a challenge 25 policy, so no ID means no beer! Do remember your camping essentials. Torch, suncream, antiseptic cream, matches, painkillers, a towel, spare batteries, toothbrush, toothpaste and finally… bring lots of loo roll. Don’t get too worked up about the toilets. They are going to be dirty and they are going to be smelly, there is nothing you can do about it.

On arrival at the festival, the toilets will look nice and clean, but by the second day it’s another story. A very smelly, dirty story! Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, 2010


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W h i c h Okay, so you have decided you definitely want to go F e s t i v a l ? to a festival, you know what to bring with you, but the biggest question is, which one should you go to? There are over 300 music festivals every year in the UK alone, each with its own individual style and atmosphere. Each caters for its own specific market so it is worth scouting out which will be right for you. It is also worth bearing in mind the cost, with tickets varying from free to more than £200. This section looks at four of the most popular UK festivals; Glastonbury, WOMAD, The Big Chill and Shambala.

Gl a s t o n b u r y ?

Sunrise at the ‘Stone Circle’, still bustling with revellers from the night before Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, 2010

The grandmother of all UK festivals, Glastonbury celebrated its 40th birthday in 2010. This the most popular of all the festivals, and for good reason too! It is spaced out over 900 acres and is crammed with everything you could ever want from a festival. It is easy to visit year on year and still discover a new area each time you visit. One of the most interesting areas of the festival is Green Field’s, which many believe to be the heart and soul of the festival. This area is about learning how to realise your own potential and discovering how to change the world. With a huge festival site comes a huge volume of punters, so it is worth mentioning that the size of the site can be extremely overwhelming. If you are not good with crowds then this probably isn’t the festival for you.


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WOMAD?

Standing for World of Music, Art and Dance, WOMAD does exactly what is says on the tin! From a DJ with his own barbershop quartet and six piece band from Ireland, to a rebellious band of Chinese throat singers, WOMAD brings artists from all over the world to Wiltshire, an area known for its rolling green hills and rural beauty. With no mainstream artists playing, discovery is the key and new musical revelations causing spine tingling sensations are rife.

Shambala?

A weekend at Shambala is like visiting your favourite dotty great aunt- you don’t quite know what to expect but it will definitely keep you entertained! Unlike most festivals, they keep the location under wraps until you buy a ticket and the programme a secret until you arrive, adding to the mystery and appeal. You have to just take the plunge, buy a ticket and get ready for a truly magical weekend full of music, magic, mayhem and of course lots of new found friends.

The B i g C h i l l ?

The charity Wateraid used blue facepaint as a fun way to raise awareness for all of their good work Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, 2010

The flags of the main stage WOMAD Festival, Wiltshire, 2008

Held in the grounds of Eastnor Castle in Malvern, The Big Chill is the original boutique festival attracting a wide range of bands, DJ’s, comedians and artwork. A great mix of mainstream and underground music, The Big Chill is appealing if you cannot decide whether you prefer dance anthems or rock classics. Caught between genres, this festival offers a very unique flavour of music­—rock, with a highly electronic edge.


Jana De Brabant A happy festival camper

Jana is one of my best friends and I have camped with her at festivals on several occasions. She lives in Germany and has experienced camping at both UK and European music festivals. On the 1st of April, I asked her a few questions about camping at festivals and how it adds to the overall festival experience. How do you think festival camping compares to non-festival camping? When you camp at a festival you don’t bring lots of things because most of the time you have to walk a great deal to get to wherever you can pitch your home for the next few days. Taking things like comfortable pillows, mattresses or big cooking devices are not really transportable by foot, especially if you only want to walk once, which if your going to a festival is mostly the case because you want to start the fun as soon as possible and not stay busy with making beds and stuff. At least that is how I see it. Also you camp much closer to everyone else and share a tiny place in front of the tent with the neighbouring tent-owners. So festival camping doesn’t really have much privacy to offer, but you don’t want that anyway- otherwise you wouldn’t go to a festival but to a nice quiet camping place by a lake or in the woods or whatever. I also like that people are much more relaxed at a festival. For example, cheese once melted all over my sleeping-bag and underwear. Normally I would have been really annoyed and irritated about that, but I simply didn’t care. Everyone is a bit dirty during a festival and I love that! Do you think camping is an important part of the festival experience? I think camping definitely belongs to a festival. Firstly you don’t have a choice really and secondly it underlines the feeling of being at a very nice colourful village for me. I mean imagine if in the evening everyone would went back to their holiday homes, like they have in Center Parcs. Now that would be rubbish!

Jana Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, 2009 Looking out over the famous Pyramid Stage Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, 2009 Getting into the spirit of things with a little face paint and a cider Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, 2009


What’s your favourite memory of camping at a festival? My favourite memory is arriving at a festival in Belgium. Because we got there by train and on foot we didn’t bring much. Not even food or beer or anything. Well after a day obviously we got really hungry and festival food is really expensive so we walked an hour to some supermarket to buy ravioli that we then couldn’t even open because we didn’t have a tin opener so we used a peg...and had them cold...in the rain. But we had beer and it was loads of fun. And your worst? My worst memory would be the last day of Boomtown Fair. Everyone had packed up and left but I had to stay with the boyfriend because of his work stuff. Well for the whole day there wasn’t any water, the food stall’s had closed and the toilets hadn’t been emptied. That was not a fun day of camping, or in that case packing up being really thirsty. And finally, do you have any advice for someone camping at a festival for their first time? My advice is especially directed at girls that go to a festival for the first time. Never listen to your boyfriend­—or any other man when they say you don’t need extra shoes or more than two t-shirts to go to a festival! That’s what I did the first time. He had been to loads of festivals and I thought he would know what to bring. Well in the end I literally had a pair of converse, a pair of shorts, a skirt, two t-shirts and a jumper with me for a whole week. That was way too little because as soon as it rains you need backup things. Oh, and also, always bring duct tape. You can mend everything with it - including a leaking tent! Great advice there. Thanks for you time and happy festival camping in the future!

The best way to get a good view of the stage Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, 2009


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To o P os h for Mud

If you’re one of the original festival revellers the prospect of a muddy field of booze fuelled teenagers may be starting to lose it’s appeal. Or you could be one of those who want to try out a festival but crinkle your nose at the idea of mud? Camp Kerala, shown opposite, is perhaps the most glamorous of all the festival glamping sites. It is situated on the outskirts of Glastonbury festival offering, in their websites words, “the easiest, chicest, most luxurious and most chilled way of being at the festival.” Costing over £9000 for the weekend, guests can be pampered rotten with hot showers, massages and bottles of Champagne on demand. Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis is not exactly impressed by this new phenomenon. ‘They’re catering for a commercial need­— there are rich people out there that will pay silly money to perch on the edge and to come into the site. But it’s nothing to do with me whatsoever. Glastonbury wasn’t really built on that principle, was it?” If that is a little bit out of yours price range, most festivals offer on-site tipis or yurts for hire, at an additional cost to the ticket price. By no means a cheap option, these will usually set you back around £900 for a six man tipi. They are however, a lot more down to earth and reasonable than many of the other festival glamping options.

Looking out over the vast festival site from the luxuries of Camp Kerala Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, 2010 Copyright: Camp Kerala Website


YURTS, DOMES, BELL TENTS & BENDERS AN INTRODUCTION TO GLAMPING & THE ALTERNATIVE CAMPING SCENE


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Happy Glamper

Glamping is a heady mix of glamour and the great outdoors, in which the freedom and challenge of going back to nature are tempered by home-making skills and the pleasures of domesticity. Glampers donate their roll mats to the boy scouts. For them, sheepskin rugs, leather pouffes, Egyptian-cotton sheets and double duvets- are all part of the alfresco setup. The standard glamping site costs upwards of £700 for a weeks stay, so it is not a cheap option! Glamping sites are usually made up of yurts, tipis or bell tents, all decked out with the luxuries of a hotel room. For many people it appeals as a hassle-free introduction to the great outdoors. The allure of glamping is that you can stay close to nature but still remain warm, dry and comfortable. The added bonus of having a fully functioning loo at your convenience is a big draw. For some people, rather than a first time introduction to the outdoors, a glamping holiday could just be a belated re-introduction. Many working professionals experienced enjoyable camping holidays as children and want to go back and see if it is as they remember. They camp for the nostalgic appeal, but are not prepared to buy any of the specialist equipment or ‘rough it’. Most glamping sites supply bedding, linen, groceries and sometimes even meals and spa facilities.

Camp Kerala is the ultimate in glamping comfort Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, 2010 Copyright: Camp Kerala Website


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Another reason for the popularity of the UK glamping holiday is that it is an eco-friendly option rather than flying abroad. Many people are keen to cut down their carbon emissions and do their bit in the fight against global warming. So instead of jetting off to Peru, they’ve opted for a weeks holiday in Penzance. They are realising you can have just as good holiday on home soil as on the other side of the world. According to figures published by market research company ‘BDRC Continental’, 41% of people who found the UK an appealing holiday destination said their main reason was air travel. The stress of getting to the airport, the hassle of going through security, the worry that your bags won’t make it to the right destination, do not make for a peaceful get away. Sometimes the headache of getting abroad outweighs the enjoyment of the holiday itself. By staying at home for your annual break, you get rid of the hassles associated with travelling abroad, which especially when you’re travelling with children can impact on the overall enjoyment. According to the BDRC, the British holiday industry is set to continue to grow. In 2010, their survey found that, when questioned, 31% said they felt the UK was becoming more appealing as a destination compared with 25% in 2009 and only 19% in 2008. This rise of 6% year on year is staggering, indicating a real shift in holiday making trends. Perhaps in another 5 years, the majority of us will be choosing the UK as our destination of choice?

With the increased threat of terrorism, airport security has been stepped up causing massive delays Denver International Airport, USA, 2007 Copyright: Greg O’Beirne, Wikimedia Commons


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Jonny Clothier A happy glamping site owner

Jonny Clothier, aka ‘The Dome King’, owns and runs ‘The Dome Garden’ a luxury glamping site in the heart of The Forest of Dean. He is also the owner of yurt hire company ‘Simply Yurts’, so he is very experienced in the glamping and luxury camping market. I spoke to him on the 8th March to ask him about ‘The Dome Garden’ and to find out more about glamping. Why do you think glamping has taken off in the way it has? I think it is something to do with Glastonbury, and the massive exposure of festivals. There is a whole generation who have done the whole festival thing, who have all gone on to do really well for themselves. They want to go back to Glastonbury, but they are not going to go crap in the long-drops, so Camp Kerala was born. That one thing has spawned the whole massive boutique camping thing. You now have the yurts, the huts, the airstreams, and it comes from my age of people who want to go camping but don’t want to rough it. Do you think there are any other reasons that contribute? Then there are a second bunch of people who have never done that at all and they want to go camping because they think they should. They don’t want to buy all the kit, usually one of the partners absolutely does not want to do it, no matter what, and I always thought it was the wives but the women are actually the ones who want to do it. But the men don’t want to do it, they see it coming a mile off and don’t want to be the one putting the tent up in the rain. As well as of course there is the toilet thing… But that is what we provide. Everything is here that you need. It is undercover, there are cookers, the tents are tents but only just, the loo’s are en-suite and there are showers. So all that appeals to people who want to be eco-friendly, want to go camping and have an idea of what the outdoor life is all about—it ticks all those boxes.

Jonny Clothier The Dome Garden, The Forest of Dean, 2010 The magnificent dome The Dome Garden, The Forest of Dean, 2011


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Construction of the domes The Dome Garden, The Forest of Dean, 2011


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How did you get into the glamping industry? When my kids started getting older, my youngest one is now 11, we has this tiny little tent we used to go camping a few times a year, and he got his knee in my back and I thought we’ve got a problem here, he’s not going to get any smaller, we’re going to have to get something else! I like the notion, and I’m forcing it on people here, I like the notion of people sleeping in one space. I think it’s really reinforcing for the family, I think it just does people a lot of good. In all my kids bedrooms we’ve cut big holes in the walls so that they are connected to the other rooms and they are never stuck on their own. We isolate people. We isolate old people, we isolate our young people, we force them to spend time on their own, and you don’t feel like they are part of a community in anyway. So we were not going to get a little tent with compartments in it, so eventually I stumbled upon this tipi and for three years we dragged this bloody tipi around Europe camping. Brilliant fun, massive interest, massive pain in the ass! Although saying that, in took an hour to put up, everyone else’s tent took an hour to put up! Ours was just a bit heavier. It was delightful, there is nothing like waking up in a tipi. So me and a mate thought, there must be something we can do with this, because it is such a joyous experience! Why do you think The Dome Garden is a success? I think it encompasses everything people want from a glamping experience. When they first get here, lots of people just don’t know what to do, they ask me ‘what is there to do here?’ I have got lists as long as your arm of things to do, but it gets to 3 O’clock on a Saturday afternoon and they haven’t even got out of bed yet- they are doing nothing, without realising they are doing nothing. Once they have been here for two days they stop worrying about everything and they realise that actually everything they need is here. On the first day they think how are we going to cope, how do we light the fire? And by the third day they are pyromaniacs! What is your mission statement for the site? This whole experience should be about making connections and reconnecting people. Connecting people to each other, themselves, the forest, the weather. Whatever it is, it’s about breaking up the continued isolation in the everyday lives we all lead. Great, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me. It has been so informative and a real insight into the glamping industry.

The Dome Garden The Forest of Dean, 2010 Copyright: Jonny Clothier

Next page: The roof on the dome The Dome Garden, The Forest of Dean, 2011


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C a m p e r As well as staying in tents for fun, a growing number f o r L i f e of people choose to permanently live in them. It has become common, in some of the more alternative areas, to know of people living in a yurt, tipi or bender. They provide a simpler style of living and allow for a more eco-friendly approach to life. Traditional tents like the yurt and tipi have been adopted in recent years for recreational use on glamping sites. They are popular choices because they are designed with comfort in mind and are ergonomic. In keeping with their original purpose, they are still used by many people as their permanent homes. Perhaps the most popular dwelling people choose to live in is a yurt. They are portable, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed structures traditionally used by Mongolian nomads. They are designed to be dismantled and the parts carried on camels or yaks to be rebuilt on another site. A tipi is a conical tent traditionally made of animal skins and was popularised by Native Americans of the Great Plains. The tipi was durable, provided warmth and comfort in winter, was dry during heavy rains, and was cool in the heat of summer. They could be disassembled and packed away quickly, which was very important because of their nomadic lifestyle. Although occasionally used as a permanent dwelling, generally yurts are used over tipis.

A traditional yurt Mongolia Copyright: Tom McShane


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In the United Kingdom, one of the main group of people who use tents as permanent dwellings are New Age Travellers. Not to be confused with gypsy travellers (who are very different) New Age Travellers support New Age ‘hippie’ beliefs and travel between music festivals and fairs in order to live in a community with others who hold similar beliefs. Their transport and homes consist of vans, lorries, buses, narrowboats and caravans converted into mobile homes. They also make use of tipis, yurts and in particular improvised bender tents. A bender tent is a simple shelter, made using flexible branches. These are lodged in the ground, then bent and woven together to form a strong dome-shape, which is then covered with tarpaulin. New Age travellers mainly originated in the late 1980s and early 1990s Britain. They still continue to travel around the UK today, however in greatly reduced numbers than they originally did. Whilst many of the people who live in tents in the UK today are New Age Travellers, there are some people who choose to live under canvas not because of any belief, but simply because they like the thought of it. With no large up-front payments, no mortgage and no fuss, a yurt can become a very attractive option for a first time buyer wanting to give something different a try. Or perhaps it might be more of a semi permanent solution, for somebody in between accommodation. Whatever the reason for living in a tent, it can be a very rewarding experience. Through living the simple life with just the bare essentials, you are forced to assess what is actually important to you.

A simple bender constructed out of willow branches with a tarp used to cover it Crouch End, London, 2010 Copyright: London Permaculture


Jerry Ellis A happy semi-permanent yurt camper

Jerry Ellis, a good friend of mine, lived in a Mongolian yurt for six months. The yurt was based on the glamping site at Westley Farm in Stroud, Gloucestershire. A few days before he moved out, on the 27th of February, I visited him to talk about what it had been like to live under canvas and whether he would like to do it again. How did you come about living in the yurt? I came about living in the yurt through pure luck really and my parents friends taking a liking to me! They’ve got the really interesting story and hard work that went into building this fully functioning home. On the farm they also have other yurts that they rent out as ‘holiday yurts’ a hugely expanding ‘eco-minded, sustainable’ holiday market, especially in the Cotswolds. I heard they needed some help with their erections, and various painting, gardening type jobs in preparation for the summer season. They later informed me of their own holiday when the season finished in October. They were off to Australia, and they needed someone to look after the yurt, and crucially the yurt cat! Was living there as you imagined it to be? Yes, I suppose so. I had talked in great detail with Graham and Blue about life in the yurt and it all very much appealed! I did have these ideals of a combined solitude and productivity. Being a bit of a hermit, reading lots of books and learning the banjo, though this never happened quite as much as I’d hoped. The harsh winter that came quite soon after moving in, -15C thick snow, then running out of gas, and briefly firewood and then eventually my car dying. Everything that could have went wrong did so, very quickly. Hence excusing my failure to become a banjo extraordinaire.

Jerry Ellis Copyright: Martin Frings

Inside the yurt Stroud, Gloucestershire 2011


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Jerry and his self proclaimed “hippy happy home” Stroud, Gloucestershire 2011


What has been your favouite thing about living there? Simplicity! A yurt truly is tried and tested all-weather home for over 2,500 years. The simplicity of the single, but oh so cosy living space, but when there’s just fields and forests outside the door you feel like you’ve all the space in the world…or at least the five valleys! I’m not so materialistic, apart from my precious laptop - music and communication machine. Being in a comfortable, beautiful space and surroundings, warmth, friends, music, all these things are emphasised so much, that usual pressures of the world are simply no more. Free! Suppose I had the option - for free, to choose either a large stone house with multiple rooms and central heating the yurt could happily be resigned to the garden for some other purpose. But as it happens, living in a field, avoiding council tax and the usual bills, burning whatever wood you find for warmth. There is no doubt that money can be saved and an experience can be had. And your worst? During my 6 months in the yurt the worst thing about living there was certainly those particular 6 months! October - March isn’t ideal, as it would be so much better suited to long evenings, barbecues and massive fires. Though I will stress the yurt’s origins of Central Asia and Mongolia, it’s not always warm there either. When it was below -5 for about six days, that was a particular low-point, running water was frozen up, so wheel-barrowing all my washing up through two fields to the farmhouse! Not ideal but still very happy, rough with the smooth and all! Having lived here for a few months, has it made you want to do it again? Or do you think of it as more of a one time experience? I would certainly live in a yurt again! I will be spending some time this summer making a yurt for whatever purpose I find. The premium you pay for ugly bricks and mortar I find shocking, but so many people just take it for granted when there is so much to gain from a simpler existence in a far more idyllic location. Though not everyone can pitch up a yurt in their local field I suppose, so let’s keep it a secret ey?! Well thanks ever so much Jerry, it has been really fascinating talking to you and learning about your unique camping experience.

The process of tea making in the yurt. Also the cat that meant Jerry could live in the yurt in the first place! Stroud, Gloucestershire 2011


Appendix Valuable advice, helpful hints and other useful resources


157

Wo r d s o f Wisdom

Many of the old fashioned camping guides contain priceless pieces of advice that are still applicable to the modern camper. However, most also contain suggestions that seem completely bizarre by todays standards. Here are a selection of genuine camping quotes, some useful, some just downright ridiculous.

“The summer is a time for moral deterioration with most boys. Free from restraint from school and many times of home, boys wander during the vacation time into paths of wrongdoing. Camping offers a solution.”

“The success or failure of a camp depends on leadership rather than equipment. They should be strong, sympathetic and companionable. Beware of effeminate men and men who are morbid in sex-matters.”

First & second quote: Camping for Boys H.W. Gibson, 1913 A selection of old fashioned camping books Stroud, Gloucestershire 2011


158 | Appendix

“Always carry spare clothing such as a pair of football shorts and a jersey, to provide a change if you get wet. Strip off and rub down, change, have a hot cup of tea and you should be as fit as a fiddle.”

“If you keep your head from getting hot, and keep your feet dry, there will be little danger of sickness. If your head gets too hot, put green leaves inside your hat. If your throat is parched and you can get no water, put a pebble in your mouth. This will start the saliva and quench the thirst.”

“Protect the child’s head during the middle part of the day from direct sun with a cotton bonnet for a girl and a sun hat for a boy. Older children can wear a scarf, gypsy fashion.”

First, third & fifth quote: Know the game: Camping The Camping Club, 1956


Words of Wisdom | 159

“Clean up as you go. Uncleanness is at the root of many of the evils which cause suffering and ill health. Fire is the best disinfectant. Typhoid fever and cholera are carried by dirty habits, by dirty water and dirty milk.”

“Wear sensible clothes in public. Beach wear is not for the village street. Women will get better attention from local tradespeople if they appear as grown-ups, and not as over-grown girls. Skirts are more suitable in the more isolated areas, when away from the site.”

“Never keep a boy in camp who is out of tune with the camp life or its standards, and whose presence only serves to militate against the real purpose of the camp. ‘Grouchitis’ is a catching disease.”

Second, forth & sixth quote: Camping for Boys H.W. Gibson, 1913


160 | Appendix

“Neatness is good discipline for the mind, and should characterise every real camper. The trunks of some boys in camp look as if a cyclone had struck them. Every old thing in any old way is both slovenly and unhygienic.”

“Have consideration for other campers. Do not stroll into someone else’s site just as they are in the middle of morning ablutions or cooking a meal. Never walk between the fire or stove and tent of another site. Approach sites directly and openly from the front.”

“However strange you may think countrymen’s ideas, or the ideas of some of the campers, do not air your views at the top of your voice. They have probably heard it before!”

First & third quote: Know the game: Camping The Camping Club, 1956

Second quote: Camping for Boys H.W. Gibson, 1913


Camping Checklist

Using the perforated line on the left of the page, tear out this list and use it as a checklist for your next camping trip. There is further room at the end of the list to add anything extra you can think of. It might be an idea to photocopy the list if you think it would be useful for future trips. ……Sleeping bag ……Sleeping mat ……Tent ……Blanket ……Pillow

…… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… ……

Food Cooking oil Chopping board Cooking utensils Cutlery Bowls Cups & mugs Plates Ice pack Cloth & tea towel Washing up liquid Pots & pans Gas Stove Water container

…… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… ……

Walking boots Wellies Trainers Waterproof coat Hat Flip flops Socks Fleece Swimwear Underwear T-shirts Jumpers Jeans & trousers Shorts

…… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… ……

Wash bag Hair brush Razor Toothbrush Toothpaste Shampoo Toilet roll Soap Dry shampoo Towel

…… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… ……

Picnic blanket First aid kit Matches Money Mobile phone Camera Bin bags Duct tape Card games Bat and ball Sun cream Lantern Kitchen roll Torch Ball games

…… …… …… …… …… …… …… …… ……


162 | Carr y on camping


163

To p 1 0 Campsites in England & Wa le s

6 4

8 5

7 1

2 9

3

10

The view of the beach as you walk down from Nicholaston campsite (number 1 on map) Nicholaston farm, 2009

1. Nicholaston Farm

6. Thirlspot Farm

2. The Dome Garden

7 Bracelands

3. Cloud Farm

8 Penrallt Coastal Camping

4. Masons

9 Woodland Farm

5. Alde Gardens

10 Noongallas


164 | Appendix

On the following pages are ten of the best campsites in England and Wales. They are all very different in terms of location and atmosphere, yet all equally provide the keen camper with the ideal environment necessary to have a great camping experience. The contact details of the site are alongside the name, with a short description of the site. The on-site facilities are shown in icon format as well as the facilities available within close proximity of the site. Key to facilities icons:

WC

Toilet block

Bike rental

Water/washing up

Sea view

Showers

Kid’s playground

Disabled facilities

Beach

Dogs welcome

Watersports

Laundry

Horse riding

Shop

Fishing

Cafe/restaurant

Golf

Pub/bar

Swimming pool

Campfires allowed


Top 10 Campsites | 165

1

Nicholaston Farm Penmaen, Gower, SA3 2HL W: www.nicholastonfarm.co.uk T: 01792 371209 E: nicholaston.farm@googlemail.com

Nicholaston Farm is a working family farm that has accommodated visitors from 1920. Just off the main Swansea to Port Eynon road on the Gower Peninsula, Nicholaston Farm overlooks Oxwich Bay, the most famous of the white Gower beaches. Facilities:

WC Facilities Nearby:

2

The Dome Garden Mile End, Coleford, Gloucestershire GL16 7EN W: http://domegarden.co.uk T: 07974 685818 E: info@domegarden.co.uk

The Dome Garden is a group of luxurious, ecologically sound, geodesic domes set in a peaceful garden in the heart of Gloucestershire’s ancient Forest of Dean. Beyond the site is 35 square miles of forest leading down to the River Wye. Facilities:

WC Facilities Nearby:


166 | Appendix

Cloud Farm Oare, Lynton, Devon, EX35 6NU

3

W: www.cloudfarmcamping.co.uk T: 01598 741278 E: stay@cloudfarmcamping.co.uk

Cloud Farm Campsite is situated on the riverside in the Doone Valley in Exmoor. The location is perfect for those who wish to go walking, riding or visiting the coastal villages in Devon such as the nearby Lynmouth and Lynton. Facilities:

WC Facilities Nearby:

Masons Ainhams House, Appletreewick, Skipton, BD23 6DD W: www.masonscampsite.co.uk T: 01756 720275

In the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, by the banks of the Wharfe, Masons is so good that even the owners still camp here. When their favourite campsite came up for sale, Georgie & Grant bought Masons, and set about scrubbing up an already popular site. Facilities:

WC Facilities Nearby:

4


Top 10 Campsites | 167

5

Alde Gardens The White Horse Inn, Low Road, Sweffling, Suffolk, IP17 2BB W: www.aldegarden.co.uk T: 01728 664178 E: info@aldegarden.co.uk

Guests can choose between a stay in a bell tent, a yurt, a tipi, a gypsy caravan, a ‘wooden tent on stilts’, or to bring along their own tent. A garden kept deliberately wild combined with facilities artfully constructed from reclaimed materials create a laid-back atmosphere. Facilities:

WC Facilities Nearby:

6

Thirlspot Farm Thirlmere, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 4TW T: 01768 772551

Thirlspot Farm is a small, old fashioned campingsite with beautiful views and walks in the Lake District. The site itself is overlooked by the mountain ‘Helvellyn’ and there are several different ways to its summit from the campsite, each challenging but manageable. Facilities:

WC Facilities Nearby:


168 | Appendix

Bracelands Bracelands Drive, Christchurch, Coleford, Gloucestershire, GL16 7NN

7

W: http://camping.forestholidays.co.uk T: 01594 837165

An open site on the edge of The Forest of Dean and close to the Welsh border, the nearby Symonds Yat boasts fantastic views across the River Wye. The copper beech trees are a striking feature of Bracelands, which has easy access to signposted forest trails. Facilities:

WC Facilities Nearby:

Penrallt Coastal Camping Tudweiliog, Gwynedd LL53 8PB W: www.penrallt.co.uk T: 01758 770654 E: info@penrallt.co.uk

Penrallt is a family campsite, ideal for those with young children who want to spend time with them. The children’s play facilities here consist of bits and pieces such as an old boat, swings and even a tree that youngsters are allowed to climb. Facilities:

WC Facilities Nearby:

8


Top 10 Campsites | 169

9

Woodland Farm Walderchain, Barham, Canterbury, Kent, CT4 6NS T: 01227 831892

The site at Woodland Farm is a simple, sunny, semi-circular clearing set inside 27 acres of woodland, which overlooks the Elham Valley. A dainty apple tree stands in the middle, with thick woodland all around, the site forms its own little universe. Facilities:

WC Facilities Nearby:

10

Noongallas Gulval, Penzance, Cornwall, TR20 8YR W: www.noongallas.com T: 01736 366698 E: johngall@kline.freeserve.co.uk

There’s something a little magical about Noongallas and the fact that families tend to stay on-site during the day tells you a lot about how relaxing and peaceful it is. Musicians also love it here, and you’ll often hear a guitar around the campfire in the evenings. Facilities:

WC Facilities Nearby:


171

Other uses fo r t h i s b o o k

Chopping board for preparing your camp meals Tent for your pet hamster Tray for carrying food and drink Picnic perch Paddle for a raft Bat for a game of rounders Card table Dart board Sunshade on a hot afternoon Umbrella for an unexpected shower Fly swat Holy book for your own camping religion And if things get desperate, a source of fuel for a campfire


172 | Appendix

www.coolcamping.co.uk A handpicked selection of the best campsites across the UK, with full descriptions, detailed photographs and reviews. www.ukcampsite.co.uk The UK’s biggest Internet guide to all things camping related. The site has searchable profiles for every public campsite in the UK. www.guardian.co.uk/travel/camping Excellent resource for current and archived articles and features relating to camping both in the UK and abroad. goglamping.net The leading luxury camping directory for glamping holidays. Search for a site by either location or tent type, e.g. Yurt or tipi. www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk The official website of ‘The Camping and Caravanning Club’ with information about campsites, club history and membership. www.outdoorworld.co.uk www.gooutdoors.co.uk www.millets.co.uk www.attwoolls.co.uk All great websites for purchasing camping and outdoors equipment.

Useful Websites


173

Bi b l i o g r a p h y (Camping)

Bi b l i o g r a p h y (Design)

Anonymous. (1971) Camping: Education Pamphlet Number 58. Her Majesty’s Stationary Office. Britain Goes Camping. (2010) BBC 2, Sunday 8th August. Camping Club, The. (1956) Know The Game: Camping. Educational Productions. Constance, Hazel. (2001) First in the Feild: A Century of The Camping and Caravanning Club. The Camping and Caravanning Club. Gibson, H.W. (2007) Camping for Boys. Tempus. Harwood, David. (1977) Learnabout: Camping. Ladybird Books. Knight, Jonathan (2006) Cool Camping: England. Punk Publishing. Knight, Jonathan (2009) Cool Camping: Kids. Punk Publishing. Platten, David (1981) Making Camping & Outdoor Gear. David & Charles. Thomas, Gerald. (1969) Carry on Camping. [DVD] UK: Rank Organisation. Baines, Phil (2009) Penguin by Design. Penguin. Baines, Phil & Haslam, Andrew (2005) Type and Typography. Laurence King Pubishing. Breathnach, Teresa & Dermody, Bredna (2009) New Retro: Classic Graphics, Today’s Designs. Thames and Hudson. LaPlantz, Shereen (1998) Cover to Cover. Lark Books. Lupton, Ellen (2008) Indie Publishing: How to Design and Produce Your Own Book. Princeton Architectural Press. Lupton, Ellen (2004) Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide. Princeton Architectural Press.


175

H a p p y And so you have come to the end of the book—you’ve C a m p e r s investigated camping history, discovered the perfect pitch, explored the essential equipment and looked at everything else in between. It is now time to get out there and go camping for yourself! Producing this book has given me the opportunity to meet some extremely interesting people, all with great stories to tell and information to share. It has also given me the chance to talk in depth with existing friends and family about their individual camping experiences. I wish to thank everybody who has contributed to ‘Happy Campers’, without you all this book would not be in existence! As corny as it sounds, I would like to especially thank my Mum, who has been absolutely invaluable throughout the whole process! ‘Happy Campers’ is designed to give you a taste of all aspects of camping life. I hope that the words have inspired you and the pictures prompted you to go and have your own unforgettable camping experience; whether that be at one of the recommended sites, at a music festival or at your own special location. The point is, just get out there are do it. You will be surprised how much fun you will have getting back to basics and camping out under the stars. All that is left to say is simply…Happy camping! Please note: I have done my best to ensure the accuracy of all information in ‘Happy Campers’, however, I can accept no responsibility for any injury, loss, inconvenience or camping disaster sustained by anyone as a result of information or advice contained in this book.


176 | Appendix

Adverts, 62, 63 Air travel, 35, 134, 135 Alde Gardens, 163, 167 Appleyard, Pam & Brian, 28-33 Association of Cycle Campers, 15 Attwoolls, 78-81 Baden-Powell, Lord Robert, 22 Ball games, 74, 75, 94, 95 Bedding, 66, 67 Bender, 146, 147 Bicycle, 15, 47 Big Chill, The, 123 Boomtown Fair, 112, 124, 126 Bracelands, 40-51, 163, 168 Buxton, Richard & Jean, 86-91 Camping and Caravanning Club, The, 15, 16, 21, 22, 25, 26, 172, 173 Camp Kerala, 129, 133, 136 Canvas Holidays, 28 Car, 25, 26 Checklist, 64-75, 161 Clothes, 21, 70, 71 Clothier, Jonny, 136-143 Cloud Farm, 163, 166 Cooking, 46, 47, 68, 69 Cubs, 31 Cycle camping, 15

De Brabant, Jana, 124127 Dogs, 52, 53 Dome Garden, The, 136143, 163, 165 Duke of Edinburgh, 85 Eavis, Michael, 109, 129 Edwardian, 14-19 Ellis, Jerry, 148-153 Farm, 53, 163-169 Fashion, 21, 70, 71 Food, 46, 47, 68, 69 Forest of Dean, The, 40-51, 136-141, 163, 165, 168 Games, 74, 75, 94-97 Gentlemen, 14-19 Gibbs, Bekki, 40-51 Glamping, 35, 56, 129, 133, 134, 136-143, 145, 172 Glastonbury, 78, 109, 115, 118, 121-126, 129, 133, 136 Grenada, 100 Guy, 78-81 Harrlem, 86-91 Hiker, 80 Hippie, 146 New Age Traveller, 146 Hiram Holding, Thomas, 15 Industry, 76-81 Jamboree, 22, 23, 85-91 Kidwell, Helen, 40-51 Malvern Challenge, 90

Maps, 84 Masons, 163, 166 Mongolia, 144, 145 Monza, 104-105 Motorcross, 100-105 Native American, 145 Nicholaston Farm, 162, 163, 165 Noongallas, 163, 169 Other uses, 170, 171 Package holidays, 35 Penmore, Nick, 100-105 Penrallt Coastal Camping, 163, 168 Personal hygiene, 72, 73 Quotes, 156-160 Scouts, 9, 22, 31, 80, 85-91 Sculpture Trail, 40-51 Shambala, 123 Shelter, 66, 67 Shoes, 70, 71 Simply Yurts, 136 Sport, 98-105 Superbike Championship, 104-105 Thirlspot Farm, 163, 167 Tipi, 145 War, 20-23, 31 Westley Farm, 148 WOMAD, 112, 121-123 Woodland Farm, 163, 169 Working Class, 15, 21, 25 World War One, 21 Yurt, 133, 136, 144, 145, 148-153

Index



Happy Campers — Rebecca Penmore