As a web developer I am elbows deep in websites everyday. I work on websites for such diverse companies as electrical contractors, guests houses, chauffeur driven cars and even a paranormal society! So my day job involves me sitting at a desk tapping away at a keyboard and moving a mouse around like a whirling dervish (though I’m not absolutely sure what a dervish is – or even it it whirls round much. Comment below if you can educate me.) So in my down time it’s nice to get out and about and what better way to do it than go camping!
I’ve camped on and off all my life, we always had caravan holidays when I was a kid, I remember looking forward to the wet week in Wales every August because it always coincided with my birthday (6th of August if you want to get a card ready – just sayin). My Nan and Grandad camped a lot too, I can still smell the canvas of their green ridge tent, I can still visualise the patched canvas bag and the wooden poles. We used to pitch the tent in the garden and ‘camp out’ over night on canvas and metal frame beds.
As I grew up I obviously had foreign holidays but I’d end up saving all year for a one week blow out which left me with nothing to look forward to for the rest of the time, so on and off I’d revist camping trips with various bits of kit. I remember borrowing a massive metal frame tent bedecked in orange and cream canvas and I remember going on a trip to Wadebridge in Devon for a week in my Montego (I loved that car). Mom and Dad came down to see us for the day, Mom got a blinding headache was ill for most of the day and we managed to buy hairy pasty’s for tea – the less said about that day the better.
The next real camping trip was after an impulse purchase of a second hand trailer tent. We went to Dawlish with my sister and her family. I had met and married my wife by this time and we had a little boy (Joe) and a baby on the way (who turned out to be a little girl – Pippa). It was hot, hotter than hot and my wife being 6 months pregnant was not comfortable, no matter what she did. Joe up to this point had only ever had a bath so this was his first experience with showers. He did not like them, at all. So we ended up bathing him every night in an inflatable bath. My sister and one of her sons got a tummy bug as well and we came home early thoroughly miserable and vowing never to go camping again. We sold the trailer tent but kept the various bits of kit we had accumulated but didn’t camp again for many years.
I don’t remember when we decided to give it another go but we invested in a 6 birth tent from Outwell, luxury double height airbeds, a new cooker, decent seats, oversized sleeping bags and we set off for a test camp to Barmouth in Wales. We had the best time ever. The kids loved it, we remained chilled, the weather was good and we had our camping mojo back! Since then we have built up our camping experiences and kit and now we have migrated to a Mazda Bongo camper van coupled with a Berghaus Air 8 tent and for our ‘home from home’ camping trips we use out Swift Challenger 530 with Kampa Rally Ace 400 awning. We are now thoroughly hooked, we are already looking at the caravans that we might need next because Joe is fast becoming a giant and pretty soon he’s not going to fit in the bunk in the van.
So all of this doesn’t really explain why I started the makecamp.co.uk website does it? Well, at Easter 2106 we had a trip to Devon at the same time that Storm Katie was also planning a visit. We have had bad weather camping before but this was something else and it got me thinking that actually our camping trips have produced some of the most bizarre and memorable times on holiday and if that’s happened to us, then it must have happened to others too, so why not write about it and encourage others to share as well.
So now you know, I aim (with your input – please don’t be shy comment below) to create a site that charts our camping experiences, shares tips and do’s and don’ts and who knows maybe even review some kit along the way. I’d be more than happy for you to get involved so please consider commenting, or joining the newsletter or maybe you’d like to guest post on the site? Get in touch and lets get it sorted.
Thanks for reading.