Our surprise camping trip this weekend won us some mega brownie points with the twins. We’d picked a campsite only about 25 miles away that came recommended by a friend, so that we could easily get down after school on Friday evening. Inwood Camping ‘offers a chance to camp in open countryside with a campfire and a minimum of rules and regulations’. There are a number of pitch options – meadow, woodland, field – and we chose the top of the Big Field because of the fantastic views (plus I’m a complete sun-lover so I wanted a spot with plenty of sunshine potential).
With the benefit of hindsight, that stunning view meant we were very exposed and the wind was really rather cold. Plus, although we’re fairly hardy campers, I do like a sink with running water, and the Big Field is as far from the flushing toilets and hot water block down by reception as you can get (we had a composting toilet and open-air showers instead). But the extended woodland at Inwood was brilliant (with all the den-building, exploring and foraging for firewood and flowers it offered) and we love being able to have a campfire, so we will definitely go back. We might try the Little Meadow or Home Field next time to be closer to the facilities and to avoid the numerous large groups camping in the Big Field.
Saturday was the day for June’s #1day12pics challenge by Emma and Michelle to take a photo approximately every hour for 12 hours. My phone photos were taken only loosely every hour, but I thought it was a great way to document a typical day’s camping for us. We popped out to the Basingstoke Kite Festival first thing for a couple of hours (and watched syncronised kite flying displays that were surprisingly moving), but apart from that we based ourselves on the campsite and just pootled about. The kids flew inexpensive kites we’d bought at the festival, I spent way too long trying to boil water in my Kelly kettle (I’m still perfecting the method, it seems), we built campfires, snacked and played games like noughts and crosses, hangman and dots and boxes.
Keen to try out the crown-making skills I learnt at last week’s Sisterhood Camp, Ez and I went foraging for wild flowers and leaves and then made her a flower crown which she absolutely adored, insisting on wearing it to the pub for dinner that evening (cue some rather odd looks from nonplussed locals). Thoroughly worn out, the twins struggled with the mile-plus walk back to the campsite from the pub, but at least it meant they were out like a light as soon as they were tucked up in their sleeping bags, and we could enjoy a G&T around our campfire.
I can definitely declare our first camping trip of 2015 a success. Bring on the next one.