Camping 2014

Watch Tower in Tenby

Well I’m back!  After a two-week camping trip in Pembrokeshire, South Wales and Paignton, Devon with my family.  With only minor damage to my tent in the aftermath of gale force winds. We arrived in Tenby late in the afternoon with winds gusting vigorously as we unpacked the Coleman Mackenzie Cabin 6 XL from the car and quickly got the four anchor points staked to the ground.  The next step was to insert the roof bars and side poles and raise the back-end of the tent into the wind. This would allow us then to raise and pitch the rest of the tent fairly easily. The issue I have with this family tunnel tent is that the front of the tent is flat. I think this might be a sales scam as you can buy a front extension for £169.00 which I believe has a slight incline to help its aerodynamic quality. As such, the front end of the tent has the sheer vertical front and the wind resistance of a brick.

We attempted to raise the tent and on the third try we had it raised and were fully pitched in about 40 minutes. It was only until later we spotted that raising the poles against the wind had also placed too much stress on the one side pole. Even though intact, the pole had bent out of shape. I had a flashback to my Outwell Nebraska XXL dome tent previously damaged in high winds also came back with a bent pole. I’m hoping this isn’t going to become a running trend.

“Hiding in the shadows waiting for people to go to sleep before he would strike”.

The second day was less blustery and we experienced rain on and off throughout the week. Tenby was financially a godsend with parking at £2.00 for 24 hours three beaches to choose from and everything approximately one mile away. So easy on fuel, feet and the pocket. On this particular trip we chose not to have any electric. Two weeks without electric…arghhh, the World is going to end!  I didn’t miss it apart from not being able to take many photos on my phone. As everything was a mile away my E-can charger would only trickle out 14% charge each time so my phone didn’t stay on long. Cooking and heat were all powered by gas and only the lanterns were pre-charged before we left. Okay, we are family camping and there were amenities for toilets and hot water but no charging points for electric and it would be this way for two weeks. My real concern was that the gas didn’t run out.

It turns out there was another camper on the site. Hiding in the shadows waiting for people to go to sleep before he would strike. Taking anything he could find before disappearing into the night. Rumours of a friendly orphaned fox cub stalking the grounds soon got to us . This is sad and I’ll refer to the fox as Oliver from now on just to add to your empathy. Oliver was tame as he hadn’t experienced people before. Not ones that would hurt him anyway. He was living a life as a thief and his bounty was free scraps of food and one ladies handbag. Which I assume he wanted as a fashion item. Most people were aware of Oliver, thinking how cheeky he was but took precautions against his midnight raids. I hope Oliver is living well today. Maybe he got matching shoes for his handbag? Unfortunately, as soon as Oliver starts bothering the sheep in the field opposite, the farmer will shoot him. And so will be the demise of Oliver the orphaned fox. He never finds love probably because he is strutting around with women’s accessories. What…you wanted a happy ending? Okay, Okay..the farmers wife was happy with her new handbag and shoes.

North Beach, Tenby
North Beach, Tenby

After the end of our trip in Pembrokeshire of which I’ve missed out quite a lot of detail and digressed greatly but honestly, it would bore you to hear about everything I did on holiday, I went home to collect my daughters for the final destination to Paignton, Devon.  The weather by this time had  brightened up and we pitched up in record time without damaging the tent further.  We tied up the tarp to the front of the tent to help aerodynamics and to create a shelter to sit out under. I must say it looked pretty damn good. However, nothing is ever perfect when camping otherwise it wouldn’t be fun. We had sun all day and a clear sky at night which meant it was very, very cold. It was so cold the gas heater made little impact and by the end of the week we resorted to purchasing..dare I say it…Duvets! I wanted to stay true to camping but Kate forced me (for the sake of the children) to drive to the local shops so she could buy  several duvets. Okay, I was toasty at night and a whole lot happier, but don’t tell her that. All in all Paignton was expensive £8.00 for 5 hour parking, arcades sucking the money from my pocket, entertainment and eating out but that’s what you have to do for your kids these days. We’ve been to Devon so many times I think this will be the last for a few years. New destinations beckon.

So two weeks camping over and lots of cleaning and drying of equipment. I still love camping and plans to do more in the future….without duvets!

St. Catherines Island with Napoleonic Fort.
North Beach, Tenby



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