Things to keep in mind while going camping

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Tent:

Its not a problem until you find out that there is a leakage in your tent or the tent is just not the perfect one for you. That’s when your whole camping idea goes for a toss.

It is important to select a right tent for yourself. Before purchasing or reusing them make a through check of the tent and that it should meets all your needs. You can use foam floor tiles for a softer, more comfortable tent floors.

Baggage:

You can never be sure of the things you might be needing when you go for camping. But that does not mean you carry anything and everything thinking just in case you might need them. Don’t waste too much room with unnecessary gadgets, clothes and gear. Bringing too much stuff can be a problem.

Make a list of all the important things you might be needing. If you’re traveling with your family, make a rule:everyone can bring one bag, and it has to fit comfortably in their corner of the tent.

Food:

When it comes to food, most of you forget that you are going for camping and not on a mars mission and those who know it go wrong in packing the food. Carrying unnecessary food items can only add on to the problems.

Make sure you only take those items that is liked by everyone and that can be easily cooked in an environment like that. Choosing single-single items for each one of them is definitely not a good idea. Vacuum seal your food before leaving. Tic-tac boxes are great for storing spices and other ingredients. Do not forget popcorn.

Safety:

This is something that should not be neglected at any cost. Despite being very careful, sometimes we may miss out to look into some of the safety measures.

But not to worry, use these ideas in emergencies or otherwise: For emergency first aid, you can wrap a sprained or broken arm in toilet paper and duct tape until you can seek professional medical attention. For lighting, point a head lamp into a jug of water for an instant lantern or paint the inside of a jar with non-toxic glow-in-the-dark paint to make it fancy.

Games:

Gaming is a crucial part of any camping. And carrying a wrong game along can be a pain in the a**, especially when you’re going with your kids and they find out about it.

Carry only one or two and light weighted games like UNO cards, Scrabble or chess. Along with these, carry all the necessary items that you will need for camp games. Keep the kids busy with a scavenger hunt. Use an acorn cap as a whistle if you get lost. Bring some paint markers and let them paint rocks they find on the trip. And while you’re kids are busy with their games, you can use the spare time to play online bingo here on GameVillage site.

Keep these little but important things in mind and enjoy camping.

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Corfe Castle Camping & Caravanning Club Review

Corfe Castle Caping and Caravanning Club

Ah the summer, remember that? Seems like a long time ago though I am still enjoying the warm October sunshine. Summer 2016 was awesome and it ended with a wonderful trip to one of my favourite places in the whole world – Dorset.  I was given the opportunity to review a Camping and Caravanning Club site and I decided to choose the Corfe Castle site as this is an area I come to a lot, and I’ve stayed in various campsites in the area but despite being a fully signed up C&C Club member, it’s not one I’ve ever stayed at before.

Having stayed at a few different C&C Club sites there is a standard I expect to see – that’s not being overly fussy or picky, but generally the sites I have stayed on have been tidy and well-kept with extremely helpful staff so I was keen to see if Corfe Castle would match up. Especially to my favourite of all their sites, Hereford. I have stayed there several times and always had the best time.

First impressions – the site is relatively easy to find, could be a bit tricky if you don’t know the area but there is a brown camping sign on the main road. The campsite itself is up a narrow, very bumpy track – luckily we never met anyone coming the other way because I imagine with a caravan in tow it could be a bit hairy. At the start of the track is a private property with a bit of a ramshackle garden which seems to serve a graveyard for unloved vehicles. Not exactly welcoming but neither is this (I presume) anything to do with the campsite. Saying that, some well placed screening would make it look a little more salubrious.

Corfe Castle Caping and Caravanning Club

Are non members really welcome?

We went to check-in when we arrived. I had to take a picture of the entrance sign because the ‘Non Members Welcome’ made me laugh, I’m not sure if this is ironic but as soon as we were arrived we were told under no circumstance could we camp if they didn’t see our membership card. I thought this was odd for two reasons – firstly, are non-members welcome or not? and secondly, I was there under a press booking so wouldn’t the presumption be that I wouldn’t be a member? Nevertheless I did have my member card with me so all was fine – other than the fact they had no record of my booking despite me having a printed confirmation with booking number on the top.

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The reception and shop area

After this hiccup, we were shown to our pitch which was very large, had electric hook-up as promised and was relatively flat. I had read online that pitches could be quite sloping so that was a relief. A bit more grass would have been nice, the pitches were very worn but I guess end of the season, it could be expected. We were set up in no time and enjoyed the last of the evening sunshine.  We had decided to have a BBQ and having read the info pack we were given, we duly went to reception to ask for the bricks that they requested we use. Possibly asking for a piece of moon rock would have gone down better as they seemed confused that we asked for these, and they had none.

My only other niggle about the site (might as well get all the niggles out at once) was that we had asked for a late check-out but we were told that we couldn’t have one, despite the fact it was Bank Holiday Monday and absolutely nobody was arriving on a Bank Holiday Monday. They did however agree to let us leave our packed up trailer near the entrance.

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The campsite

I know I sound rather negative and I don’t mean to be – we had a really lovely time and we’d definitely go back to this site. Compared to some campsites I’ve stayed at over the years, this is like the Rolls Royce of campsites – these are just some small niggles that I think could quite easily be rectified.

The site was beautifully kept, very tidy and very clean. It feels safe enough to let my children have a little wander and is totally locked up after hours.  It’s peaceful after 10.30pm which is an absolute essential for me – apart from the wildlife and the noisy fox cubs that brazenly ransacked our neighbours rubbish – and it was quiet in the morning, I was able to sleep in until about 7.30am which is unheard of for most campsites!

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The glamorous washroom shot

The toilet blocks were kept clean and tidy, with nice hot showers that I never had to wait to use. They closed for a period of the day for cleaning but you were given fair warning and notice about the times for this.

A pizza van came to site one night which I thought was a nice touch as there’s not much in the local area unless you want to get in the car and the shop stocked my very favourite Purbeck ice-cream which was enjoyed on more than one occasion.

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What can you do in the local area?

There are some really lovely places to explore in this part of Dorset. While we were at Corfe Castle we visited the castle itself, spent a day on the beach at Studland Bay, visited the very atmospheric abandoned village of Tyneham and Worbarrow Bay and did the obligatory visit to Lulworth Cove. (Advice, don’t do this on a Bank Holiday weekend…).

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Also in the area, just down the road you can hop on the steam train to Swanage, go to Kimmeridge Bay, Durdle Door, go to Monkey World or the Tank Museum, walk the South West Coastal Path, take the chain ferry over to Sandbanks…the possibilities are endless, there is so much to do.  I don’t think there are many stones I’ve left unturned in Dorset!

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Again, I may have made this sound more negative than it should, overall it was a great weekend, but just a few tweaks to the customer experience and it could be fantastic! Certainly, the last thing you want when you check in after a long drive is hassle, but the quiet, rural setting with clean and tidy pitches and peaceful respectful neighbours definitely made up for it!

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My camping essentials!

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As the weather is warming up (well okay, it’s at least sunny today which is a vast improvement) I’m starting to get excited as camping season once again approaches. We’ve got our first trip booked for three weeks time which means that the checklists are getting printed off and all the gear will be getting dusted down next weekend.

I love camping but I have to say, I’m not really a back-to-basics kind of girl. I’m not saying that means I am too high maintenance – I mean I do prefer to have electric hook-up but it’s more to charge my mobile phone or boil a kettle rather than plug my hair straighteners in – but I do like to have a few ‘luxuries’ with me and I am a serious over-packer (aren’t we all?).

So aside from taking everything – including a camping kitchen sink – there are a few things that get packed which I consider absolute essentials.  Of course, I am not going to include things like snuggly warm sleeping backs and comfy chairs, those go without saying, this is just about the little extras that make my life a little more pleasant when braving the great outdoors during the glorious British summertime.

Hair ties

I have them in every bag and every pocket. For some reason when camping hair in my face just gets really annoying, especially when you’re all hot and flustered and having a row with your husband about pitching the tent. Also, camping hair does tend to take on a life of it’s own.

Cleansing facial wipes

I avoid taking a myriad of potions and lotions – some cleansing facial wipes are perfect for a quick freshen up.

Extra blankets

I hate to be cold, have I ever mentioned that? I’m sure I have. I fear the cold. That is the reason I make sure we all have a woolly blanket each plus some to spare.

Ear plugs

The other thing I hate is other people’s noise and it’s never more magnified than when you are on a campsite in school holidays. Ear plugs are a necessity – don’t get those foam ones though, they’re rubbish. You need those clear moldable ones. I’m sure they have a fancy name.

Top Trumps

Never underestimate the power of a Top Trump when it’s raining outside and you’re stuck in your tent – especially without the luxury of EHU.

Dry shampoo

Showers are campsites aren’t often all that.  Dry shampoo is a must.

Torches – plenty of them!

I know taking a torch camping is common sense and probably doesn’t need to be listed here but believe me when I say you can never have too many. Ever. Because guaranteed when you get there one won’t work, the other will have flat batteries and they’ll no doubt be some ultra-rare type.  When it’s dark, you’ll thank me that you have a torch within at all times. A head torch is a great investment.

Warm socks

This harks back to not liking the cold. Especially essential if you’re a nighttime pee-er.

Glowsticks

Not only useful for settling my nervy children in the dark sleeping compartment of our Vango but also useful for attaching to your guy ropes so you don’t trip over when going for your nighttime pee.

Wine

Duh.

That’s my brief list of essentials – what do you consider your camping must-haves?

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Space is the place…Camp Bestival is THE place!

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Am so very excited about Camp Bestival this year – especially with the space theme. I am LOVING the space theme.

I am so completely obsessed with space right now and my new hero is Tim Peake – it’s fair to say I’ve become a bit fanatical, constantly boring my husband with tales of what Tim is up to now, and his adventures with Astro Pi is also keeping me hooked! I’m turning into a space geek and I am not ashamed!

This week the organisers of Camp Bestival released a little more information about what will be occurring at Camp Bestival 2016 and in my humble opinion, 2016 is going to be the best ever.

I’m just going to leave a few words here.

  • Royal Albert Hall presents ‘Space Symphony’
  • National Space Centre
  • The Science Museum
  • UK Space Agency
  • Royal Observatory Greenwich
  • Brickies Lego Space Academy
  • Cosmic Cocktails
  • Astro Pi Code Club Workshops

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Just how awesome does all that sound?!

Tickets are now on sale and there’s an excellent payment plan available to help spread the cost. Visit the Camp Bestival website to find out more info.

Hope to see you there!

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BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

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I’m a huge fan of a quesadilla, a huge fan of chicken and a huge fan of BBQ sauce, so tell me – what’s not to love?

When you’re after something quick and tasty then these are pretty much perfect. They’re also an uber simple think to knock up and only use one frying or griddle pan so a great meal to make when you’re camping and want to move away from the usual hot dogs or pasta’n’sauce combo!

This recipe makes 4 servings, if you’re being restrained. Obviously because we’re a bit piggy, it only served 2 of us!   I do these Jamie Oliver style and dry fry but if you want to, you can use a spot of non stick cooking spray in the pan.

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

Ingredients

4 large flour tortillas
150g extra mature grated cheese
1 jar jalapenos (use as little or as much as you like!)
1 jar/bottle of BBQ sauce (I used Heinz)
150g cooked, shredded chicken
1 tub of salsa
Soured cream
Handful of sliced spring onions

Method

Start by mixing the shredded chicken with the BBQ sauce.

Place tortilla on a chopping board or plate. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the grated cheese, top with some sliced jalapenos and the chicken and BBQ sauce. Fold the tortilla in half, pressing gently.

In a hot frying or griddle plan, cook the quesadillas (you can do this two at a time) over a medium heat for around 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. 

If you want to keep these warm whilst you make the second batch, transfer on a baking sheet to a preheated oven, you can keep them here for up to 30 minutes, under a moderate heat.

Cut each quesadilla into three wedges and serve with the salsa, sour cream and sliced spring onions.

Delicious!

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