What not to pack when camping in Britain


Regular readers may care to remember a shot featured here at the start of the summer when my daughter and her father spent the night under canvas in the garden as a dry run for a proposed camping holiday. Well, today is the day we head off camping…and to call it a dry run was apparently a little too literal!

For those of you not familiar with the weather here, please acquaint yourself with the forecast for the next few days…


And as much as I wish to remain positive, a little voice at the back of my mind can be heard screaming ‘What were you thinking?!’

Former images of memories in the making have been rapidly replaced with thoughts of wellies and waterproofs, frozen feet, and a tired two year old. And I am sure in a couple of years time I will look back on the next few days very fondly – maybe even fondly enough to do it all again – but, right now, as I write this from the comfort of my bed, the fear has set in.

My only camping credentials are as follows:

My bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition (I never completed the rest of the award) when still at school. A weekend where my friend Jenny and I existed on a diet of custard and nutri-grain bars whilst wandering the British countryside, blissfully unaware of where we might be going.

Various summer festivals. Events where sleep and staying warm weren’t even on the agenda.

Try as I might, I feel neither of these are adequate preparation for three days in The New Forest with a toddler and a forty year old who has a fear of the dirt that accumulates on a kitchen cloth!

And as I think through the mountain of bags stacked ready and waiting by the front door, I wonder if I really have any clue what I am letting myself in for. Below is a list of items which, despite my best efforts to be practical, have still made the cut.

Flip flops I am telling myself for the shower experience but I fear I may still be clinging to a little too much hope!

Battery powered fairy lights I’m thinking ambient, homely, maybe a little bit of a Tim Walker vibe…

Batteries For when the first set die. Never to be found in the dark under a pile of poorly packed clothes.

Paperback books For a relaxing read. In the dark.

A selection of blankets, cushions and throws (white) There was a reason the sleeping bag was invented.

12 canisters of cooking gas Even if I hadn’t already scheduled my trips to the fish and chip shops of the area, I feel this is a little excessive for three days. Certainly too much for boiling water for three cups of tea.

Make up Even if I had packed a mirror, seriously, what’s the point? I just about managed to draw the line at hair straighteners.

A mobile phone charger Stranger still when you consider that I know for a fact their is no signal where we are going.

From this list I fear I can only conclude to be utterly clueless. And from that I am choosing to draw from this the only positive I can find:

I really have no idea just how bad it might be!


2 thoughts on “What not to pack when camping in Britain

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