When the early May Bank Holiday camping trip fell to pieces due to Weather, Boiler and Car issues, we knew we had to get another one booked in. So we looked for somewhere within a 2 hour range from home and Kendal fell into place.
Camping in Kendal
We’d joined up to the Camping and Caravan Club, so were swayed towards them for booking again. With our limited experience of camping I believe we’ve made the right choice. This time we were teaming up with our friends the Coulsons (Stephen, Louise and their two boys William and Thomas), who’d recently bought an 8 man tent similar to us.
As the days got closer we started looking at the weather app on repeat to see if the weather was going to get hotter and hotter. The prediction was and acceptable 16 degrees with a sun and clouds icon. Our list of lists started to get compiled. Food preparations and last-minute camping purchases.
We got hold of a copy of the Halford’s Ultimate Camping guide, there is an online version available here. As newbies to the camping world it was an interesting read with various top tips, but the essential part for me on this trip was a packing guide list on the back page.
We’d purchased a cool box that was supposed to keep cool for 3 days. Filled it with Meat, Kebabs, Bacon (for sandwiches), Burgers and Catherine’s secret recipe chilli. Although we were using a simple camping stove, that was about the size of a chopping board, it worked a treat, but my one tip would be to bring a big frying pan to cook on. The camping pans were on the small size and where you’re cooking for a few people size is everything. A simple thing like being able to put a full pack of bacon on the cooker versus two rashers made the difference.
Last year we’d spotted a children’s walk book (Making Tracks) in a camping shop and thought it seemed like a good idea.
The book / box contained 10 walks ranging in distance from 2 – 4 miles. The maps were full of simple instructions, that a child with the ability to read could lead the way. For an adult on the other hand it took a while to confirm the directions as the sketched maps aren’t to scale or based upon exact road shapes or orientation. We chose a Walk in Windermere and one in Grasmere.
I do have to confess that there were several occasions where we got distracted… Geocaching. Yes! in the few weeks I’ve been geocaching I can’t stop thinking about if there is a cache nearby to find. And in the Lake District there are some interesting and beautiful caches to find, that lead you to a great view.
If it wasn’t for the Geocaching we wouldn’t have found this lovely viewing spot.
And after 25 minutes of looking at a dry stone wall Stephen spotted a piece of string attached to a shrub. On the end of the string was this black Geocache Container.
Tents are available in all sorts of sizes. We just like the Coulsons have opted for an 8 man Tent, even though there is only 4 in our families. We decided that if it were to be raining you need space to stand up and move around in your tent. The down side is that the bigger your tent is, the more space it takes up in your car. Which isn’t a big problem if you have a Land Rover Discovery, however we have a Nissan Note and it is compact to say the least.
Stephen’s tent was a new Blow up style, which is inflated and pitched in around 10 minutes. Ours is a traditional pole based tent which took around an hour to pitch. I will admit the first night I lay in my sleeping bag thinking about upgrading to the blow up variety. Then in the morning the clarity reminded me why I couldn’t.
After packing the tents away we took this comparison photo showing My blue tent and Stephen’s Grey tent. Even though the pitched size is very similar, the packed size is vastly different. It’s twice the height and wider and deeper. In his Honda CRV it takes up most of the boot space. In my Nissan Note it would have taken up all of the boot space (Which is needed for everything else). My “little” blue tent takes up about a quarter of the boot space in the Note and with careful packing gives room for 4 chairs, a table, camping stove, basket of cups, plates, glasses and a kettle. There is an art to car packing and I’m still learning.
After 3 Nights under the stars, we all had a great weekend. It was a shame we needed to get back to Newcastle into the cloudy gloomy city! We’re already looking for our next pitch up.