The camping season has begun and last weekend we tried out a new campsite called Stockbridge View . The overnight temperatures went down to -3 at the nearest weather station, although we suspect it might have been a bit colder in an exposed field at the top of a hill! In the morning we had to clear a thick layer of frost off our table and the water in our containers stayed frozen for quite a few hours (the eagle-eyed might spot the melting ice in th photo!).
We will wait until we’ve done another trip before properly reviewing the new sleeping bag – it was a bit of a extreme test. But we both slept reasonably well considering.
At one point on Saturday afternoon we had to shelter inside our tent because of a snow shower, but we were able to cook our dinner and breakfast by a fire to keep us warm. In the sunshine it was actually quite pleasant (as long as we were wrapped up!) and Stockbridge is an interesting little town to potter round with plenty of little gift shops to browse.
For more details on what we thought of the campsite see our review.
The days are getting slightly longer, spring is on it’s way and (with the help of our favourite Billy Goat) we have just the thing to help you plan some trips to look forward to once lockdown rules permit:
Yes, our campsite reviews are now available via a map interface! Not only does it feature our favourite ‘space-ship’ tent as the icon – but it gives each campsite a ‘goat rating’ out of 5! You can then click on the ‘full goat review’ to read our honest opinion of the site and our star rating on all the important things.
In the last post, I told you about our new toilet, but you also need to think about the other toilet accessories you will need to purchase e.g. toilet brush, bin, cloths for cleaning, extra toilet roll etc. We put ours in a little basket to keep them altogether and stop them falling over.
But most of importantly you need a toilet tent!
For us, colour was an important factor – we like everything to blend in.
After that we needed one that was in stock (there was a rush on them due to the pandemic!). We went for Kampa – the colour is good, you will either love or hate the icon on the door!
It’s pretty easy to put up, but we did break one of the bungs on the end of one of the ceiling poles very quickly. We like the little added details of a pocket to hold the toilet roll, a further pocket for storing other bits and pieces, and the ventilated roof!
Hygiene is obviously very important, and even more so in a pandemic, so we have also added a hand-washing station to our set up:
The funky water carrier with tap attachment is by Colapz. It works well for handwashing, although it’s annoying that you can’t use the last bit of water due to the height of the tap outlet. As the name suggests it packs down small, as does the shallow collapsible basin. The little table is by Outwell.
Our encampment is now en-suite – the height of luxury!
Yes, COVID spurred us on to invest… in our own camping toilet!
Previously we thought this was a bit excessive but the experience of an unpleasant toilet this last summer, combined with the importance good hygiene with respect to the virus, made us change our minds. The convenience of not having to trek a long way across a field to the toilet is also great.
After a bit of research we opted for Thetford excellence electric flush. Thetford has a good reputation, which gave us confidence to invest. This model has a larger waste tank so less emptying (although tank gets heavier in between empties!). What with a proper seat, an electric flush and an integrated toilet roll holder, it is almost as good as toilet at home!
An important consideration is that you need space in your car for transporting it. The waste tank and flush tank can be separated or there are smaller models available, but get your tape measure out before you place your order.
You need to get special chemicals and toilet rolls. I dose up on waste tank chemicals and water before the trip so that is ready. Also dose up on flush tank chemicals but Thetford advise not travelling with full flush tank so water gets added at camp site.
At the end of trip, after emptying waste tank, I add tank cleaner so that it is doing its thing as I’m driving. The movement is very good for this apparently!
New for next season will be sachets of chemicals – making dosing at the campsite easier and reducing the space needed for transporting chemicals.