We only managed to go camping on one of the May bank holidays, but we did find a new campsite to try out: Hurstview.
It’s located right on the coast, looking over to the Isle of Wight. It was a bit different to our normal choices – a bigger site, with facilities, but it was a relaxed, unpretentious site and we plan to go back again.
You might remember a ridiculous song about Alice the Camel having five humps that you sang as a child? (If not here’s a demonstration we’ve found you on YouTube!!!)… well our Alice also has five humps!! Or at least sometimes – other times she only has 3 or 4!
In this picture she has all her humps – the main tent which comes with a sort of veranda, an additional canopy extension and a vestibule. The additional bits all just zip on so you can add them or not depending on the space you need for that particular trip. Just as in the song, Alice might only have 4 humps sometimes!!
In theory you could probably just keep adding more & more canopy extensions – but we tend to think that 5 humps is big enough… especially when there’s only usually 2 people sleeping inside!!
We’ve recently been telling you about Alice the Palace our Kampa Hayling tent. Well in keeping with her royal title, Alice likes to travel in style!!
Being pretty big and being made of polycotton rather than just polyester, she is pretty heavy. The stronger goat can just about manouvre her, but only with the aid of the Alice’s travel carriage – a bag designed for the Vango Airbeam tent!
Although not designed for the Kampa tent, this bag is ideal – it is big enough to be able to roll Alice into it without too much trouble. There are seatbelts (well straps!) to compress her down a bit, but best of all there are wheels. She can be wheeled from the car, straight down the driveway and into the garage.
It’s definitely worth doing some research and not just going with the packing solutions offered by your particular tent manafacturer.
In the post about our recent camping trip, we promised to introduce you to Alice properly. Well here she is in all her beauty at Pit Hill campsite:
Some of you might actually remember her arrival. She is a Kampa Hayling 4 Classic in polycotton. For a large tent, she is pretty easy to put up as she is inflatable and we have an electric pump and battery pack, so we don’t even need to pump manually!
What’s with her name? Well, of all our tents she is by far the most luxurious. We found ourselves describing her as a palace – so when we were trying to think of a name for her we decided Alice the Palace had a nice ring to it!
We’ll look forward to introducing her more fully over the next few blog posts.
Firstly, who is Betty?! She is my Skoda Yeti – and I love her because she is reliable and she has a decent sized boot. You can also take the back seats out, which is very handy to squeeze in lots of camping stuff!! But on our last trip she really excelled herself… and doubled as our kitchen!
An 84 litre ‘really useful’ box with some drawers from Ikea sitting inside formed our kitchen unit. I put a little peice of wood under the box to make sure that the drawers opened easily over the lip of the boot.
The top drawer had plates, bowls, mugs, goblets, kitchenfoil, the teapot and a collapsible kettle. I also stowed a hanging toiletry bag in there which I repurposed as an organiser for our cutlery and washing-up supplies. On arrival it hung from the Betty’s boot struts.
The bottom drawer was our food store. The square storage boxes you get from Lakeland fitted perfectly. We didn’t get round to labelling them, but the coloured lids allowed for a bit of colour-coding! Jars of spices etc also fitted nicely in there.
On top of the drawers I stowed my collapsible washing-up bowls – one for washing up (black) and one for our handwash station (grey). Our chopping boards also fitted there – we have a set of thin colour-coded ones from Robert Dyas, which we are very pleased with, plus a bamboo bread board. Down the side of the drawers, I stowed cleaning spray, salt & pepper pots and Henrietta, but at the campsite these things were in use and we used this space to store tins of food. (Spot the nice perch Henrietta found in the pictures above!)
Next to the ‘really useful’ box I put my outwell storage caddy with our pots & pans and other utensils.
It was very pleasing to set up the ‘demonstration’ table (we call it that because it’s height makes it look like you are giving a cooking demonstation to those sitting round the campfire!) at right angles to Betty. At it’s highest height the demonstration table (from lifetime) was tall enough to fit the big cool box (from iceytech) underneath and still be able to open the cool box.
Our stove (primus) sat on the table and meant we had a very practical cooking space. We had thought that the open boot would give a bit of shelter from the elements, but we didn’t get the opportunity to test that out as happily we were camping in a heatwave!
Look what we found… a nice shady spot to camp in a heatwave! We had a lovely couple of nights at Pit Hill Farm – the campsite we stumbled across when walking the Wayfarers walk in Hampshire.
We kept things simple this time. We had a new simpler camp set up to try out (more about that next time!). We also tried out some new easy camping food called ‘Look what we found”!! Very easy to use and tastey too!
In our last post we mentioned seeing the glint of the tops of campervans at Pit Hill Farm and going to explore. Not only did we find campsite but a friendly farmer who invited us to come and try out the site sometime.
We also found a friendly camper and proud owner of a beautiful new teardrop camper. I’d never seen anything quite like it, so I had to take some photos for you.
So compact and yet everything you need! And stylish with it.
We everso nearly went camping at Pit Hill recently, but a bout of COVID put a rain check on the plans. Hopefully we’ll try it out soon and of course we’ll let you know how we get on.
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.