Camping at Climping

We managed to catch the last of the warm weather when we tried out this new campsite the other week.

It’s a bit of an odd set up – you arrive at a gate with the wrong name on it, and follow the lane past a pretty farm house, then past less pretty farm buildings & parked up HGVs. Keep following the little tent signposts through a timber yard, drive along the fence for the prison, through a field and you arrive at Cuckoo Camp.

The pitches are individually marked out. The provision of your own private water tap for your pitch is contrasted by the requirement to bring your own toilet.

Although we could hear the road at night, we also were able to walk to Littlehampton and along the beach to Climping via footpaths. And yes, we did have an ice-cream and a paddle to celebrate the end of summer.

See how we scored this campsite of contrasts!

R & L

The camping season is far from over

The camping season needn’t end with the school holidays! So far, the weather in September has been lovely for camping and we took the opportunity to try out another new site, Cedar Valley.

It’s a small site, so it felt a bit crowded, but we quite liked it – see how we scored it.

Some pictures from our trip:

We have plans to squeeze in another September camping trip to another new campsite – we’ll keep you posted how we get on!

R & L

Don’t forget…

Most camping trips we forget something.  Last time it was the coffee.  Other times we’ve forgotten less important things like a sleeping mat or the tent pole!

The organised goat learnt from this and has lots of lists she double checks.  The less-organised goat doesn’t… and it’s a bit of a worry.

When our top follower of this blog heard about this, she took matters into her own hand and compiled a generic camping packing list.  Here it is to help you pack too:

Shelter

  • Tent
  • Tent poles
  • pegs
  • mallet
  • Gazebo
  • Chair
  • Bedding
  • Sleeping mat
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Pillow
  • Hot Water Bottle
  • Eye mask

Clothes

  • Flipflops
  • Wellies
  • Pyjamas
  • Hat
  • fingerless gloves
  • body warmer or fleece
  • waterproofs (including trousers)
  • underwear
  • spare trousers
  • spare top
  • Jumper

Toiletries

  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • hair brush
  • baby wipes
  • deodorant
  • flannel
  • shower gel
  • towel

Miscellaneous

  • Lantern
  • Headtorch
  • Penknife
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • insect repellent
  • map
  • hand sanitizer
  • face mask
  • water bottle
  • phone
  • phone charger and/or battery pack

The obvious thing that is missing from this list are food and drink… but those are whole other lists of their own!! 

Hopefully now nothing will be forgotten on your next trip either!

Happy camping

R & L (& friend!)

Camping with COVID

Since the lockdown has eased, we’ve been making up for lost time and camping once a fortnight!

Clearly if you actually have COVID you need to stay home! … but otherwise what is it like camping in a panedemic?

Book ahead

Everyone is having staycations and camping is an attractive option as its out in the fresh air.  You’re also sleeping in your own tent and bedding using your own crockery etc, so it feels a lower risk option than other holidays.  Thing is that the world and his wife have all realised it’s a good idea, combined with campsites reducing their capacity to manage the risk, it means that sites are getting booked up well in advance.

Pack what you need to stay safe

Pack your hand sanitizer, your mask so that you can support local shops, perhaps some anti-bac cleaning spray for your table/equipment and you should be pretty safe.

Think it out

As with everything these days, just think about the contact points that could be a risk and then make sure you are careful about those.  Where is it that everyone in the campsite will touch with their mucky paws? …the water tap.  Better sites will provide sanitizer at the water tap, but if not, just make sure you wash or sanitize your hands after fetching water.  Apply the same logic to other contact points such as the doors, handles and taps in the communal facilities.

Think about who you are camping with.  If you are one household that’s easy.  If you are several, then maybe you need to pack separate tents and travel in separate cars.

It’s a good idea to wash your hands when preparing food anyway, but things which are simple at home can be tricky on a campsite.  A collapsible bowl for the cook and some soap and water for the cook to be able to wash her hands easily and frequently is a good idea.  We always have pre-dinner snacks in the form of crisps.  Usually we’d have passed a big bag around.  Shaking them out into individual bowls is probably a better idea to avoid sharing germs.

Look for recommendations

If you’re feeling nervous, look for some recent reviews or ask a friend where they’ve been and whether it felt safe.  We will list our COVID reviews below.

It’s wonderful to be able to escape to the countryside again, and with a bit of thought hopefully it will be just the lockdown tonic you need!

R & L

 

Rowbury Farm – this campsite is very well thought out.  The facilities are new, which probably helps.  But there were sanitizers in sensible locations eg by the water tap, the toilets were being cleaned very regularly and there were cleaning materials available for you to undertake further cleaning yourself if needbe.

Weekend campfires – this campsite is very basic.  As you will have seen from our review, the toilet facilities left something to be desired, but they did provide hand sanitizer and cleaning materials in each cubicle. There wasn’t sanitizer by the water tap nor were we convinced by the cleanliness of the ‘screwdrivers’… but once you’ve identified these contact points you can of course take your own precautions if you’ve packed some sanitizer.

Hook Farm – there was sanitizer in the toilet cubicles, but there were not cleaning materials available.  There was no sanitizer available near the water taps either.

Cat Inn – while we were at Hook Farm, we called in at the Cat Inn for a cold drink and were very impressed with how they had thought through their COVID prevention.  There was no need to book, but we did have our temperature checked and log our details on an app.  There was sanitizer available on arrival, staff  wore masks and had thought through little details like single use menus.  We sat in the garden, but the inside had been carefully partitioned.

What do you actually do when you go camping?

“When you’re camping, what do you actually do?”

That’s something we’re often asked.  In reality we do very little – by the time you’ve waited for the kettle to boil, had your cup of tea, trekked to the toilets, lit a fire, cooked your breakfast and eaten it, it’s about coffee time!  Then you realise you’re still in your pyjamas!!

So basically we cook, eat and poke the fire.

Occasionally we manage to fit in a little adventure between meals – usually a walk to explore the area.

Our latest stay was at Hook Farm.  We’ve been there loads of times, but we can never remember where we walked the time before.  So we’re going to start keeping a note of good things to do near West Hoathly.

We’ve also updated the Hook Farm campsite scores.

R & L

The second of my finds

After the success of the the first of my finds, we were full of anticipation about what our next campsite would be like! Our first experience of an ‘adults only’ campsite!!

When we arrived it looked very promising – stunning views, lots of space, not too many other people.  The site was called Campfire Weekends and the team running the site were very friendly – with the whole family getting involved.

Our disposition towards the site changed somewhat when we visited the toilet facilities!  They were billed as compost loos, but really they were just bucket toilets.  Even that could be coped with if there was light to see by, but you had to wear your headtorch even in the middle of the day!  And if you’d taken a lantern instead, you would have been disappointed as there was no hook to hang it on!

But before you could experience any of this, you had to overcome the challenge of opening the door!  To stop the doors blowing in the wind you were asked to lock/unlock the doors from the outside using a screwdriver!!  The less-bright goat was so confused by the system she had to go and ask another camper to help her open the door the first time!!  If you need to ask for help to access the toilet, something is wrong!

Normally when you wake in the night needing a wee, you are tempted to put off getting out your sleeping bag and try to avoid going to the toilet until the morning.  Not in this site!!  Waking in the early hours, the first thought was – oh good, all the other campers are in their beds, I’m going to make the most of the opportunity & go for a wild wee behind the tent!!

The experience cemented our plan to get our own camping toilet!!! (More of that another time!)

R & L

PS here’s how we scored the Campfires Weekends site.