As snug as a bug

It’s become a running joke that this goat feels the cold at night. I always wear thermals to sleep in when I’m camping, even in the height of summer. At either end of the season you might find me wearing double thermals, a wool jumper, woolly socks, woolly hat and gloves inside two sleeping bags… and it’s not as if we camp in the artic, we rarely get further than Sussex!! And of course unless it’s a super warm night I insist on a hot water bottle…but you already know that top camping tip.

The reason it is so funny is that the other goat will probably just be in her summer jammas… but cocooned in her Western Mountaineering sleeping bag. It’s so super warm that she often she doesn’t bother to zip it up!

This season I’ve decided it was time for an upgrade! I compared lots of options and in the end went with Thermarest Questar 20. It seemed a good balance of good quality down, light weight and yet not as expensive as some.

When it arrived I couldn’t wait to go camping to try it out – so I decided that I would sleep in it at home on my bed. To test out whether it was warm I put aside my winter pyjamas and slept in a summer nightie.

At first I was a bit concerned, it’s so lightweight it didn’t feel snuggly warm, but about 4.30am I woke up because I was too hot!!

There are some good features which the websites don’t really tell you about:

The thing that annoyed me most about my old sleeping bag (mountain hard wear women’s lamina 20) was that the zip always got snagged on the lining. I’ve slept in it a lot over many years, and I’ve still not got the knack of how to stop it catching. But the thing that annoys me most is that when I bought it, the sales assistant specifically told me that it had a special tape to stop the zip catching!! Anyway, I’m more hopeful about the new one as it has two thick tapes and the zipper itself has a sheath over it.

I think the website details maybe did tell me about this feature, but I didn’t understand what it was. This is a photo of the inside bottom of the sleeping bag… a special little place to tuck your toes in to keep them warm!

Similarly the web details did say it was W.A.R.M…. this label shows what that means quite nicely!

I was a bit confused why there were funny loops on the bag of the new sleeping bag – turns out it’s a way to keep the bag on your sleeping mat. Clearly I couldn’t test this out on my bed, but I’ll give it a go in the tent as it sounds a good idea.

I was also pleased to know that the down in the sleeping bag had been resourced responsibly and the ducks might have had a happy life. You can read more about it on the RDS website.

I’ll let you know how I get on when I test it out for real on a camping trip…hopefully some time soon!

L

PS this post was written last month (when it was still wintery) – sorry for the delay there was an issue with uploading the photos.

Tree planting

To make a change from walking and camping, this goat tried another outdoor activity recently – tree planting!

The weather was beautiful and a gang of us planted 100m of hedgerow – about 500 trees in a morning.

The day was organised by the Surrey Hills Society. The aim was to improve this part of the surrey hills for wildlife by creating a new hedgerow corridor. We planted a mix of species and the canes and protectors were reused from a previous project.

L

It’s in the bag… but which one?!

Dry bags are great – little water tight bags that you can used to both organise your stuff in your backpack and to keep it safe and dry. I have these ones from sea to summit in a variety of sizes:

The different colours are helpful, but once you’ve bought more than one of each size, you might know something is in a bag, but which one?! We are super proud of this nifty tip – a bit of ‘decoration’ with a permanent marker and there’s no more confusion. Particularly if the doodles match the thing in the bag eg the footprints oneonce had clean socks and change of shoes in, the one with the spirals had things like charger wires and headphones.

Hope this tip helps you pack for your next adventure.

L & R

Walking is all about the coffee stops

I’m sure you will all agree that the refreshments are a very important part of any day out… and our lastest walk was planned around starting and finishing at Wilfrid’s Cafe in Droxford.

We’d discovered this community cafe before Christmas when we walked from Beaconhill Beeches – and with ample car parking in the village centre, we thought it would be a good place to start the next leg of the Wayfarer’s Walk.

L

That’s handy!

Waterproof jackets are an essential and waterproof trousers are pretty useful too – keeping you warm as well as dry when you’re around the campsite. But I also love my waterproof gloves!

If you’re out walking all day and your gloves get wet, either just as your hands swing at your side or because you have to touch wet gates to open them, then you are in for cold wet hands which is miserable. Waterproof gloves are the prefect solution!

I had a pair of sealskinz a few years ago and I loved them. But I clearly loved them too much – I wore them lots, not just for long walks… and consequently I lost them! I eventually accepted they were not going to rematerialise and bought myself another pair recently.

I got them in Blacks… and made the very useful discovery, that you get a discount there if you’ve got a National Trust membership card. Very handy!

Although tight gloves feel snug and warm in the shop, if they reduce your circulation at all that won’t help with keeping your fingers warm. So I erred on the safe side and got mediums, which are actually a bit long in the fingers, but I’ve been enjoying wearing them.

L

Anticipating tasty camping trips ahead

I got a new cookery book for Christmas – and I’m hopeful it will provide inspiration for some good camping meals!

Long-life ingredients are ideal for camping when you have limited space in your cool box. I’ve already adapted some recipes from Jack’s earlier book (A girl called Jack) for previous trips. So I’m hopeful of some new inspiration for 2022’s camping trips!

As you can see, I purchased some tins to start trying it out straight away!! The first recipe I tried was tasty, but not ideal for campfire cooking as it was a pie!

L

Happy new year!

Both the goats are looking forward to some good camping trips in 2022, and we’ll be sure to tell you all about them!

The weather is mild enough to be camping today, but sadly we aren’t! I did go for a new year’s day walk, but it wasn’t very exciting… instead I thought I’d tell you about the lastest bit of the Wayfarers which I completed before Christmas: Beaconhill beeches

If you live near enough, maybe it will inspire you of an idea where to walk this weekend.

Happy new year!

L

Happy Christmas from the goats

Wishing all our followers a Happy Christmas!

I thought I’d share this picture of my favourite Christmas present – a tent for each goat and hopes for a new year filled with new camping adventures.

Mine’s the tent on the left, the other goat can have the one on the right…and I’m a bit concerned that the washing might have to be re-done being as there is a seagull sitting on it!

If you want one of your own, it came from here: http://www.shoredriftltd.co.uk

Hope your new year is also full of happy adventures.

L

Bell tents aren’t only for camping!

In our last post we confessed that we hadn’t camped as much as we’d like to last summer, but that our tent had been up to other things. Turns out bell tents aren’t only useful for camping in…

One of the goats had the honour of being her sister’s bridesmaid this summer and with that came responsibilities for a hen party. With the help of a party decorator Sandy the Bell Tent and Gary the Gazebo were transformed into a stylish venue for a garden hen party!

R & L