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Camp Craft

When I stay on the land there are certain things that I really enjoy and that make my stay more comfortable... even luxurious!

First is my tent. I love my tent, it's protected me from some pretty serious weather in some pretty serious situations. I can trust it not to leak, collapse or blow away! It's a Terra Nova Super Quasar and I love it! Anyway, enough of that!

Seriously though, what you sleep in is so important to your over all well being on a trip. If your tent/bivvy bag isn't up to the job you wont sleep well, you'll get wet, stressed and generally be exhausted and grumpy, much quicker, in the day time.

Part of enjoying being outdoors for any extended period is having the basic essentials of keeping warm and dry sorted. Sleeping bags have to be up to the job of keeping you warm and a good sleeping mat is essential to stop you getting cold from the ground up. I've got a Thermarest which no one could part me from! I also bought a camp bed this summer which is fabulous! A ridiculous treat! It doesn't fit in my Quasar though so only gets used if I borrow a large tent or stay under the shelter. What it does do, is put me on a different level to my dog, away from ticks and general stink.

What I'm going to talk about in this post isn't what I would take on a hiking trip, it's what I would take to the land to camp. Which is quite different. There's no way I'd carry this lot on my back up a hill!

If I go on my own to the land this is my usual set up. My Quasar (hallowed be), an old army poncho, my dog and tools for fire preparation. As well as food and my umbrella (brilliant piece of kit).

This little shelter not only protected Willow and I from the roasting sun, it protected us 2 minutes later when it got windy and rainy. I use a little Coleman Alpine stove to cook on for hot choc and basic meals. I don't tend to bother full on cooking when it's just me. Although I plan to rectify that!

This is the main, daddy shelter. It's made from a large piece of commissioned heavy weight tarp and birch coppice. The poles are supposed to be straight, ours aren't, which tends to make the tarp tricky to get taught all over. We slid the ridge pole into a plastic pipe and that's sorted that problem out now. The shelter will fit a lot of people under it as well as a fire and all the other stuff that accumulates in a camp.

This design has withstood gale force winds, storms, serious rain and kept us cosy, if a little full of adrenalin!

It really is a satisfying experience getting your camp organised. Often the simple things take about three times as long to do when your living outdoors. I think it's partly because things don't have a place, so you can spend most of your time trying to find stuff.

A beautiful sight! Lots of wood! We have a lot of beech wood on the land as well as oak. Even though the beech wood is well seasoned it can give off an acrid smoke that was really getting at us. Often our fires would not get hot enough, quickly enough to stop them being so smokey. It was a pain having to use up so much wood to keep it hot. It's very windy where we are too so no matter where you sat you would get a faceful of smoke that burnt your eyes and lungs. Nasty and made me grumpy as often I would be trying to cook on it!

I decided to bring my chiminea to the land (I use it for keeping me warm when I'm making baskets usually!) to see if it would help make a less smokey fire. It did, it is amazing! I am not ashamed whatsoever in using it!! It's quick to light, easy to maintain, gives off a good heat without using up lots of wood and is more efficient than an open fire. I can cook lots of things in the different recesses of it too. Fabulous!

This is normally how I cook now. The pot is sitting on an old bracket from a telegraph pole that is acting like a trivet. It is solid too. I got the pot for £1 at a local car boot sale - it's a le creuset, ooOOOoh!!

There are so many little things that make our camp life easier. I've decided to document them all. More installments to follow!

I love living outdoors. I love it!

Now playing: Lamb - Gorecki
via FoxyTunes


  1. Oooohhh... that sounds like heaven. I'm so envious of your set up and beautiful land! Reading your post gives me a real itch to join in!

    At the moment we live on an island with very little public land to camp on and then it's so busy that it's not worth the cost. We live about 1200 km away (14 hours) from our 79 acres so it's not easy to get there and enjoy it as much as we'd like.

    If you ever, for any reason come to BC you'll have to consider spending some time at our property. There are cabins with wood cook stoves, creek (with water rights) and it's right on the river. From the cabins you look down the Kispiox river one way and from the outhouse seat you look down the other. We have a large meadow below the cabins where you can watch moose, bears, wild horses...

    I'll have to make a post of my own to show you some pictures of our property to tempt you to visit! My sister in law's boyfriend came to Canada for the first time some years ago. He's from France and had no idea how big Canada is. He was used to napping between his commute from France to Switzerland so when he landed in Calgary AB and drove directly to Cranbrook BC (4 hours) to the family house and then the next day north west to our property (16 hours) he was BLOWN AWAY (understatement) at the drive. BC is a big place.

  2. blimey annie! That sounds incredible! When I was little I used to fantasise about being Davy Crockett, living in a log cabin in the woods, near a river, tracking bears and ... (don't worry I know he's not Canadian!!! :) )

    It just sounds amazing Annie! You have to post about it, I'd love to see loads of pictures and hear of your adventures!

    I have absolutely no doubt it would blow my mind! You're really kind to invite me and to be honest I am sorely tempted!! I tend not to go abroad unless I have a really good reason. My best friends brothers just moved to Canada (not sure where though) so perhaps that's a good enough reason!!


  3. Lovely blogspace Hen, felt myself drifting off looking at all the lovely pictures. Willow looks avery happy dog too!

  4. Hi Hen-how great to switch on Radio 4 by chance (not sure I ever listen at 3 in the afternoon) and hear you!! I have a yurt in London (strapline...the nearest yurt in the world to a tube...!), and although I don't live in's up all year and I love it...enough said....We opened it up in 2009 over London 'Open House' weekend - a time where about 750 mostly iconic buildings are open to the public...and we got featured and selected as one of the Top Ten 'must see's'...along with the Foreign Office and Gherkin. Had about 500 visitors in our lovely little humble yurt. If you ever need anywhere to stay in London-please come; I'd love to know more about your tree planting-I bought a small piece of woodland last year so it's great to connect with yurtwoodlanders! all best, Katherine


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