Thursday, 14 June 2012

Carry on camping, or don't?

Dave Barry, an American Purlitzer-prizewinning writer, once said:

"It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds, for the opportunity to rain on a tent". 

I now know this to be true.

I was very excited about camping, ridiculously so. I couldn't wait to take my children on their first ever camping trip at half-term and had even been sent a lovely tent to try out from Vango (I'll be writing a review of that shortly).  Knowing we were going to be away over half-term and therefore Jubilee weekend, I even planned to have a little tea-party at our tent. It was all looking good. We packed the car up (and the roof-box, and the trailer), the sun was shining and we head off down the M5 to North Devon with much excitement.  

Mr M and I took the tent out of the bag for the first time (which let me tell you know, it 1000% easier than getting the blighter back into the bag) and impressively, we didn't row or fight about which way it had to go up and managed it rather swiftly whilst the children watched Rango in the car. It was still going to so well. The next day we woke up to sunshine. It was windy but warm, so we ventured out. Still going well. 

Then Sunday arrived and so did the rain. It was bleak.  Our campsite was rather high up above sea level and I think we were in the cloud. Not like my iTunes music. In the actual cloud. Not fun. Lower ground was slightly more pleasant, and by pleasant I mean we weren't getting blown halfway across Devon but it was still grim. Sunday night was even worse when we actually thought we were in the middle of a monsoon and the tent was going to be ripped from above us. Mr M even had to do a midnight flit outside to check we were still pegged in and there was much bed-swapping as the children were unable to sleep through the noise of the wind. 

Monday brought a fair bit of sunshine but by this point we'd already decided to cut our losses and head home, having since the forecast for the rest of the week. Heavy rain was due for the next four days and we didn't see the point in hanging around being miserable, so we enjoyed one last day in the sunshine and in the evening we took advantage of the dry weather and packed up our tent. There's nothing worse than packing up in the pouring rain and as it did in fact rain for the rest of the week, I was glad that we made that decision.

It wasn't all a loss, we did get to see some lovely parts of North Devon and pretty much fell in love with it. Ilfracombe and Woolacombe were lovely and generally it just felt like a really nice part of England. We've not fully explored as much as we would have liked but we'll be back. I didn't have nearly enough cream teas.

I was sad to cut short our much anticipated break but rain + camping = NOT MUCH FUN AT ALL! Hopefully we'll get another shot at it when the weather picks up - nope, I've not been put off at all!


  1. So sorry to read you had to return home early because of the rain!
    Devon is beautiful when the weather is good
    and I'm glad you got to experience the delights of Woolacombe!

    Frankie x

  2. My Dad (the original Boy Scout) used to say that the key to good camping is flexibility (that and wearing nothing in the rain because it's easier to dry yourself than to dry wet clothes in bad weather). I think you passed with flying colours. Well done ;).

  3. I thought I recognised good old Wooly bay :)

    To be fair, half term was very bad this year, so not representative of how it is usually is. It's pretty common to get a bit of rain, but relentless wind and rain, with gales, is pretty unusual. So dont give up! When the sun shines and the kids are riding on their bikes, playing games with new friends and flying kites you honestly cant beat it.

    That said, I was very grumpy after returning from camping last week (we stuck it out for 5 days) and most of us have been ill. Not quite the relaxing break I had been hoping for...

  4. Oh so rubbish when it rains ALL THE TIME, but you should try again: may be I can inspire you to have another go?

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