09 October 2012

Camping

I love camping.  I love it enough to camp in the autumn as we are now in.  We had a frost shortly before we went away but that was not enough to deter me.  We have good, warm sleeping bags and room to pack plenty of clothes so the cold would not be enough to stop me.

We camped for eight nights in total. The first night was bitterly cold, one of the coldest we had.  It was a glorious night, almost a full moon and completely clear, hence the cold.  We were camping at a special place, for one night.  The place where I worked for a while and where I met my husband.  We were there to celebrate their thirtieth year of operation.  It was great to meet up with old friends and acquaintances, to see how much the place had changed over the years.  We had a lovely twenty four hours there.

Our next campsite was further south, at Corfe Castle in Dorset.  It was very quiet, as you would expect during term time in Autumn.  The bare earth on each pitch should really have served as a warning to us when the rain poured down for the whole of the first night.  As the days went on the inside the tent became more and more like a swamp.


We were camping on clay which did not drain at all and remained sodden despite the sunshine.  There was plenty to do in the area so we didn't need to spend much time in the tent!

The next campsite could not have been more different in every way we were the only tent on the site and the only facilities were a toilet and a tap.  It felt like we were camping in a slightly wild Victorian  garden!



For me camping is about reconnecting with nature.  I am so aware of the skills that we have lost as we have moved into our warm, snug houses.  It is much more difficult to be in tune with the seasons and nature when you cannot feel, see and hear them around you all the time.  We came to know when sunset would be in a few short days due to the birds, mostly starlings 'singing' at dusk as they were looking for somewhere to roost.  It never felt that cold, partly because as we had travelled south the temperatures were slightly warmer, but also because I am sure that you adapt.  I always eat more when I camp as I am sure I am using the energy to keep myself warm but at no time did I feel remotely cold.

It is good to be home but I am already missing the connection with the environment I love in.


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