Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide when Camping

When you go camping how do you keep warm? We don't have electric hook up and we cook on a gas stove or a fire or a barbecue. But I'm so aware of the risk of fire and the silent, scentless killer that is carbon monoxide that I never bring them inside the tent. We rely on lots of layers, good sleeping bags, and maybe a hot water bottle, recently we have invested in the best heater of all - a puppy!

puppy sleeping

puppy in a tent

puppy sleeping

But two in five campers and caravanners have admitted taking enormous risks with their lives by 
bringing outdoor gas appliances inside as a result of the unpredictable British weather.
Millions are ignoring basic gas safety laws by bringing lit barbecues inside tents, because of the rain 
and in order to stay warm.
A survey of 1,000 campers and caravanners by CORGI HomePlan revealed a shocking lack of 
understanding of the risks involved when using gas cookers, barbecues and heaters - that can all 
emit deadly carbon monoxide, even when flames are out, nearly two thirds of people did not know that CO continues to be produced after a flame has been extinguished.
One in five of those surveyed said that when it rains, they will bring a barbeque into 
their tent or tent porch. This is despite the recent near-fatal incident over the August Bank Holiday, 
which saw a family of five hospitalised in Cornwall after barbecuing in a tent during a downpour.
A further one in five campers keep warm at night by using a smouldering barbecue, 
kerosene heater, patio heater, lit barbecue or gas stove.

And while I wouldn't bring any of these things inside I do think I might fall into the group of people who were confused as to what ‘well ventilated’ is. Nearly half believed it to be a tent with an open door. The reality is fumes can blow from lit and extinguished appliances into - rather than out of - confined spaces, allowing carbon monoxide to accumulate to toxic levels. A reason to ensure barbecues are far from the tent! (Luckily my fear of fire means I keep them far away and also douse them completely with water before I leave them)

“By packing a simple CO detector in your luggage and setting it up in your tent, it leaves you free to 
enjoy a worry-free break.”Mark Leslie, CEO of CORGI HomePlan
For a checklist of how to keep your family safe on a camping and caravanning holiday, visit: Corgi Home Plan and consider adding a CO detector to your camping essentials.

Thanks to Corgi Home plan for the info - I have not been compensated in any way for this post.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Looking back over the camping and festival summer

Early autumn and yet already I feel the gloom of the colder weather affecting me. Partly due to the weather and partly due to the lack of annual leave left to me I have packed up the tents until next year and that always makes me sad.

I had a fabulous summer though, with awesome festivals. I went to the Curious Arts Festival to grab some culture in a field, Camp Bestival (as always - and I enjoyed it all over again), Wilderness, where I gazed once again on glorious countryside filled with glitter, music and nudity, and even a Medieval festival at a castle!

I was not alone in having a great summer in the outdoors and so to help us all cope with the darker mornings, the rain, and the cooler nights here are some other great camping and festival posts to read. ..

Samantha at NorthEastFamilyFun was letting her kids have a taste of freedom at the Corbridge Festival

"I'm a bit of a free range parent and I'm keen to give Harry some extra independence this summer. He is going into Year 5 in September and when I remember how much I did at his age it was a lot more than he does now. The festival wasn't too busy through the daytime so Steve and I found a spot next to a noticeable landmark and let H&H have some freedom to explore with the instructions to check in regularly. The festival is in one field and has a big fence around it, plus they had our phone number on their wristband so I was confident they wouldn't get lost." Read More

While Meg was experiencing what it's like to be a new mum at a music festival when she went to the Secret Garden Party without her baby!

"My festival experience has changed slightly since having a child as I’m sure you are all aware, as a parent your priorities change. But what’s funny is that it’s carried over into everything that you do….including going to a festival even when the baby is left at home with the grandparents! So here is what it’s like going to a festival as a new mum……" Read More

Not everyone was at a festival though, there was plenty of glamping and yurting (can yurt be a verb?!) to be had too.

Naomi at Life by Naomi was thrilled to stay in a yurt with family and friends.

"We cooked all out meals on site – it made sense with so many children around. We had a barbecue one evening and a chilli on the other, which I had made in advance. The electric cookers were really efficient, and all the yurts were really well equipped with cooking equipment and utensils. Washing up was easy too – and there was so much hot water! (That was a glamping bonus for me.)
We had an absolutely brilliant time from start to finish. Yes, it rained. But, we’re British, so we just got on with it. The kids had an absolute blast, and were completely exhausted from running around outside all day" Read More

Erin at Yorkshire Tots was glamping in Yorkshire.

"Our home for two nights was Jolly Day’s signature Woodland Tent.  Spacious and charming, it had everything we needed for a very comfortable stay.  Outside our tent was a large veranda and right off our front steps we had our own BBQ and picnic table." Read More

And Kate loved her stay in a yurt so much she now wants to live in one!

"the unadulterated joy of just rocking up and not having to deal with that. Also the yurt has proper beds. And a wood burning stove. And a hob. And a bottle opener and all sorts of useful, good and pretty things that frankly won’t fit in the back of my car any more because of the level of ‘stuff’ that leaving the house with the kids seems to demand. It was bliss." Read More

Hope you enjoyed the foray back into warm summer nights. I have some more 'back to nature camping trips to suggest you read next time. Until then, keep in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

Let me know how you cope with camping withdrawal...or do you snow camp? I'd LOVE to hear about that (it's on my bucket list)

Monday, 10 October 2016

Day out in Sussex

Some time ago Mr Tentsniffer and I bought annual membership at the Weald and Downland Museum as it's fairly close to where we live and is dog friendly. It is a brilliant historical resource but it's also set in such glorious countryside that it's nice just to stroll around and admire the changing of the seasons.
horses and tractors ploughing

This Sunday they had an autumn countryside event and we went along for a couple of hours.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Tent Pegs - just a small metal stick; or are they?

When I started camping my tent arrived with a small bag of tent pegs. They were standard looking things, like a straight skewer with a bent over top. And I went camping and they held the guy lines OK and nothing fell down.

tent pegs and mallet on a lawn

I did bend a couple of the pegs when I hit a rock under the soil surface, but I tossed those away and replaced them with a pack from the pound shop. After all, a tent peg is a tent peg, it's just a thin bit of metal..or it is!?

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Trespass Qiktent - Review

At the end of every festival I attend I enjoy watching people who, on day one, smugly erected an instant 'pop up' tent, and now on day 5 are struggling to get it back into its bag!

I have seen swearing, family rows, anger, broken tents, ripped bags, tents crammed into cars still semi erect, even tents just dumped in fury and left at the festival.

I envy these people on day one, but always remember on day 5 why I don't have a pop up tent.

If only there was a tent that was quick to put up, but just as quick to put down.

Well it turns out there is!

Monday, 15 August 2016

Curious Arts Festival 2016

So I expect you are all wondering, did I manage to see all of the things I hoped to at the Curious Arts Festival?

curious arts festival programme

Well, no. But I experienced all I needed. We arrived on the Friday and the cricket match was in full swing already, sadly it's a short walk form the camp site and the main festival site, and after pitching the tent in the scorching sunshine all I fancied was a snooze and an ice cold beer! Couple with the fact we had the small puppy with us (and she was panting in the shade) we decided to miss the cricket in favour of total non exertion.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Festival Checklist and some Festivals you may have missed


I'm well into my festival season, I hope you've been to at least one, or are about to! I'm looking forward to reviewing all of the ones I attend but until then, here's a list to keep you busy - maybe you'll find a festival to attend? Or to pencil in for next year.

Monday, 25 July 2016

My list of 5 'Must Sees' at Camp Bestival this year

Every year I plan lots of things to see at Camp Bestival and we usually manage about 50%. Mainly because the festival is large, we are easily distracted and extremely lazy.

So I'm making a list this year of just 5 things that I absolutely MUST see.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

A Local Food Festival

A couple of weekends ago I dragged Mr TentSniffer along to a food festival. I say dragged, he wasn't that reluctant but he's not really a foody so it wasn't his favourite choice of things to do. As it was mostly outside we were able to take Fizz.

She was much admired and she didn't beg for food either! What a good girl.

We visited a cafe called The Hungry Guest for some coffee, we couldn't really say no as they had a board outside suggesting we try Fizz in the courtyard! We did and she liked it very much.

Mr TS rather fell for the Podgy Pieman, or at least for his wares. though the pies were slightly more than the penny of the nursery rhyme, they were delicious. Mr TS had a sausage roll with sundried tomatoes and fennel seeds and I had a shredded beef, beetroot and horseradish pasty. Yum!

Friday, 22 July 2016

Festival Food Budgets

One of the nice things about festivals is the choice of food that is available. From cheap and cheerful fish and chips to more exotic haloumi fries with pomegranate salad, via wood fired pizza. But are the fish ad chips cheap? and what of the pizza? Can you afford pie and mash for the whole family? and three meals a day?

burger bear burgers at wilderness festival

So first things first. Festivals don't make a lot of money - despite what you might think, they have a huge turnover but actual profits are often low. Many festivals, Glastonbury included, continue to run not because they are a money spinner, but because the organiser loves festivals! One of the way festivals make money is via onsite sales, this includes food and drink stalls and is a reason many festivals ask you to buy booze at the bar and to try the food. So by buying your rations onsite you are helping the festival.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Curious Arts - what I want to see most

Last year I missed the Friday at the Curious Arts Festival as DD was still at school, this year as a teen she has finished her GCSEs and so we will be there for the opening at 12 noon.

This means that hopefully we can catch the Curious Arts cricket match, as while I don't like watching cricket on TV I do love a live match, especially at a festival, with gin...

Monday, 11 July 2016

Put to the Test - Liquiproof

I am a camper so I'm very familiar with water, getting soaked, ruined trainers, soggy jeans, etc etc you get the picture. After all I live in the UK, home of damp summers and wetter springs, saturated autumns and drowning winters.

liquiproof waterproofer and some canvas shoes

When I was asked if I fancied reviewing Liquiproof I was keen to try something new, I've used water proofers in the past of course, famously I had to respray the tent and used rather a lot of Fabsil. The trouble with most water proofers is that they smell really bad so you have to use them in well ventilated areas and they stink the place out as they dry. Not so with Liquiproof! I was suspicious when told this but also intrigued, how could something water based be water proof? My tiny brain couldn't cope!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Eat what you like, it's a holiday

At home I'm a fairly strict parent. I'm all about balanced diets, five a day, no fizzy drinks and minimal crisp munching. We make homemade cakes so that they are not over sweet or full of E numbers. Most of our meals are made from scratch. In fact DD is so used to having 'meat and two veg' that she's not that keen on junk food!

But when we are on holiday (which for us usually means camping, all of that goes out the window (or the tent flap).

I suddenly favour things that will 'keep' without a fridge. Snacks that are prepacked (and thus insect proof) and easy to carry, cartons of juice, bags of crisps, 'breakfast' bars (that we all know are just sugar thrown at some oats), of course nature has given us the banana, the perfect snack food, also the easy peel satsuma, but other than that I'm looking at manmade all the way.

teen eating an apple at a festival