Win a Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Last week I talked about the dangers of carbon monoxide, the silent killer.

Headaches, feeling sleepy, all normal 'symptoms' of being a tired parent, but also a sign you might be suffering from CO poisoning!

Both in your home or your tent, (or caravan, or motorhome, or rented cottage) if there is combustion (eg gas fires or opn fires, barbecues etc) then the danger is there.

To be really safe you should use a carbon monoxide detector. You can get them online or in most hardware shops. They vary in accuracy and price from a few pounds upwards, but they are worth the investment.
carbon monoxide alarm

This week you can win one on the blog! Just use the rafflecopter entry form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm pleased to giveaway (thanks to Corgi Homeplan) a CO-9X FireAngel Carbon Monoxide Alarm which normally retails at £22

There are several ways to enter - only one is mandatory and involves finding the answer to a simple question on the Corgi Homeplan website. UK entries only.

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.

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)




A day out at the Weald and Downland open air museum 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.

Sadly our small dog is having her first season and our teen has a horrible cold - so they stayed at home. But Mr Tentsniffer and I had a great time, we were able to watch birds of prey, ducks being rounded up by dogs, a steam threshing machine, ploughing - both tractors and horses - and so many other things!
eagle

Mr Tentsniffer bought two new wool jumpers and I bought some chilli cider. I was delighted with my delicious Bubble and Squeak lunch, served with a poached egg, hollandaise sauce and bacon, while Mr Tentsniffer had his favourite traditional sausage roll from the Podgy Pieman.
wood working sign pimps faggots and benders

wooden wine bottle holders

wine tables wooden for garden

We watched morris dancers as we ate. Then prowled the craft stalls, before driving home. It was a really love;y day, great weather and so many nice dogs to see, including numerous border terriers, I look forward to taking Fizz again.

Did you get up to anything fun this weekend? Pop over to Facebook and let me know.

Night night, sleep tight - Camping sleep mats review

For a long time I have searched for the perfect comfy night's sleep when camping. As I'm in my 50s the simple thin foam mat favo...