Showing posts with label guest post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guest post. Show all posts

Guest Post from tent

Hi all, I expect you are wondering what a tent has to blog about. Well I have some exciting times you know - I travel to all sorts of exotic places (ok ok the Isle of Wight is the only time I have travelled 'overseas'  but still...) and I attend lots of festivals each year, I don't get a wristband but that's OK as I don't have any wrists.

To introduce myself, I am Wilfred. I am a canvas Cabanon tent, a Dutch pyramid style, slightly retro and very storm resistant. In 2015 I had the equivalent of a tent tattoo, and was painted with a fun Japanese design. I'm well used, well loved and unique.

This year I went to The Byline Festival and had a lovely time in a nice grassy field with well spaced tents. There were lots of new tents there who told me that their owners had never even taken them out of the bag before! I felt a true 'old hand' with my merry bunting and flags, my extra tarpaulin and my solar lights. The festival itself seemed very genteel. Lots of clever people talking about clever things and drinking posh drinks. There were very few children which I liked as it meant I didn't have to worry about bubbles and the damage bubble liquid and bubbles can do to the waterproofing on my canvas skin. There was no rain and it was a fun weekend. The travel in my own personal trolley was fun, up and down a steep hill, lovely views from the top and a slow trundle up it - but I didn't care, I can lay back in my bag and let other people worry about hills.

When we got home it seemed like a very long snooze in the garage, though at least I was dry and snug, until I was wanted again.

Next we set off for the fields of Dorset and Lulworth Castle. I have been here many times before and it is always sunny and lovely (despite the children and bubbles) The children always like my painted design and my flags and I often hear them talking about me.

But this year at Camp Bestival was rather odd. After the usual trip in my trolley up and down the steep hills, and having been set up in a nice spot by some little trees, something very strange happened; it started to rain.

Camp Bestival is always sunny! Those are the rules; so I was more than a little shocked when  not only did it shower a bit on the first evening, but it continued to shower and then...and rained! No more did small children stop to admire my pictures of Japan, no, now they scurried by in waterproof ponchos (like little tents all of their own). Everyone arrived back to me in the evening covered in mud! With muddy wellingtons and wet socks. Everything became messy with the mud and the damp clothes. I, of course, was waterproof as usual and even a storm and strong winds (which knocked down and broke some of the other nylon tents) didn't phase me. I stood strong and kept everyone safe for the whole festival.

On the last day of Camp Bestival, due to the mud, and the slippery grass, my owners decided to make an extra trip with the trolley so that they could load it less. That meant I was left until last. I stood proud, perfect in my uniqueness, watching the rest of the field slowly emptying of tents and patiently waiting for my owners to return and pack me up, snug in my bag for the next festival. Imagine my surprise when a total stranger appeared and started to pull out my pegs! He roughly undid all of my guy ropes until I fell down and then he grabbed my poles and bundled me up, shoving me into my bag with no care, but much speed!

Where were my owners who had so lovingly painted me only 2 years ago? Just as he set off, dragging me behind him, I heard a familiar and very welcome shout! "Oi! Mate! That's OUR TENT!" I was saved, and just in the nick of time. He mumbled something about thinking I had been abandoned (as if!) and handed me back to my owners. Phew! I was nearly tentknapped!

And so I returned home again, dry (it stopped raining the day we went home of course!) but badly packed (and not a little shaken). I was carefully checked and repacked at home, just in time for my next outing to Wilderness Festival.

Wilderness Festival is lovely. We stay in the family camping field and the children love me, and as before they often tell me how pretty I am. There are lots of bell tents there and even lotus tents so we canvas chaps can feel part of a nice family. This year I noticed lots of a new sort of tent too, large and with inflatable 'poles', what next I wonder!

At Wilderness there was less rain but a thunder and lightning storm! Which was super fun, I did not even wobble. The trip to and from the car on my trolley was short and over flat ground. Space was pretty tight in the camp site but everyone was very friendly. Unlike Camp Bestival, Wilderness saved some rain for the last day, so I had to return home all soggy and be pitched up in the garden to dry myself out. Now I'm back in the garage again, waiting for England's Medieval Festival. I have only been there once before but they have so many old and canvas tents there I really enjoy it - we can exchange stories and moan about bubble mix together!

Thanks for reading, maybe you could read this to your tent? And let me know what he/she has been up to this year. I hope everytent is keeping well and no one has broken a pole

Top 5 Tips for Camping at Download Festival - Guest Post from Tattooed Tealady

Today on the blog, a beauty blogger gets down and dirty at Download festival and gives us the benefit of her experience. Much of her advice applies to all festivals, not just Download

Camping isn’t my usual topic when it comes to writing blog features, instead opting for beauty, lifestyle and parenting features over on my blog, Tattooed Tealady, but today I’m quite looking forward to being able to share something different, and what better place than here!

Today I’m going to run you through my Top 5 Tips for Camping at Download Festival, a metal festival held in the East Midlands at Donnington Park and the festival I have frequented the most over the past 8 years.

First things first, plan where you’re going to camp. Of course, you can’t guarantee you’ll end up in the camp site you want, but Download Festival does have a handy map which shows all the campsites and the earlier you get there, the more likely you are to land the spot you want. There’s different areas for different campers including standard camping, quiet camping, family camping and disabled camping, all situated generally in the same area, whilst disabled is right next to the arena. The space for Download Festival is huge, so you’re best off aiming for a camp which is closer to the arena and won’t take as long to walk back to after a long day of mosh pits. Blue Camp is a firm favourite, right near the walkway to the arena and next to the village and food stalls; it’s also one of the loudest and busiest camp sites at the festival, so don’t count on getting much sleep.

They don’t call it Brownload for nothing. Download Festival is becoming notorious for heavy rain and flooded camps over recent years, mainly down to the time of year the festival takes place and I don’t see the organisers changing the dates any time soon! Be prepared. Take waterproofs, take extra waterproofs, get your tent and belongings as secure as possible and be prepared to get wet. The last thing you want after an entire day in the arena standing in the rain, is to go back to a wet and soggy tent.

Whilst we’re on the topic of being prepared to get wet, make sure you pick a decent tent that will survive the weekend, because you don't need a collapsed tent and nowhere to sleep. As well as the rain, you’re set to have a windy few nights, with most of the main camps set out on open fields. Trust me, I’ve tried the bargain tent buys that I told all my friends would save me so much money to spend on alcohol, food and merchandise, to have it be completely useless at keeping me dry, keeping me warm or even keeping upright! Go for something that’s going to stand up to a bit of wear and tear; when festival season rolls around all the big brand names reduce prices and put on amazing sales, so you can always pick up a bargain buy.

Follow the rules. Oh, I know, rules were meant to be broken, right? Some are there for the benefit of everyone though and there are certain items, objects, drinks and whatnot that Download Festival simply won’t allow. Yeah you could risk it and see what you can sneak in, but it’s better to go with the guidelines and don’t risk taking anything you wouldn’t want to be confiscated or thrown out.
Always check the rules for any festival, as they usually have a full list and all the information you need about what you can and can’t take, which is particularly handy if you’re planning on providing your own food over the weekend.

Finally, make a tent a home. I’m not saying take the kitchen sink and your favourite childhood teddy, but festivals can be exhausting and sometimes making things a little cosier inside your tent and a nice little area to sit and relax before heading out to see the bands can make all the difference when it comes to the experience you have at a festival. Some of my fondest memories are sitting around a (safe and contained) camp fire with friends, drinking and getting ready for that night’s line-up, or coming back to the campsite after the bands have all gone home and having starting a party with all your neighbouring campers. Your camp is your base, your home for the weekend, so make it count.

If you’re heading to a festival this year I hope you have an amazing time! In the meantime, you can catch up with me over on as well as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, all under the username ‘TattooedTealady’.

Happy camping!

Camping with Children

Camping with kids. You all know that I take DD with me, and though she is now 17 we've been camping as a couple (of crazed fools?) since she was 7. But not only did we start when DD was already old enough to be useful (!) I also only had to cope with one child. Today's guest post is from Amy who blogs over at Eps and Amy who camped with two, and who started with a babe in arms! Here's her experience and advice.

Camping with children, the good, the bad and the ugly!

I have two children, now aged 5 and 8, and we first attempted camping when the eldest was just 9 months old. I bought a special camping travel cot and we get her used to taking naps in it a for a few weeks before we went. Unfortunately, once we got to the campsite trying to get her to go to sleep in daylight (tents are very see-through) and with a lot of noise going on around. In the end we gave up and had to take Bethany home.

Not one to give up, we tried again when Bethany was around 2 years old. That went much better! We had changed to a tent which had a blackout lined, it was "dark" but it was "dark enough" and although she struggled to settle initially we all had a reasonable nights sleep.

We have since taken Bethany camping every year and started taking Jack when he was about 2 years old as well. I love camping with the kids; the fresh air tires them out and they really enjoy running around.

Food has always been a bit of an issue with my children, they are fussy little monkeys. We now take a gas powered kitchen hob with us so we can make pasta and cook some vegetables, we also take little packets of cocktail sausages (apparently freshly cooked ones just are good enough).

Children's safety on the camp site can be a bit tricky, when they are small they can easily wander off and cars don't necessarily stick to roads around a campsite so can surprise children who aren't paying full attention. In order to get around this we position the cars and tents so they form a square around our site and used wind breakers to block off any more gaps. We also ensure we assign one child to each of us, it can be very easy to assume someone else is watching the toddler and for them to wander off.

I love camping with the kids, it is so lovely for them to be out in the wild a bit. But don't be afraid to cheat a little: take ready meals with you, put a potty in the tent for night time toilet visits (even once the kids are older), take iPads with you (great for entertaining the kids for an hour when they are tired) and don't worry if it doesn't work out for you the first time, give it a year and try again.
Camping with children can be hard work, but I think it's worth it! Take the kids back to nature, it's good for their health and good for their education.

You can also follow Amy on Facebook and Twitter

Festival Camping Tips

It's been quiet here lately as it's winter and only the bravest of us are still out camping (well, the brave and those with heating in their tent or caravan) So I thought I'd ask a few people to share some of their camping tales and advice. First off is Karen from over at Excuse This Honesty blog. And she has some excellent festival top tips, I'm not ashamed to say that the last one taught me something, it's genius and I'll be trying it out in future when I camp in summer!

Karen's Festival Camping Tips

Having attended several festivals over the past 10 years, I can safely say none of them have been the same when it comes to camping. Some years have given us conditions which have been wonderful to set up camp in – others … well, not so good.

The first thing I learned is to take an extra bag of tent pegs. No matter what I do, there's always going to be a tent peg that miraculously gets eaten by the ground – especially if it's muddy. I'd recommend picking up a pack beforehand and having them packed away in your rucksack – it will be much cheaper than buying them at the festival. (and I'll add to Karen's advice by suggesting using biodegradable pegs if the festival land will be used later for grazing animals)

Secondly, long guy ropes are something that I use rarely, especially as space is quite often an issue in a festival environment. When it's dark outside and people are trying to make their way through a sea of tents, guy ropes are just going to become a trip hazard. If you're wanting to put them up, shorten them as much as you can while still being able to put them in the ground, and pin them as close to your tent as possible – having someone stumble over one and fall on top of your tent when you are trying to sleep isn't fun! (This is a reason I use my dome tent at crowded festival sites, as the canvas ones I own rely on their guy lines to keep them up!)

We always take a tent which is bigger than what we need. Why? At a festival, there can be some waiting around between bands that you want to see, and sometimes all you want to do is sit at your tent for a few hours and take some time out. In 2012, we attended Download festival and the thunderstorms were incredible. Two of our friends took a giant tent which could fit all 10 of us in at once, making it a great way to stay sociable and have some games on the go while the storm passed!

Lastly, take a foil sheet and some pegs with you to attach to the side of your tent. I've never done this before when camping, but at Glastonbury this year, we saw many people doing it – including those we were camping with. By attaching the foil sheet (which you should be able to get at any camping store as they're used as a safety blanket, too) with pegs to the outside of the tent that will be affected by the sun when it comes up; you'll reflect some of the sun away, making the temperature inside much more bearable in a morning. Believe me, waking up a hot mess at a festival feels 10 times worse than being at home! (This is the best top tip I've heard in ages, I'm definitely going to be doing this!)

Follow Karen on various social media : 


Big thanks to Karen for sharing, I'm looking forward to more camping tips and tales over the coming weeks. If you have a story to share - email me Tentsniffer

A newbie to Camp Bestival speaks!

So having already heard from a festival virgin (Mamafurfur here) I thought we'd see what a festival goer was expecting from their first time at Camp Bestival. I have the pleasure to introduce you to @MyGorgeousBoys

Tell  me a bit about yourself...

My name is Louise and I am mum to boys aged 7 and 5. I have recently returned to education and am training as a primary school teacher. Before children I worked in IT but didn't go back to it after as wanted to make the most of them when they were little. I discovered the wonderful world of blogging when my 2nd son was around a year old and love it so much!
Do you think of yourself as a country or a city sort?

I love the city but since having children I have become more of a country sort - my kids love the great outdoors and anything that makes them happy is good. 

Have you been camping before? If so where and what did you like/dislike about it?

When I was little we did lots of family camping, always in the UK and I loved it. I liked best the idea of creating a little home from home in a field I think! 

As for camping with my little family we bought out tent when our 2nd son was a baby and have camped in the UK several times a year for the last five years. I like the fact camping offers us a fairly cheap short break whenever and wherever we want (weather dependent of course!). We camp with friends, family and on our own and camping has offered us the chance to explore a bit more of the countryside and extend a day out into a bit more. 

I don't dislike anything about it really but it is hard work getting everything organised before going but always worth it.
What was the best Music gig you've been to? 

The first one that springs to mind is Billy Idol at Rock City in Nottingham around eight + years ago purely for phrroar factor! I was a HUGE Billy fan as a teenager and he was amazing live in such a fantastic venue. I have seen lots and lots of brilliant gigs though - The Pixies, Elbow, Primal Scream and The Killers all spring to mind.
What made you consider a festival this year?

Now the boys are getting older I would like them to appreciate live music and festivals are a great opportunity. Camp Bestival is a family orientated festival so you feel reassured it will be a safe environment for everyone to have fun, learn new skills and relax together.
Will you be going to the festival alone? With family? With friends?

With hubbie and children. Hope to meet up with, and make some new, friends. 
What sort of tent/camper/yurt option have you gone for?
We have our 5 year old tent (pictured). We are looking to upgrade and get a new one but haven't found anything quite what we want yet!

What are your packing essentials?

Apart from clothes and bedding we always take things for kids to play with like a football or bubbles, tea bags, baby wipes, cereal and snacks. We don't want to take too much as I don't think we will spent that much time in the tent really.
Have you been to a festival before?

Yes I have been to Reading and Leeds festivals as a teenager and as a family we went to Jimmy's Harvest two years ago. I blogged about it here.
Why did you choose Camp Bestival this year?  Did you consider other festivals? Are you going to any others?

We chose Camp Bestival because of all the fun things that are going on for kids and for adults. The location sounds amazing and we are tagging on an extended stay in the area afterwards.

Did you read blogs/media about festivals before you decided?

Yes absolutely - I have been reading lots of blog posts about the festival and getting very excited. 

What are you looking forward to? What are the positive things about Camp Bestival you hope to enjoy?

We have booked onto the National Trust stargazing night which sounds brilliant (though I am not sure i will manage the whole night!). I am looking forward to chilling out, watching the kids have fun and seeing all the live acts.

What are you dreading? Are there any things you worry about at Camp Bestival?

I can't think of anything although the bit where you have to drag tent, sleeping bits etc from car to campsite is never pleasant!

 Will you be blogging about your experiences?

Yes absolutely!

I'll look forward to catching up with Louise afterwards to see what she thought, and maybe meeting for a Pimm's at the festival!

Louise can also be found at

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...