Some types of fire are better than others!!!

Campfires are great… campsite fires on the other hand are definitely not.

We were giving our Summit portable gas stove one last chance to prove itself.  The ignition spark wasn’t working – it’s not unusual that the ignition switches on stoves are temperamental, so we lit it with a match… and voom flames everywhere!!

Fortunately we had a fire blanket in the car and were able to use it to smother the flames.  Without this, the fire would have kept growing as there was plenty of gas in the canister.  Indeed once the flames were out, the gas kept hissing for a while, so we just left the fire blanket over it and moved it away from our pitch.

Clearly the stove was ruined (but that’s no loss, it wasn’t very good anyway – click here to see a review!), but amazingly the little coffee table it was on cleaned up just fine, and most importantly all the goats were unscathed!

Before your go on your next camping trip PURCHASE A FIRE BLANKET!!

Embrace your inner goat!

 

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Cuckoos and Kites

Bank Holiday camping sounds a great idea… until you realise that everyone else in your city has probably had a similar idea and the roads are going to be chock-a-block!  Adding to my nervousness was the fact that my poor little car hasn’t been on a long drive for many months – not since an unfortunate spate of breakdowns!

Consequently, I ventured out on our Bank Holiday adventure with some trepidation.  I left early to beat the rush and little car behaved herself beautifully…the most stressful part of the journey was the responsibility of choosing where to pitch!

 It’s quite a responsibility picking the pitch!!  We were camping at Britchcombe Farm, I arrived first and they had four fields for me to choose between.  I decided to prioritise evening sun and a nice view of the sunset over proximity to the showers.

We like a campsite without too many rules, and Britchcombe Farm has one main rule which is ‘7 paces’  – you can make fires in the existing burnt patches, but your tents must be 7 paces from the fire.  Now when you combine that rule with the number of tents we like to take with us and my preference that all of them were on the flat, it added an extra complication to being the first to arrive!

I felt super proud of myself for getting the kitchen tent up by myself and the fire lit using just one match and no firelighters ( – shame there was no one there to witness it!).  I settled down for a cup of tea… and one of our favourite activities – watching other people setup camp!  Eventually my friends arrived and we got the other tents up and dinner eaten. I felt pleased with myself for the view of the spectacular skies from our pitch.

It wasn’t until the morning I realised the folly of my pitching decision!  We were handy for the water tap…but that meant that each morning we heard everyone else fetch their water for breakfast.  It was interesting to eavesdrop on their conversations (apparently silk pyjamas are just the thing for camping!?!), but we’d have preferred a lie in!  You live and learn!!

I’ve been given my instructions of which pitch to nab next time…and there will be a next time as it’s a lovely site.  The beautiful weather helped, but we enjoyed hearing a cuckoo calling and a red kite circulating overhead.  There are footpaths from the campsite allowing you to explore the ridgeway.  The only downside is that a road runs between the camping fields.  It’s not a busy road, but what traffic there is can be pretty fast.

The ancient chalk white horse is no distance at all from the site.  We went for a walk to see it, although it’s actually not that easy to make it out close up – we got a better view on our drive to the pretty pub named after it!

 I’m sure we’ll be back again to this site – check out  how it scored here.

L

embrace your inner goat

britchcombe-2.jpg

relaxing in Bank Holiday sun at Britchcombe

Last week everyone thought we were mad…

Last week it was freezing cold, everyone thought we were mad to be confidently planning a camping weekend for this bank holiday…but we’re just back from 3 nights of perfect camping weather in Oxfordshire!!

Imagine having to wait until May for our first camping trip of the year?!  What’s going on?!!

Look out for a review of our latest campsite find which will follow shortly!

To be fair, we were a little mad last week.  Being as we didn’t have time to go camping, we pretended and did some fire cooking in the goat’s garden!  It was a little ‘chilly’…. but that makes you appreciate the fire all the more!

North African Chicken Curry was on the menu, followed by chocolate brownies – a new recipe for us.  Fortunately we have 3 friends who are equally as mad as us and they claimed they had a good time!

I wonder what the neighbours thought?!

R&L

Embrace your inner goat!

suburban fire food

Fire food in suburbia!

 

Look what we cooked in the Dutch oven!

Last post I left you hanging, promising pictures of what we’d cooked.  Sorry for keeping you in suspense, here they are… suet puddings with veg followed by Danish apple cake!

There’s no limit to what you can do with a Dutch oven!!

L

embrace your inner goat!

Our latest campsite find

Last weekend we tried out a campsite we’d not been to before – Mellow Farm.  For us this is a good find as it isn’t far from South London, just off the A31 near Farnham.  Perfect for a one night stay.

Finding the campsite was a bit tricky, but that was mainly down to my poor map reading!  Although there weren’t any signs even when we got close.

When we did arrive, we found ourselves in the middle of someone’s wedding!  The farm hires out a barn for functions and the wedding party had taken over part of a field with gazebos and their tents.

The most exciting thing about this site is that it has a river running through camping fields.  We were there on a very hot sunny weekend and the site was full of children enjoying jumping into the water and paddling.

We were assigned the ox-bow field, which is a small field bounded by the river and surrounded by trees.  Its disadvantage was that there is only a water tap at the top of the next field… which would have been less of a problem if we’d remembered to take our water containers!  Buy hey, you need to forget something each time, that’s part of the adventure.

As well as trying out a new site, we tried out a new campfire menu… but that will be the subject of our next post.

If you fancy trying our Mellow Farm, be aware that it is only open at weekends.  You can see how it scored against our other favourites here:  Campsites in England

L&R

Embrace your inner goat!

What was the surprise gift?!

If you read the last post, you’ll know I went on an early morning adventure to collect something exciting, but couldn’t say what for fear of ruining a surprise!  Well here it is:

 

Shepherd’s hooks for hanging lanterns…. made especially for us by James at Black Barn Forge!

We’re very please with his attention to detail – an elegant hook, good depth to the hook to accomodate a lantern, pointed ends to make it easier to put them in the ground, and nice and tall to be a good height for a lantern!

The other bit of the surprise was something to hang on the other hook:

These hand-crocheted candle holders are available for sale at the Fayre and Square shop in Wimbledon.

Will tell you more about our camping trip in our next post.

L

Embrace your inner goat

 

 

Look what I had for breakfast!

I needed to be at Horton for 9am this morning… so I thought I’d make the most of the sunshine and have a jet boil breakfast in Horton Country Park!

I do love our jet boil, it’s so compact and speedy.

… as for why I was in Horton for 9am, I couldn’t possibly say… you’ll have to wait for the next post otherwise I’ll spoil a surprise for the other goat!

L

Embrace your inner goat!

more about Jet boil