Hannah here - Lanterns, fairy lights, down duvets and blankets galore…It is fairly safe to say that we are quite hopelessly, but unapologetically ‘glampers’. I’m a stylist for goodness sake, so I couldn't very well embark on 5 weeks of tent living without at least giving over a few hard won thoughts over how things might look. Dave drew the line at bringing rugs, but next time, for a shorter trips, we will have rugs. I will have rugs, dammit!
Having said that, for 5 weeks, all of our worldly possessions fitted into our car, so although we glammed up the camping experience, we obviously lived far far more simply than we normally do. (I may have prioritised lanterns over warm trousers), which was both a humbling and eye opening experience (more in another post) So without further ado, here is a little tour of our ‘house’ when we were away.
The tent is a 5 meter bell tent with an inner sleeping tent, purchased form Soul Pad. We toyed with buying a camper van (still a dream but we couldn't afford it) then thought about buying a trailer tent, but realised that although much cheaper than a camper van, is still quite pricey and would probably take as much time to put up as our bell tent. So we stuck to our tent. Bell tents are wonderful. When packed down it’s massive, yes, heavy, true, but it’s very quick and easy to put up, and by the end of our trip Dave and I were like a well-oiled machine, getting it up in 10 minutes flat. (we weren't competing like children at all. Nope) Canvas is a much nicer material to sleep and live within than polyester. It’s cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold weather, and doesn't have that sweaty tent feeling that poly tents have.
Our ‘kitchen’ was mostly based outdoors, unless the weather was so awful that we had to retreat into the tent and cook on our little single gas ring (which is perfect for boiling the kettle for morning coffee but not much else). Our little fire pit with collapsible legs was brilliant and got round many a “no fire” rule in the campsites we stayed in because it is also a barbecue. Most sites don’t mind fires if you don’t scorch the earth. Inside, we used a camping table and some camping shelves to keep things neat. I have collected enamel plates and cups for a while now, Enamel is light weight, sturdy and stylish to boot. I picked a few bits up as we went around, the white and orange kettle a the top of the post being one.
Our ‘lounge’ was in one little quarter of the tent. We mostly sat outside but in bad weather, of which there was a lot, we retreated ‘indoors’. A little picnic blanket on the floor and a couple of camping chairs draped in blankets was plenty comfortable enough for us. At night we either sat around the campfire reading (our iPad and kindle were brilliant for this) or sat in the tent with the lanterns and fairy lights. The little pillows were from the Amsterdam flea markets we went too and were a couple of euros each.
Our bedroom was a shared sleeping space. We had separate mattresses (inch thick, roll up inflatable ones) but Frankie ended up in with us most nights. I brought proper bedding because I hate the restrictive nature of sleeping bags for more than a few nights. And I brought a few blankets along too for extra warmth and for picnic's etc. I also bought a couple as we went around (much to my husbands dismay) so we were well endowed on the blanket front! Our suitcases were in the sleeping compartment too- we found we were able to keep our clothes more neatly than using camping rucksacks.
So that was us for 5 weeks (with a few nights here and there in an Air BnB) and it was wonderful. Our next tent investments will be a canvas awning which would extend the living space a bit and mean you can sit in shelter whilst tending the fire, rather than cloaked in an old tarpaulin (!) and a mini little wood burner for the tent too, which will extend the time in which we can camp from early spring to autumn. I am already looking forward to next year when we can get the tent out again!