This was my first long solo camping trip. The kids are no longer kids, in fact they are 19 and 20 years old and so therefore the only company I had was the dog, Coco. The plan was to travel light and move often, but car trouble meant I had a two destination trip in the end.
I've had many weekends and overnight solo camping trips, and am well used with travelling alone and so that was not a worry for me, although it was a worry for the rest of my family. My main concern was when the car started giving me trouble, I was concerned I would have to call upon family to come and get me and since I was 6 hours away from home that was a big ask! However I am with the AA and I would recommend that any solo campers would take out breakdown insurance with whichever company you prefer.
I brought a tent I had bought at the end of last year, which is in fact the same make and model as a tent I bought for my son to use as a 'Pup tent' when we went to England last year. I had bought the Olpro Pop which is a three person small dome tent, but I gave it to my son to use when he's at University. So I bought myself another one at £54.99 it is a relatively inexpensive tent, and I fancied a different colour so I bought the orange one. The choice is green, blue or orange.
So the plan was to keep the majority of my camping gear in the car, and just keep the tent out for sleeping in. That meant when I wanted or needed a chair, I'd just reach into the boot and retrieve it. I also kept a big rectangular bag with lots of external pockets that is permanently packed out with lightweight cooking equipment, and dry goods. This all worked really well in good weather.
In bad weather it was not so convenient. The tarp I had brought became really important in the rain, as I had a few rainy days in Garretstown House and to make it worse I was without a car so all that stuff I planned to keep in the car had to get crammed into a small tent along with me and the dog. One night there was thunderstorms, lighting and very heavy rain. In that small tent it was like the walls were closing in.
I pitched the tarp low over the tent with an overhang so I could get in and out of the tent without getting wet, as well as having a small porch to cook in. It wasn't much fun though and this was part of the reason I moved East.
Later in the holiday, when the sun was a bit too hot, the same tarp was invaluable for shade. It was also useful to have the longer guy ropes for hanging towels on.
Other camping equipment I used was a Vango camping chair, a three legged Decathlon Quechua stool, a Coleman Mini Table, a backpacker type stove and windshield and a Decathlon Quechua single airbed with foil backed foam mat underneath, Unfortunately the airbed had a slow leak which I repaired but that only meant it went down a bit more slowly again. I found that it was ok as long as I went to sleep straight away but in the morning I woke up on the floor. I tried to source a replacement but the shops in the holiday areas were so expensive for a single airbed I wouldn't buy it. So I just put up with blowing the airbed up every night and waking up on the floor every morning.
|Most of my camping gear in one pic.|
|Coco on a cooling gel pad, in her crate, with a blanket to keep her in the shade|
|Olpro Pop tent at Garretstown House, Co Cork|
|Shade from the tarp, at Dunmore East, Co Waterford|
|Walking boots, cool box for the pink fizzy cider and one comfy chair.|