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So You Want To Try Camping #2...A home from home. Zzzzz.

Well, Easter 2013 got a bit too chilly for most tent campers in this area but we're getting a bit warmer now, and we're just topping up the lake for a few days before we have our first heat wave.

So, we've got the tent to suit our plans and now need to think about what we need to make it comfortable to live in, within our budget.


There's a wide choice of sleeping bags on the market. If you are planning to camp in summer on a campsite that's not halfway up a mountain, you could just bring your duvet  from home and then make sure that you are well insulated from the ground... but assuming you want to get a sleeping bag.

Basic sleeping bags cost very little and do the job well in mild conditions. They usually have an indication as to how warm they are and a temperature or season rating, take this with a 'pinch of salt', we are all different and there are enough variables to make this rating very approximate, it's just a guide. If you are car camping and weight is not a consideration, you can always take a fleece blanket or buy a liner for the bag to give you flexibility as to temperature control. A bag's loft, its 'fluffiness', is important for keeping the warm air in and the cold at bay; when you compress a bag it loses this insulating ability, so don't pull it in too tight around you, that won't help. Likewise you will need to have insulation underneath you, where the bag is flattened on the cold ground, it won't keep you warm.

A down sleeping bag (down as in bird down!) is the most efficient, but is an expensive bit of kit and it's probably best if you are new to camping to stick with synthetic filling, a bit bulkier but easily washed.

To help insulate you from the cold ground, a closed cell 'Campermat' will do the trick. You can also get a posher version which is self inflating, be wary of the inflatable airbeds which are comfortable but won't keep you warm, the air in them drops to the ambient temperature, they won't provide insulation.

You should never leave a heater on overnight, the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning is very real and there were several incidents last year in this area, and sadly, this year has already seen its first deaths. Ventilation is also important to keep your tent as damp free as possible, especially during the night, keep the air circulating as much as possible.

At Catstycam, The Outdoor Shop we stock a good selection of sleeping bags, sleeping mats, bag liners and airbeds, as well as many other accessories to help make your first expeditions into the wonderful world of camping as enjoyable as possible.

After your first good night's sleep under canvas you will be looking forward to a hearty breakfast in the clean, fresh Cumbrian air.

So... the  cooking arrangements?

Next time.

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