The month is March and the year is 2021.
The UK is currently following its ‘roadmap’ out of national lockdown which was put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that camping and caravanning sites could re-open on the 12th of April.
After hearing this marvellous news, and itching for an adventure, I quickly planned and booked a 21-day camping roadtrip to start on, you guessed it, the 12th of April 2021!
I originally wanted to tour around Scotland or Wales, but these countries have their own lockdown restrictions which differ slightly from England, which is where I’m based.
So, as an alternative, (and as a northerner,) I decided to visit the south coast of England and created a circular route.
I booked 5 campsites in total, and between each stop there was roughly a 3-4 hour drive.
I started at point A (which is covered by the G) on the map, which is my home location, and then went to…
- Devizes, Wiltshire (B)
- Veryan, Cornwall (C)
- Verwood, Dorset (D)
- Normans Bay, East Sussex (E)
- Sandringham, Norfolk (F)
…and then back home (G) again. A journey of over 1000 miles!
Through my past adventures, I have discovered that when you are planning a multi-stop adventure, the magic number of nights you should spend at each stop is four.
If you stay for three nights, you’ll be exhausted by your fourth stop. However, if you stay for 5 nights, your trip becomes very long and can drag a bit.
Four nights is perfect. This gives you at least three whole days to explore the area, with the option of using one of those as a rest day, if you need it.
So, let’s do the math, 4 nights at 5 different campsites equals 20-nights, which makes a 21-day adventure from start to finish.
Although this is my longest camping trip to date, it is not my first rodeo. Therefore, I already have all the usual camping necessities such as tent, air bed, sleeping bag, foldable table and chair, etc.
One of the conditions of allowing camping and caravanning sites to open is that happy campers must have their own facilities, so all the shower blocks and toilets were closed.
This is obviously ok if you’re staying in a luxury motorhome, however, I was going to be living in a tent…
…for three weeks.
I’m all up for roughing it for a few days, but I couldn’t go three weeks without the use of a shower or a toilet.
So, it was time to go shopping!
I purchased a pop-up shower tent, a chemical portable toilet (along with some environmentally friendly chemicals), and I took along my dog’s portable shower.
The toilet worked a lot better than I was expecting. It never smelled and the chemicals I put inside did a great job of breaking down waste and keeping it clean and sanitary.
The shower did its job, but I’ll admit that washing outside with cold water is not a fun thing to do – although you do feel very revitalized after!
Although my passive income streams mean that I can keep earning whilst I’m pitching my tent over 300-miles away from home, I do occasionally need to fire up my laptop to keep tabs on everything and ensure that the cogs in my income-generating machine keep turning.
I also need to charge other items such as my phone, my canon camera, my ear pods, and my electric toothbrush.
Usually, I book pitches with access to electricity and take along an EHU, but electrical pitches can sometimes be a bit crowded and I wanted to be able to pitch in an empty field right out of the way.
It was time to go off-grid!
I splashed out and purchased a very powerful portable battery along with a set of solar panels.
These, hands down, have been a fabulous investment and kept all of my electronic devices charged with ease. Even on some overcast days, the solar panels were still able to put some juice into the battery.
PLUS, I saved money as I was able to opt for grass-only pitches when booking, which are considerably cheaper compared to pitches with electricity.
(The brand of my battery and solar panels is AllPowers, which sadly doesn’t seem to be available in the US)
Dear reader, I’d like to introduce you to my lovely van, Dory.
I bought her at the beginning of 2020 specifically for adventures. She’s a Citroen Nemo and I absolutely LOVE her!
Since this trip was going to be my longest camping trip to date (3-weeks), I needed to take quite a lot of stuff. So, to maximize her space carrying capacity, I upgraded her with a full set of roof bars and a roof box.
She is now fully adventure ready!
Spending time Googling the nearest Tesco was not what I wanted to be doing on my adventure. I wanted to take all the food I would need for the full three weeks, but without any form of refrigeration, it made things a bit difficult.
After some savvy shopping, I found a solution.
You can get almost anything in a tin these days; chunky chicken and vegetable soup, beef ravioli, spaghetti bolognese, vegetables, potatoes, rice pudding, fruit medley. You name it, it’s probably available in a tin.
Now, although I wanted convenient and easy-to-store food, I also didn’t want to be eating crap. However, after checking the ingredients list and the nutritional information, a lot of the tinned food was actually quite good. In fact, they were very similar to the camping food pouches but at a fraction of the cost.
Of course, fresh is best, but since I wasn’t going to be cooking ravioli from scratch in my tent, then tinned was the next best thing. (Just, whatever you do, DON’T FORGET THE TIN OPENER!)
I also took along some staples such as porridge, pasta, protein bars, Soreen in various flavors (I figgin’ love Soreen,) and a couple of chocolate biscuit treats.
If you look at my Instagram story highlights, you’ll notice that I enjoy preparing food. However, when I’m away camping, I want to do the minimal amount of cooking possible.
You can, of course, purchase large kitchen sets and gas stoves if you think you’ll enjoy cooking away from home in the outdoors. This is not my camping style, so I opted for one of those little metal things you screw on top of small gas canisters. (Sorry, I can’t remember what they’re called and I searched Google for over 20-minutes trying to find out. You’ll have to settle for a picture instead.)
The thing worked a treat! Super quick to heat up food with minimal washing up after.
Any adventure is made better with a good travel buddy, and I have got the BEST travel buddy there is.
This is Winston, my 9-year old rescue working cocker spaniel.
He’s always full of energy and lots of fun to take exploring.
…he also doubles up as a fluffy hot water bottle at night.
That’s all the preparations done. There’s nothing else left to do now except have a great time.
I’ll be sharing this adventure with you and detailing what happened at each stop in my future posts. I hope you’ll come on this journey with me. ?
In the meantime, if you have any questions about my set-up or my adventure, please pop them below. I do read them and I will get back to you.
Fasten your seat belts, the adventure is about to begin!
NEXT STOP: Camping at Devizes, Wiltshire (Part 2)
P.S. If you have any idea what that metal thing is called that I screw on top of the canister, please let me know. It’s driving me nuts!
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