backyard camping

Last night I finally got around to taking my first step towards a proper wild camp before the end of the summer. I bought a DD 3x3m tarp a few weeks ago and have been watching many videos about how to set it up as a summer tarp tent. Yesterday evening I finally got around to setting it up in the back garden as a trial run, to iron out any problems and test out some of my, now very old, gear.

this sleeping bag must be 20+ years old but very warm!

first time actually using this bivvy bag

Finding it more cramped than expected I’ve watched a few more videos this evening and realised that I should have set it up slightly differently and I would have had both more headroom and space to lie out.

Other things I learned last night:

  • I can still get excited about very simple things – took me ages to relax enough to actually get to sleep
  • Needing a pee at 3am is more complicated in a sleeping bag and tent!
  • Listening to heavy rain from the inside of a tent is strangely soothing when you are inside dry and warm
  • The flat bit of our garden isn’t – there’s a very slight slope that’s only noticeable when lying down
  • For a place in the middle of the country there’s a lot of noise at night.
  • I was very surprised by the amount of condensation inside the tarp this morning but the grass was soaked when I pitched which could have been the cause
  • The night air smells and feels different when sleeping outside

I’ve also learned from YouTube that a hot chocolate before bed is pretty much compulsory for expert level wild campers.

I have plans for further “proper” wild camps over the next few weeks but I definitely need to invest in a proper sleeping mat very soon, these old bones need a soft surface to lie on…..

13 thoughts on “backyard camping

  1. threewheelsonmywaggon

    self-inflating mats are very good, condensation – that its why tents have flysheets. a small one-man tent with a sewn-in groundsheet would be far better than what you have. the one I used when stowed into its stuff bag hardly took up any room on the back of my bike and was ultralight. but you will find out what works for you the more you camp.

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    1. idlecyclist Post author

      I was surprised due to the amount of ventilation with the open front end but I’d say a lot of it was from the wet grass. I’ll be trying my tent next but it has much less space inside.

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  2. threewheelsonmywaggon

    Camping is all about compromise, if you are prepared to carry it you can have all the comforts you desire, me I go for the least I can get away with, although my tent was only about 18 inches high so I could not sit up in it, the flysheet formed a small shelter outside so I could poke my head out and cook up a meal in this sheltered space even when it was raining, so lots of things to think about when you buy your tent. good luck with your new adventure.

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    1. idlecyclist Post author

      The bivvy bag was overkill, just as a test as I haven’t actually used it before and in case the rain got inside. I ended up taking it off as it was too restrictive.

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  3. lovelycamper14

    preparing for a camping trip is quite hectic, hence why I like your idea of backyard camping. You can literally do it any time you feel like.

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