Sunday, 26 May 2013

First Night of Wild Camping

Undeterred by last week's extremely soggy camping experience in Arran, we spent Friday evening ruminating over which tent would suit our needs best. Ideally we were looking for a spacious three man tent, weighing less than 2kg and costing about £75. In the end we settled on the Wild Country Aspect 3, serendipitously on offer at Cotswold Outdoors for £150. Tent bought, and weather glorious we headed off to Tyninghame, our favourite beachy haunt.

Kitted up.
Super grass.

Little boy blue.
I was sure that the perfect weather would have drawn wild campers in their droves to the beach, but no, it was deserted. We chose a little plateau half way up the huge dunes. Nice and sheltered, with views of the vast beach, and no risk of getting washed away by the incoming tide.  Tents were pitched with ease (Matt swooned over the quality of the shiny new poles), the sleeping mats inflated themselves (hurray for science!) and the junior sleeping bags were tested for cocoonability (they passed with distinction).

Arcadian domesticity.

Message on a bottle.
Beer and wine flowed as we slaved over a hot camping stove making our three course meal: veggie frankfurters in wraps, followed by baked beans straight from the tin, and topped off with a Tunnock's Snowball. It was generally agreed that this was one of the best meals evah, infinitely superior to the pish that gets forced on them all at home.
Tunnocks. The only snowball acceptable in May.

Dusk fell slowly and beautifully. The smaller clan members ferreted around in the dunes, and M and I watched the pulses of the lighthouses around the coast and listened to the shushing of the waves. I loved the feeling that we were all achieving deep contentment from the environment in our different ways.

 In my whole 37 years of avid moon-gazing, I don't think I've witnessed a moon-rise as heart-stoppingly wonderful as this one. Full and golden, it floated up over the headland with such speed that I felt a brief interplanetary giddiness. Hope triumphed over experience yet again, as I snapped away with my phone camera with predicatbly disappointing results. 

The moon. It was stunning, honest!
As the moon grew higher and more silvery we headed for our beds. The night was so mild that we left the door open on our tent so we could look at the stars (and possibly keep an eye on errant children).
 Despite the comfiness of our sleeping quarters, I had a slightly restless night. The tide came in, and in the delirium of half-sleep the waves sounded very loud and fearsome. I had to peer out several times to reassure myself that they were in fact gently rolling at a safe distance.

By 6am the sun and tide were both fully out again. After hot chocolate and croissants I spent a long time lying on the cool sand in my sleeping bag doing very little. My phone battery had died (worn out from futile moon photography!) and I felt regretful that I couldn't snap the rest of the family playing in the dune grasses. It was a morning full of "kairos time".

Eventually I was coaxed out of my cocoon by Matt's suggestion of sprintervals: 30 seconds of full-pelt running along the beach, followed by 30 seconds of rest x 10. We ran from opposing directions so as to see the whites of each other's eyes as we passed midway. That, plus a cursory wash in the sea, set me up for a cup of tea and a some more lounging on the warming sand. Eventually hunger forced us homewards, and after a leisurely disassembling of our camp we headed off to Luca's for lunch.

1 comment:

  1. Use this camping guide to help you get the most out of your next trip in the woods.

    Camping Guide