Happy Camping by Jody Woolcock

My mission in life when it comes to walking, is to have as many adventures as I possibly can. Whether they be adventures in the UK, Europe or somewhere exotic. I want to explore everywhere on foot and on occasions, this could mean pitching up for a night or two, so I can carry on the following day. I can walk for miles and miles – up a mountain, down a verge, through mud and across cow strewn fields, there’s no stopping me and I am always up for a challenge. But I’m not such a hardcore walker when it comes to heavy lifting; I’d never make any attempts to carry a tent on my back for miles and miles. I like comfort and wouldn’t get any enjoyment from lugging heavy equipment uphill and down dale. But I love nothing more than setting up camp somewhere for a weekend and going off to explore the surrounding area for hours at a time. Knowing I have a sturdy tent to come back to for a nap is also a bonus. Camping to me is something I really enjoy, but you won’t find me perched on a mountain edge in the pouring rain under a thin sheet of polyester anytime soon. I am a fair-weather camper, regardless of how steadfast I am when it comes to hiking in all weathers. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good thunderstorm and walking in the rain can be fun and very refreshing … but only if I have somewhere warm and comfortable to come back to, and usually if there is a bath I can sink into, to warm my toes back to life.

At the beginning of July, I celebrated another birthday (you can guess how old I turned!) and I thought, what better way to turn ‘bleep bleep’, than under the stars, in a tent with my partner beside me and my closest friends surrounding me? I decided to book a couple of pitches on a beautiful campsite in Sennen, Cornwall (of course) and began the search for a perfect tent. Putting up a tent, in my eyes, is the real test of a relationship! But thanks to my Easy Camp Spirit 300 three-man tent, when it came to assemble it with the help of my partner, it went up so effortlessly and (thankfully) without any signs of heated debates through gritted teeth, tent pole javelin or exasperated ‘I give up, we can sleep in the car’ statements. Relief!

I chose this tent because I wanted something that took minimal effort. For someone who usually has a lot of patience, erecting a tent can really push me to my limits, so getting one that is straightforward and without any hassle is usually my main requirement. After that, I look for how much space is available inside, how wind-proof it is and then finally, the colour.

My lovely green (favourite colour!) Easy Camp Spirit 300 was exactly what I wanted and needed for a lovely tent construction experience. With just three poles to slide in, it made for a stress-free, fast pitching and joyful experience; everything you can ask for when it comes to getting your weekend started as soon as possible. Watching other “happy” campers beside us attempting to get the flysheet in, but ultimately, ending up rolling around the floor getting in a tis, made me feel a little smug. Especially because in just 15 minutes of arriving at the campsite, I was sat beside my beloved in our quickly assembled, spacious porch with a cider in one hand, the sun tan lotion in the other and a glorious sea view to admire and breathe in.

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This tent is a three-man tent and whilst it could comfortably fit three people, I like the fact it gives two people that extra space for rucksacks, walking boots, extra coats, wellies and any other necessary equipment, as well as space to sleep comfortably. It fitted in my (new!) Outwell double airbed perfectly and had a handy loop for my fancy rechargeable lantern. The perks I love most about this tent are, firstly, that one side of the porch can be rolled up for extra sunlight, space and socialising with those camping beside you. The two curtained windows were an added feature I loved because if it was windy, we could still see outside but had the protection of the porch sides. The final perk would have to be the three, much needed, vents that came in extremely handy on this particularly hot Cornish weekend. There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning, suffocating from the heat and bad breath, beneath the lining of a tent. These vents kept the air circulating nicely and made for a pleasant wake up, ready to start the day with a bacon sandwich and a stroll down to the beach.

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Anyone looking to use a tent for a walking weekend, I would highly recommend the Easy Camp Spirit range. Although it may not withstand hurricanes and torrential rain, it is perfect if you are needing something lightweight, easy to put up and spacious. The price is affordable at just under £100 and there are plenty of matching products to go with it too. I decided upon an Outwell Supreme sleeping bag which doubled up as a lovely blanket and duvet when unzipped; perfect for when it is colder in the evenings. The funky design inside was right up my hippy street and it was lovely to use as a blanket on the grass as well as for snuggling under when going to sleep.

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After a walk along the coastline, a swim in the sea, sunbathing on the beach and a hike back up to the campsite, getting into my tent was a welcome relief. Having the separate bedroom with a double door, one with mesh and one with polyester, to zip up meant we could keep the porch open and let the sun and breeze drift in and out, all whilst napping without the fear of being eaten alive by bugs and/or flying critters. After a busy couple of days spent walking along the coast in the sunshine, the beautiful campsite at Trevedra Farm, had everything we needed; from a huge shower and toilet block, laundry room and washing up station, to a well-stocked shop for supplies you may have forgotten or needed extra of and a café where you can get sandwiches, hot meals and, my most favourite part of this campsite, a takeaway roast dinner!! Yes you read that right, a roast dinner to takeaway. After my friends had gone home, my partner and I stayed on an extra night (all together now…aaaaaahh!) to celebrate my birthday with a glass of Prosecco and a roast dinner whilst sat outside our tent, with the sun setting behind us – it couldn’t have been more perfect if we tried!

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After a weekend of walking the Cornish coast, laughing with friends, swimming in the sea and celebrating still being in my early thirties, when it came to packing up, I grew frightful. I’m sure you can all relate to this fear; getting the tent back into the bag!! I followed the instructions at the start of the weekend and made sure to familiarise myself with how I was unpacking the tent, but after a weekend of cider drinking and sun worshipping, some memories had unfortunately dissipated. However, luckily for me, putting the tent away was just as easy as putting it up…phew. With there being less pieces, it was easy to fold up and squeeze back into the bag and within 15 minutes we were putting everything back into the car and making our way home feeling very sun-kissed, very relaxed and ready for our next camping adventure.