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Not content with a week of camping in a two man tent, we thought it might be fun to run up to the God of Camping and give him a wedgie by chancing our luck a second time.

This time we were in a slightly less glamorous location though, this time we were in Yeovil. Not that Yeovil isn’t in a lovely part of the country with many attractive features, but it doesn’t quite have the romance, nor the racing history of Le Mans (well dug that woman!)

We were actually there for a purpose: We were at the Haynes Museum for the Retro Rides Gathering 2010 meaning not only were we camping, but we were also trying to organise and run a car show for some 1,500 people at the same time. I can safely say Keith and I are united in saying we will NEVER repeat that experiment!!

So here are my top tips learned from these combined camping experiences:

Tip 1:
Layers are king! When packing for a week of camping expect hellfire and blizzard because if you don’t, that is just what you will get. Especially important is to pack more than one jumper for your son because after a few days of chilly mornings, the jumper will be so covered with breakfast it will prove impossible to put on without dislocating shoulders. This applies equally to the adults in the group if wearing jumpers with attractive teething toys attached (most people call these toggles).

Tip 2:
It doesn’t matter how hard you pump an airbed, there is no way of getting on and off it without waking your son. It doesn’t matter how deeply he is snoring beforehand, or how slow and delicate you are, he will wake, and he will not thank you for the interrupted sleep. In fact he will carry on not thanking you for best part of an hour and will wake up most of your neighbours into the bargain. They too will not thank you for the interrupted sleep.

Tip 3:
Do NOT experiment with food whilst camping in a tiny 2 man tent. If extremely kind friends make allergy friendly biscuits, do not allow son to chomp his fill before asking about ingredients. Not unless you actually find the smell of rancid baby farts attractive in the morning. In a tent that small, even a baby can clear turn the air green enough to make you gag!

Tip 4:
Do allow same kind friends to babysit son on show day because lord knows there is nothing worse than a trying to “work the gate” with 16lb of sweating infant strapped to your back. The plus side for all concerned is that the excitement of new friends who are wise to the ways of babies means he will sleep long and soundly throughout the day while you ruin yourself.

The cumulated knowledge from these two trips means that Keith is now more determined than ever that the camper should get finished before next year. It also means I am more determined than ever that we never try anything as foolish again. The days of the 2 man tent are over, never to be seen again.

Should I ever have my brain removed and decide to try camping again, it will be with a much bigger tent, with bedrooms, and separate beds, and cooking facilities.

Some call it a hotel.

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