By: Blonde Two

Pitching a tent on concrete might not seem like the most logical move ever but when a girl needs to camp, she needs to camp; even if she did dig up all the grass in her garden years ago. Mr B2 tells me that laying ones bivvy bag on a patch of concrete is far preferable, on a bike packing trip, than lying in a bog all night but, although I have bivvied in the snow on our gravel area (there was just about room for one), concrete tent pitching was a new one on me. Here’s how I got on…

Pitching a tent on concrete

  1. Choose a tent – with many options, I took some time over this but opted for my orange Vango Soul 300 for maximum happiness factor
  2. Find a level pitch – this was easy as the patio is possibly the only level space in the garden. However it is also approximately the same size as my chosen tent
  3. Protect the groundsheet – the patio needed sweeping anyway so I did that but to be extra safe I laid down an additional groundsheet
  4. Insert the poles – luckily only two poles but you try doing this sandwiched between a fence and two greenhouses!
  5. Secure the guy ropes – this reminded me of Swallows and Amazons (they used pockets with stones) and involved some concrete blocks, two random patches of soil and a tree
  6. Make your cosy nest – I continued the orange theme with my biggest air bed (Robens Rapturous 120) and of course added my beautiful (and much travelled) sleeping bag Big Orange (Mountain Equipment Xero 350 Down)

I was a bit worried about being uncomfortable or chilly on the concrete but, as things turned out, I had a most marvellous night’s sleep and, thanks to the insulation from my air bed and my sleeping bag, I didn’t need the hat, socks, duvet, jumper or hot water bottle that I took out with me (well a girl can never be too careful).

Garden camping

It turns out that garden camping has much to recommend it. I had all the little luxuries of home I fancied, including enormous pillows, a flushing loo and a hot cup of tea in a china mug. However my absolutely favourite thing about my garden camp was my morning bird visitors. It turns out that a bright orange tent can make just as good a bird hide as a green one.

A place to relax

I haven’t packed the tent away yet. It is taking up lots of room in a not very big garden but it has become my peaceful place in which I can read, snooze or (more often) just watch my plants grow. My daughter has christened it the Tent of Tranquility, and to me, that is exactly what it is.