By: Blonde One

As you know the Two Blondes were camping last night and enjoying the ‘great outdoors’ again. We always have a good time (I suppose that’s why we do it so often) but there is one thing that makes me wish that knitting was my hobby: I get so very cold! Even on the warmest of evenings, when everyone around me is cosy and warm I get cold when it’s time to retire to ‘big blue’. Over the many years that I have been camping (wild and tame) with groups of students I have accumulated a vast array of clothing and equipment in an attempt to keep me warm – but to no avail. I would hate to add up the cost of all of this stuff that gets increasingly expensive as I make the assumption (wrongly, it seems) that the higher the cost, the higher the warmth rating. Apparently the best way to keep warm is to wear very little inside of a down sleeping bag but this just doesn’t work for me – believe me I try it every time I camp out but just can’t get warm. I now am lucky enough to have a great quantity of very good kit to choose from but unfortunately none of it works and I shiver my way through most nights under canvas. On one occasion in the past I was so cold that I thought I was becoming seriously hypothermic. My irrational thoughts just served to convince me further that I would not be waking up in the morning. I couldn’t decide if the shivering had stopped because I was in the final stages of hypothermia or I had just warmed up! My confusion was a further sign (I thought) that I was dangerously cold!!!!! I have taken advice from anyone and everyone and tried all of their brilliant ideas: the best one being using a hot water filled Sigg bottle in a sock as a hot water bottle.

This is how I began as a camping leader: I slept(!) on a foam roll mat with a 3 season polyester sleeping bag with cheap and cheerful thermal underwear.

This is how I slept(!) last night: a foam roll mat and 2 expensive Thermarest inflatable mattresses, a four season top of the range goose down sleeping bag, Merino thermals, 2 pairs of thermal socks, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a thick fleece jumper, a thicker fleece jacket, gloves, hat, hand warmers, all topped off with a blanket! And still I shivered!!!! There wasn’t even any frost!

My last resort is to purchase a teepee with a wood burner but I’m not sure that this would fit in my rucksack!