Between the 16th and 22nd of August, I went camping with the parents to Beddgelert Forest campsite, obviously near Beddgelert, in the forest. My dad and me share the same week for our birthdays so this was a good opportunity to do something we hadn’t done properly since I was a kid. It was pretty fun, and we busted out the old frame tent to do it. It’s been camping with us so many times it’s starting to get on a bit, but I still prefer the old things because they usually have a heavy canvas skin and are very rigid. This makes them more sturdy and a lot less prone to “flapping” in the wind like modern tunnel tents of a comparable size do.
We went in separate cars to maximise the number of things we could take; of course, the old inflatables, sleeping bags, camping oven, stands, folding picnic table etc. We also took the two dogs with us; I don’t think they’d been before this so it was a new experience for them, always being outside!
A major problem straight off was the inflatable beds. They’d not been used since the early 00’s, and as a result were leaky. They’re the really old almost standardised design of red on one side and blue on the other, thick tough canvas type. So after a night of troublesome sleeping, I headed down to Beddgelert and bought a folding camp bed. Much more efficient way of sleeping, as it cannot be deflated! Of course, this was extremely comfortable and apart from the odd creak when I repositioned myself, was sturdy too. Very good for a £15 knock down price!
Our pitch was tricky to find originally. A flat area turned out to be extremely muddy; to the extent my car sank into it and I had to plunge my arm into it up to by elbow to remove a stone. After doing this I was able to move the car out of the pit it had churned up in frantically trying to rock it out. Eventually we found a smallish spot at the very top end of the campsite; right next to a station on the Welsh Highland Railway. It was surrounded by trees so there was a lot of space for BBQing it up. It was also opposite a small stream which gave us something to listen to while nodding off.
Main problems were the midges. Hundreds of thousands of them and they are attracted to light. We tried a scented candle so they’d get stuck in the wax and die, but there were just too many! The weather was not as helpful. It mostly rained. Especially when taking down the tent, so it had to be hung on the bannister in the house afterward to prevent it from rotting. Shame about the weather, but still it was a really nice experience.