Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

[Slimming World] Let’s go Camping!

This post is here because I posted this on my local Slimming World group, and one of the members asked if they could share it elsewhere. Since you can’t share posts made on closed groups, I’m sticking it here. So there aren’t any pics to go with it (yet), but I might edit it tomorrow when I get more time.

Tips for staying on Slimming World while camping!

Tip 1 – If you are going to be without electricity to keep food cold, a day or two before you go cook up a batch of something like pasta sauce and then freeze it in either a plastic container or in a zipper top bag (double bag it!) and use this as a cold pack in your cooler. After it thaws out, you can cook some pasta and heat up the sauce, but it will keep your food cool for a bit longer.
Tip 2 – UHT milk cartons. For Tim and I, we go through 1 500ml carton of semi-skim UHT milk per day of our camping trip, so it’s not left out for very long, but this way you can have milk for coffee, tea, and cereal. You also can freeze them and use them as ice packs in your cooler.


1 – you can make up your own instant porridge packs in plastic baggies. 2 tsp of dried powdered skim milk is 1 Syn. Measure out 35g of porridge and 2tsp of dried skim milk into your bags and in the mornings pour into a bowl and add boiling water. You can add some frozen berries (use them as an ice pack as they thaw!) for some added S foods.

2 – Make hash browns/fried potatoes. Get a tin of new potatoes (it’s only around 20p!), slice them or cut them into chunks, and fry with some fry light. Super easy, and they go great with some fried eggs, tinned tomatoes, and baked beans.

3 – cold cereal with UHT milk in a pinch.4 – French toast. Dip wholemeal bread into a mixture of UHT milk and an egg and fry with fry light. You can make these sweet or savory by either sprinkling with cinnamon and sweetener and serving with thawing berries, or savory and serve it with fried eggs or scrambled eggs.

Main meals:

Tip 1 – Boil in bag rice is FREE and it’s easier to cook when camping as it won’t be as hard to clean and you can reuse the pot right away

Tip 2 – Find a metal colander that fits inside your large pot when you make pasta so you just have to lift out the colander when the pasta is done and dump the water instead of finding a place to pour the pasta pot into the colander.

Tip 3 – Another option for pasta is cooking it at home ahead of time and putting it into a zipper top bag and immersing the bag in boiling water to heat up the pasta

Meal 1 – Vegetable Soup: This is super easy. All you need is a tin of mixed vegetables, a tin of tomatoes, 2 vegetable stock pots, and a handful of pearl barley (optional, but bulks it up). Pour the tins into a pot, add the stock pots, add the barley, and top up with water. The barley takes about 20 minutes to cook (although the longer you leave it, the softer the barley). A larger family might need 2 tins of each and 4 stock pots. You also could open a bag of boil in bag rice and toss it in instead of pearl barley.

Meal 2 – Poor Man’s Ramen: 1 Egg noodle nest or block per person, soy sauce, an OXO veg cube per person, tinned peas, carrots, and tinned corn. Toss it all in a pot, crumble the OXO cube on top, and bring to a boil. Takes about 10 minutes. You can drain it OR have it soupy and use soy sauce to taste.

Meal 3 – Stir Fry: serve with either boil in bag rice or egg noodles.

Meal 4 – If you premade/froze pasta sauce, pop it in a pot and cook some pasta. If your sauce is in a plastic bag, you could even cook it in the pot with the pasta in the bag, or stir it into the pasta after you drain the pasta to heat it through. . (My recipe for camping is really simple – quorn quorn mince, passata, tinned tomatoes, italian spices, worcester sauce, and cinnamon)

Meal 5 – if you have leftover sauce, dump a tin of kidney beans and some chili powder to make chilli and serve over rice.

Meal 6 – Pasta N Sauce with some added tinned vegetables, or make poor man’s mac n cheese with pasta and tinned veg and while the pasta is still hot, stir in laughing cow wedges. Make it cajun style with some cajun or jamaican jerk seasonings and you could add quorn chicken pieces. We like this especially with the laughing cow blue cheese.

I also like to make up some SW barbecue sauce before we go and I use one of those lock n lock tube shaped containers for it. The balsamic vinegar preserves it (Tim just used some I had in the fridge for 2 months and it was fine). If you are taking a grill or can get one of those disposable grills, you could have a barbecue with quorn burgers, or you could even make the burgers on the camping stove in a frying pan. If I was doing a barbecue, I would cook corn on the cob (it’s probably very American! lol), heat up some beans (baked beans is also a big barbecue thing in the US), and fry some potatoes (or if you have a campfire or charcoal grill – stab potatoes and wrap them in foil, then bury them in the coals)

Another good grill option for camping is veggie skewers with rice.

That’s all I have for now, if I think of more I’ll add it!


DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read

No comments

Happy Campers

Happiness is travel*

Tour our caravan here:

(just in case it hasn’t embedded, you can watch it here: I can’t see the video when I preview my blog post, so I have no idea if it’s me or wordpress or youtube that’s having the problem….)

My husband and I are about to be the proud owners of a 1995 touring caravan! Last Summer, we borrowed a caravan from Tim’s parents and over the weekend they offered to sell it to us as they don’t feel they will use it again, and they know we really liked using it. So as soon as we can find storage for it and take possession of it (and erm, pay them!) it’s ours!! This isn’t to say that we don’t like tent camping….I LOVED our holiday in Austria in our tent. Our two weeks in Wales in a tent? Not so much thanks to the rain. But last year having the caravan was fantastic. It was so nice to have a place that was dry to sit in/eat in/read in/sleep in, and a place where you could turn on HEAT when you were soaked through! It was also nice to have dedicated electricity for things like a kettle and fridge and oh yeah, we had a stove. The caravan even has a toilet with a shower, but neither one of us needed to use it (we were pitched up close enough to the toilet blocks we just walked over to those even in the middle of the night).

So, now that we have a caravan, I thought I would start looking at photos of caravans online to get some ideas for better ways to organize things (permanently) as well as give it a little personalization. Pinterest is full of great ideas and woah are there some amazing caravans out there! Check out this one**:


Now, that’s a little too busy for me. I also liked this one***:


But that one is probably a little too pink for Tim!

I think it will take awhile to actually do anything to the caravan, but if I can organize myself and get it done, it could become quite nice. A few things I think we need to consider for the future include painting the interior walls, making or getting new curtains made, and re-covering the cushions. I don’t have any ideas on what colours we’ll use yet, but I’m sure we will pick something we both like. I’m sort of leaning towards red, but the kitchen area is green and I wouldn’t want it to look like Christmas year-round! I can’t see us doing any of it until it’s absolutely needed, but there’s no reason we can’t do a little decorating in it now.

One thing I learned from all my browsing, is that a caravan needs cushions:



Doesn’t that one look like it belongs in a Cath Kidston catalogue?

Cushions, I can do. We already (of course) have our pillows in the caravan, but it might be nice to be able to put the pillows away in the wardrobe during the day and have a few throw cushions on the two sofas. I know how to sew, so I could make my own out of fabric scraps, or I could buy pre-made covers or even whole cushions. I’m going to have to think about this and pick something neutral for now and then jazz things up later. Maybe I’ll buy some cheap cushions for now that can be recovered later.

I did, however, get some great ideas for what to do with the (very small) amount of wall space. Most of the caravan is made up of windows or cabinets, but there’s bits of wall here and there.


I think maybe a few framed postcards from where we travel would look cute on the wall. I read on an RV site that you can use sticky backed velcro to keep things attached to the walls while travelling, so I’ll have to do that with the pictures.

I also want to take a cookie sheet and make a backsplash for the wall between the cabinet and fridge, and then paint it with chalkboard paint. We collected a few magnets while we were away last year and I kept sticking them to the tea tin so we wouldn’t lose them. And having a little board where we could stick up important things (like tickets) or make notes on would be helpful.

I plan on purchasing a bunch of command hooks as well and will have a play to see where the hooks can go. I already purchased some over the caravan door hooks (ages ago!) so we can at least have some hooks on the inside of the bathroom door instead of tossing the towels on the toilet and the bathrobes in the bottom of the wardrobe.

And the outside! Some people go all out on the exteriors as well!



But something tells me Tim would not let me paint our caravan purple OR polka dots. So I’d settle for some decals. We could get a train, or some tracks, or even some music notes. But we need to do something to personalize it.

We have lots to do before we start thinking about that. We have to take possession of the caravan and clean out anything Tim’s parents want back/we don’t want and add in some of our own camping gear that will live in the caravan, plus make a list of things it needs. We need to practice hooking it up to the car, too. We’ve only hooked it up a handful of times, and we had help from Tim’s dad a few of those times! There’s loads of instructions for what to do when we get to a site from setting the brake, hooking up the electrics, getting the water pump working, hooking up the waste water receptacle, turning on the gas…..

Ah, I can’t wait. Time to research local storage facilities….and try to plan a weekend away!

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated below and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

*Credit unknown, found it on Pinterest. If this is yours, let me know so I can credit you!
**Photo credit: PurpleFuzzyMittens
***Photo credit: Cornbread and Beans Quilting Co
^Photo credit: My Vintage Caravan
^^Credit unknown, found it on Pinterest. If this is yours, let me know so I can credit you!
^^^Credit unknown, found it on Pinterest. If this is yours, let me know so I can credit you!
+Photo credit: Shannon Christensen
++Credit unknown, found it on Pinterest. If this is yours, let me know so I can credit you!

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read

No comments

Annual Camping Trip

So we’re off soon for our annual camping trip — this time, it’s two weeks in Wales. I’m working on Tim to see if we can book in a day trip to Dublin, too. Maybe. I found that as foot passengers on Stena, it would only be £58 for the two of us, but it involves a really late ferry back to Holyhead and then an even later time getting back to the campsite which would potentially shatter us for the following day and we might lose a day, so it’s still in the air. If the ferry back were earlier, it’d be no problem. So we’ll see.

We really wanted to go back to Austria or Germany, but with my visa in December due, we felt it was more affordable to stay in the UK. A bit disappointing, but we’ll still have fun. Hopefully next Summer we can plan for camping in Austria or Germany, when we don’t have visa fees dangling over my head (only citizenship fees, but I can apply for citizenship anytime after three years of residency, so if I can’t do it right away in January 2013 it doesn’t affect anything as my permanent residency is valid forever…technically, I don’t need citizenship if I don’t want. (but I do want!)).

Not a thing is packed. I feel like this holiday has completely creeped up on us unaware, even though that isn’t the case. It’s been on the calendar since January and we have had our plans in place since about March….we’ve just both been really busy lately and so now it’s all of a sudden “we leave soon!”. eek.

Fortunately, I still have plenty of time, but I hate when I’m not prepared!

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

No comments

European Road Trip Day 6, Part I – Moving Camp (Camping Hofer Review)

[Finally blogging about our trip to Germany and Austria we took in September 2010!]

We learned something on this trip. Trying to break up the camping into two different sites is not a good idea – we lost nearly three days of our holiday just from setting up and tearing down our campsites. Next time, we will probably pick a location that’s not so much near some of the things we want to do, but within a reasonable driving/railing distance from everything we want to do, although I would go back to both campsites we were at in September in a heartbeat!

The first site, where we spent the first 4 nights of our trip was at Camping Hofer in Zell am Ziller. I picked this campsite based on it’s location to the Zillertalbahn, and based on the photos on the website. I emailed them, and the woman who runs the campsite wrote back promptly and let me make a preliminary reservation the day before we left!

When we arrived, it was still fairly light out. We were given a map of the site with circles around the available pitches. Tim and I took a mini tour looking at the different spots, and finally picked one that was located close enough to the sanitation building for late-night bathroom trips, but far enough away that the noise of people going in and out of the building wouldn’t bother us.

Our set-up took us a lot longer than we thought, hindered slightly by the rocky ground. It seemed that everywhere Tim tried to peg in a tent stake he would hit rock, but we finally managed to get ourselves set up.

We did not use many of the available facilities, and I honestly couldn’t have even told you where the pool was located, though there was one on property. As it was late September, I really wasn’t interested in swimming, anyway! We weren’t really there to just camp, as we had plans for nearly every day. If we had just been there on a camping holiday, we might have taken advantage of some of the facilities. They also have a restaurant and bar, but we glanced at the menu and though the prices were a bit steep for campers. The facility also has a gasthaus and is open throughout the Winter season for skiiers, though I wouldn’t fancy staying in a tent in the middle of Winter!

The sanitation building looked fairly new. It had washrooms and shower rooms for both genders – the toilets were in a separate WC room with just a single sink to wash your hands in, and then the room next door had a long row of sinks at a mirror, about 6 individual stalls with sinks and stools for washing, and 4 shower cubicles. The showers operated on an on-demand type system. Instead of just turning on the shower, you had to push to get water. The shower stream lasted for about 10 seconds, and you could press it as many times as you wanted (showering was free). While it was a slight inconvenience, it did mean you could lather up your hair without the water turned on, and I’m sure that helps the site to conserve water. The water was nice and hot, but you did have to usually duck out of the way the first time you turned it on to avoid the spray of cold as it warmed up. Each shower stall had an outer area to change in as well as the common area, so if you didn’t feel comfortable getting undressed in front of other people, you didn’t have to.

The sanitation building also housed 2 rooms for washing dishes. Each room had long counters along each side and 2 sinks on each side (4 in each room/8 sinks total). Not all of the sinks had hot water, however, so you always had to check first. The sinks were standard, industrial size sinks. You needed to provide the soap and sponge. We packed along our dishpan, too, but I wound up using it more for carrying the dishes back and forth than washing.

The facility also had a laundry room with only 2 washers and 2 dryers, as well as a hanging rack to drip dry clothing. I found the room to be very crowded and wound up taking my line-dry items back to the tent to hang outside. The laundry services wasn’t cheap, either. 7 Euros per load, so a wash and dry cycle cost 14 Euros. Crazy, but I suppose they have you by the nose. Next time we go camping, I’m going to try to pack enough underwear to last the whole trip, and hope our clothing doesn’t get too stinky, because I do not want to pay that much for laundry again!

Tim and I appeared to be the only people with a tent – everyone around us had caravans. Even funnier, a lot of the caravans had little satellite dishes outside! Can’t go on holiday without your telly, I guess.

The site had loads of international visitors, too. Lots of license plates from Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Fortunately, the family that runs the campsite speak English.

As for the camping itself – we both had a great time. The only time we didn’t like camping was the night it poured down rain – the sound of rain on the tent really makes you have to go! Since it was pouring, neither one of us wanted to make the walk to the sanitation building, especially as we left our waterproof jackets in the car. I wound up sacrificing one of my cooking pots to turn it into a chamber pot. Yeah, I know. That’s kind of gross. Sorry. But I promise I never intend on cooking in that vessel EVER again.

Camping also tends to get boring late at night. The light would finally fade around 10PM, and then Tim and I would try to read by the light of our torches, lanterns, and candles, but it never was enough light. The lack of light, paired with it getting cold without the sun meant we had a lot of early evenings….which meant that most mornings I was awake by 5 or 6!

All too soon our time at Camping Hofer was ending, and we had to take down the tent and pack everything back in the car to drive up to the Salzkammergut region. It took us several hours to get everything packed and into the car – mostly because we forgot how we had packed the car! Next time, we’ll be taking a photo of the car.

I only have one other picture to share from Camping Hofer – the telephone booth:

How funny to see a red phone booth in Austria!

Next up – either driving in Austria or setting up camp. I haven’t decided yet!

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]


Return from Wales

I’m back from a week in Wales with my friend Helen and her son, Mark. Tim was unable to come with us due to his work schedule – he had the overnights this week – so I went without him. Our trip had it’s ups and downs…a major down being the camera (I took Tim’s big fancy Cannon EOS 300D) lens getting fogged up at the Pili Palace and me worrying that I had broken Tim’s camera (I hadn’t), and the rain. It rained one night so badly it was shaking our little static caravan! We had mostly good weather during the day, but then it all let loose on Friday afternoon and made it pretty miserable and wet in Porthmadog. But, a good time was still had by all and I will have several updates, hopefully before I head off to Austria with Tim 🙂

a few photos (highlights, really) are up on Facebook. I still have to pull the pictures off my regular camera (an Olympus SP 320)

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

No comments

Vlog: Garden Tour

Here’s the vlog I promised in my earlier entry:

Link, for those of you who can’t watch embedded video:

No comments

Camping in Our Garden

A few weeks ago, Tim and I went camping in our garden. One of his co-workers alerted him to a great deal at Halford’sa 4-man tent, 4 sleeping bags, 2 air mattresses, & 2 lanterns for £90 online marked down from over £200. We also tacked on to the purchase a cooking kit which has a burner, 4 pots/pans, 4 plastic containers, utensils, and a carrying case for £25, and then we picked up a kettle at Tesco for £6. We thought we ought to try to put together the tent – a) to make sure we knew how it went together before we book a pitch somewhere, b) to make sure there aren’t any defects with the tent or gear, and c) because it’s been on the warm side and last week I told Tim I wanted to sleep outside.

It was….

-Chilly. We unzipped two of the sleeping bags and used one as a pad for the air mattress and the other as a cover. But unzipped it isn’t quite big enough to cover both of us if we aren’t cuddled up, so I wound up covering myself with the spare blanket I grabbed last night (my Penn State stadium blanket) But it was also…

-Hot. Tim and I always are warm at night because both of us are human furnaces. It was difficult trying to sleep in it because if our bodies were touching, I felt sticky from the combined body sweat. But then when we weren’t touching/cuddled up, it was chilly!

-Small. The mattress, despite claims of being a double, is smaller than our bed upstairs. I wound up moving practically off the mattress close to the “bedroom” wall in order to try to put some space between us, and Tim rolled (in his sleep) towards the other wall. Another word to use might be…

-Cozy. Even though we have a huge 4-man tent, the side “bedrooms” are only large enough to hold the air mattress. It was nice when Tim and I were cuddling before bed, but once I zipped shut the door to the “bedroom”, it felt really small.

-Hard. The air mattress lost air overnight, but I think that’s fairly typical when using an air mattress. I’m wondering if we should get a bedroll/mat type thing for underneath it, since my back started to get cold from feeling it seep through the mattress. I think Tim has one already, but it might just be for a single mattress. Alternatively, since we have 4 sleeping bags, we could always line the floor with a sleeping bag, then put the mattress on top or even just get a tarp to add a layer between the mattress and groundsheet. I’ll talk it over with Tim and see what he thinks. (also, how did I manage to sleep on an air mattress at Mom’s for years*?)

-Noisy. Lots of wind that kept waking me up. I know at least twice I woke Tim up, too. Actually, I’m awake now at 5:30AM because I needed the loo around 4 and figured I might as well stay in here until I’m tired enough to go back to sleep.

Fortunately, the tent is a “two bedroom” tent. Our plans are/were to use the second “bedroom” to store gear, but I might suggest we take along the second mattress and set it up for moments like this. If I’m going to be awake well before Tim, I’ll need somewhere to go/something to do. I could keep a book in there and just move my pillows and a blanket if I couldn’t sleep, that way I wouldn’t disturb Tim trying to read until I felt tired again.

We still need to get a folding table (for dining/food prep), and some kind of cooler and then we might have everything we need to go camping. Our first big trip is scheduled for this September, when we’ll be camping in Germany & Austria! I’m really excited. Originally, we were going to take the train the whole way and stay in B&Bs and things, but even with adding in the cost of petrol, camping will save us money. The average campsite cost is €6/night, and with making our own food, we’ll even have money leftover for a few nights out at nice restaurants or for some souvenirs!

I practised cooking with the gas stove, and while I completely trashed the pan (fortunately, I was able to clean it!), I still managed to cook breakfast 2 mornings – the first morning I did scrambled eggs and sausage, and the second bacon & fried eggs. Tim even bought a device for making toast on the stove that works pretty well!

The tent we purchased IS kind of big for just two people, but the hope is that this will be a long-term investment even after we have kids. If we can keep the tent in good condition, there’s no reason why we wouldn’t be able to use it in the years to come.

….now to find a place to store it! I’m hoping it will fit in the loft after we get the flooring laid in there, but for now I guess we’ll have to store it in one of the bedrooms, since the workshop and shed are a bit full of workshop/shed stuff!

There also is a video, but youtube is taking too long to upload it, so I will have to post it later, as I’ve had this window open for THREE weeks…..

*Long story short – when I moved to Michigan in 2006, I told Mom to sell my bedroom suite because it was a four-poster twin sized bed and I knew I wouldn’t want it in the future. I had an air mattress (with bedframe) to use in my house in MI. After I broke my foot and had to move back to PA, my old bed was gone, so I set up the air mattress. The plan was to eventually buy a new bed, but I just never had the money for it, so I lived on the air mattress until the bedframe finally broke and then I yanked the mattress off the sofabed and used that on the floor.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]


Photos Post

Last photos from Manitoba, traveling, and the index of all the albums from my trip:

the 12-seater prop plane I was on!

The snack shop once you go through customs in Winnipeg had a huge mural of US sites….including flying killer whales.

Snoopy is all over the Minneapolis airport. I forgot to take photos of this, but the airport also had a vending machine for Elizabeth Arden perfume and for Sony products (like a PSP and games!).

and one more photo:


Photo Index:
Walking around Winnipeg
VIA Rail Winnipeg to Dauphin
Quincy, Hobbes, and Casper
Lake Dauphin
Camping at Blue Lakes
Vermillon Park and Manitoba Brain Injury Assn. Walk
Flying Home

13 Days until I leave for the UK! The blog might be a little on the light side as I work on unpacking and repacking, but expect regular updates once I’m in the UK! 😀

No comments

Little Campsite on the Prairie

I spent the September long weekend (what the Canadians call the Labour Day holiday) camping at Blue Lakes with C, J, B, L, and the kids (6 of ’em in all!). It had it’s ups and downs, but overall I had a great time.

We got off to a slightly late start on Friday afternoon after having to run a few errands in town. The campsite is about 100km north of Dauphin or about an hour’s drive. We were camping on Manitoba’s only mountain that I saw in the distance on my train ride up. Part of the drive up involves a dirt road! I was once again fascinated watching the scenery out the window. The prairies that just never end and the endless blue sky.

B, L, and their kids had an adjoining campsite to ours, so we set up to cook and eat at our site. Unfortunately, the campsite had rules about the number of adults allowed to sleep on a site, so we couldn’t all sleep on one site. I borrowed a small tent from C, and with her help, put it up, and then we even managed to put up the large tent for C, J, and Baby C (J wasn’t joining us until later, as he had to work). L lent me an air mattress so I didn’t have to sleep directly on the ground, for which I was quite grateful. We finally got everything set up and got a campfire going for dinner.

We really were roughing it – Latreens for bathroom facilities, no showers (there were facilities, but it was a loonie for 5 minutes), and cooking over an open flame.

Friday night I noticed a lot of stars when I looked up….more than I’ve ever seen before. C suggested I walk out away from the campfire to see more, and K2 (B & L’s second oldest) came with me. We sat on a picnic table at an unused site and just looked up at the sky. We saw the milky way and all sorts of constellations I had only seen in books before. K1 and K2 (and B!) tried to convince me there were aliens and spaceships and when there was a moving star would say “hey look! aliens!”, but I’m not sure I buy that. I also saw several shooting stars that first night. Friday overnight was really cold and it rained. Unfortunately, I had to leave the warmth of my tent to find my way to the bathrooms around three in the morning.

Saturday morning was chilly, but fortunately it warmed up enough for us to go to the lake in the afternoon and go swimming. I had fun in the water with K1 & K2, playing catch and swimming. The kids discovered “sink sand” spots on the beach, and had fun getting sucked in up to their ankles in the sand before hopping out and then running into the lake to rinse off the sand.

Saturday overnight was chilly again. I was rolled in two blankets and I still was cold. Fortunately, I managed to get to the bathroom between rainstorms so I avoided getting wet.

Sunday, B & J took the kids fishing, so L, C, and I played Yahtzee and had a late lunch of blueberry pancakes. The kids came back in the afternoon because they got cold, and then in the late afternoon I learned how to play Canasta. I was partnered with B, and I didn’t know he was a card hoarder and we wound up losing because I went out while he was holding high cards! Whoops. Shortly after dinner, the downpour started. C, L, the babies, and I hightailed it into C & J’s tent where we all piled onto the bed and got under blankets to stay warm. I went and retrieved most of my belongings out of my tent in case it leaked, and for a while we thought I might have to sleep in their tent. The rain finally let up around 10:30, so I headed into my own tent and read by flashlight until I was tired enough to sleep.

Monday was miserable. It was pouring, and we had to do tear down! Of course, since most of us fled the screen tents the night before, everything had been left out overnight so we had to first clean up Sunday’s dinner. Taking down tents in the rain is no fun. Several times I got hit with water that had pooled on the top of one of the tents or tarps. We were all so cold and miserable, but we had to pack up! We finally had everything in the car and headed back to Dauphin.

I had to do four loads of laundry last night when I got home because I had to wash everything I had taken with me including my backpack and other bags because everything smelled like campfire. Then, I needed to wash the towel I used when I took my after-camp shower because it was gross and I added in some of the kitchen towels and the bathmats to make it a full load. Then, I was getting ready to re-make the bed and I discovered one of the cats had gotten sick all over one of the pillows and the sheets, so I had to wash the sheets AND a pillow.

I took a bath when I got home, figuring it was the best way to warm my body up and the best way to make sure I was clean. The bathwater was grey when I got out! EW! I made some soup for dinner, and then got into bed.

This morning I woke up with a sore throat and a stuffed nose, and now I have a headache. 🙁 But more soup, some zicam, some tylenol and a nap and I’ll be good as new.

Camping was fun, minus the rain. I think I’d probably be willing to go camping again…but only if we knew it wasn’t going to rain, and maybe with someone to share a tent with for warmth at night!


My home for the weekend!

Blue Lake

Wildflowers. I love the purple centered daisies!

To see the rest of my photos from camping, check out my gallery:

And in other great news, my birthday package from my mom arrived and in it was my Nokia N810! She needs a name other than N810, so leave your comments with suggestions. It’s worth noting that my laptop is named Gwen, my external Owen, and my iPod is Tosh. I’m considering renaming the iPod Ianto though so I can name the N810 Tosh ;). This time, the package was never even opened by customs, so I have no idea why it took so long to get here.