Camping…

… or something like that…

So I had planned on spending Friday night in my hammock in the woods but I was feeling so exhausted and sick from work this week that I didn’t have the energy/mental strength to sort my kit and myself out.

So, after I’d journeyed to Youlbury woods and recounted my difficult week to friends I took myself off to our car and set my sleeping kit up in the back of it (I wouldn’t be able to sleep in my Suzuki, so the Madza had to do!)

By 8pm I was in a deep deep sleep and slept through the night until 8am. This isn’t the first time I’ve slept in the car, each time I’ve been so warm and Friday night was extra toasty with my deer hide on top.

Camping in the woods is one of my favourite things to do- being around the campfire is very relaxing and cosy. This weekend’s camp was with Phoenix Archer Explorer Unit. The set up is generally the same – parachute over the main fire, Bell tent as a store tents and Explorers either camping in tents or building their own bivouacs using natural materials.

Breakfast is a traditional fry up of sausages, bacon and eggs; no beans this time as we forgot the billy can!

Bacon is a staple breakfast item as any Scouter should know! Hmm bacon… 🥓

So, feeling better from a good nights sleep I devoured a lot of bacon and bread then set to work on building the fire and wood pile with the Explorers to keep us warm.

Brunch was interesting- one of the other leaders, James, had found a video on how to make deep fried Baby Bells so… tah dah!.

The recipe involved unwrapping the baby bell, dipping it in egg, flour mixture, egg and break crumbs before deep frying – gooey and delicious! Definately a camp favourite now.

Lunch was a mince tortilla cheese mix. As the name suggests- brown the mince in a Dutch oven, add peppers, onions and chilli mix, cook for a while til veg has soften, add tortillas on top and cheese on top of that and cook on embers until cheese has melted (a lot of cheese on this camp!)

Even got to put my MOOT lunch box from Iceland to some much needed use…

As entertainment we decided to make a Swedish Log fire.

The Swedish log fire consists of splitting a lot into quarters (or in this case finding 4/5 reasonable sized pieces to fit together) and inserting tinder and small kindling in the middle and lighting.

It creates a nice hot flame in the middle that is fed by the surrounding logs. Good enough to fit a kettle on top.

Tea made, it was time for chillaxing and thinking about dinner time.

Dinner was another firm favourite- chicken and chorizo jambalaya. It’s just a simple BBC Good Food recipe that is adapted to be cooked outdoors on an open fire. Absolutely lovely.

The remainder of the evening was chatting and questionable (read: rude) campfire songs before retiring. I went back to the car, having spent a cosy night there the night before I thought I’d have another one!

Woke up to a lovely sunrise and on the way back to camp started noticing the fresh new shoots growing up- a sign spring will soon be here!

I didn’t stay for the remainder of the camp. Whilst the majority of equipment (and other half) is away I can start on cleaning and organising the house. I’m on a course this week so won’t be able to stretch the chores out over this half term as usual…

This camp was very refreshing though! A lovely reminder of the simple things in life are all you need!

Just Joanne

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