Cornwall is the most south western English county. Sandy beaches, amazing cliffs and unique wildlife are only a few reasons why Cornwall is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK. In the past, I had the pleasure of visiting the area few times but unfortunately, I was not very lucky with the weather. In general, a camping holiday in the UK seemed a very risky idea to me. Frequent rain showers and strong winds, especially on the coast, did put me off a little bit. However, there is one thing I do love and that is a proper campfire till late in the night followed by star gazing. Additionally, there is a sense of freedom in camping holiday where you do get to spend most of the time outdoors, in beautiful scenery, which even on a rainy day has its charm.
Preparing for the trip
Wild camping seemed a bit too extreme for me, so the first step was finding the right campsite. Showers, toilets and permission for firepits or campfires were my main requirements. Since I do travel with some equipment that needs to be frequently charged, I did also select a pitch with electric hook up.
The next question you need to ask yourself is, how will you store your food. If it's a quick weekend trip, a portable fridge with ice packs will do the trick. However, if you plan to camp for a longer period of time, investing in a car fridge or small portable fridge might be a good idea. Naturally, you can just buy fresh food every day.
Some campsites offer BBQ meat sets or fresh produce boxes from the local farmers. All you need to do is pre-order them. The more modern campsites also cooperate with food truck owners who serve breakfasts, coffee or even pizza.
Your other option is dry food, which again, for a short trip is manageable but becomes an issue during a longer stay. Remember to store your food correctly as the ants and wasps will very quickly find your unsealed bags of sugar or spilled, sweet soft drink puddles near the tent.
Now, we need to think how to cook the food and where will we sleep. Again, there are few options here. The sizes and types of tents are numerous these days. Since it was my first camping trip as an adult I had no idea what I was looking for. Being inexperienced , I have chosen a nice Vango tent for 2 people. Later on I did realise that it was definitely too low, as even sitting in it was a challenge and even though there was enough space for 2 people to sleep, there was hardly any room left for the clothes and rest of the equipment we brought with us. You also don't want to buy something way too big as it will increase the price of the pitch, take a lot of space in the car and is painful to put up and then take down. Obviously you will also need a sleeping bag and mat but what I would advise is that you also take additional blankets with you as the nights can get chilly.
Regardless if you take dry or wet food with you, most of us like to start their day with a hot tea or coffee. If you have a pitch with electricity and you have taken the portable kettle with you, you are sorted. Your other option is a portable gas cooker or camping gas burner. Both are cheap to buy and easy to use. However, remember to buy the right gas bottles in advance as sometimes you might struggle to find the correct type near your camping spot.
As to proper cooking options, yes, you can use the gas stove but personally I prefer the BBQ which afterwards can serve as a fire pit that keeps you warm during the evening. You can usually buy logs or BBQ coal at any store but be aware, during camping season, some shops might simply run out of stock. Therefore, if you have space in your car, bring at leas some fire wood with you.
After buying the correct hook-up lead, kettle, tent, stove, bbq, fire wood, cooling box, sleeping bag, mat and folded chairs, we were ready for the camping trip..more or less..