I bought a load of camping gear, tent, bag, mat, lightweight pack etc a couple of months ago and I'm starting to regret the purchases as I'm jobless and cannot afford to travel to all the places I want to. I did camp overnight in a well appointed local site and found I couldn't sleep and also suffered a bad back. I have a Vaude Terratrio 2p tent (which incidentally is now UV/waterproofed) but I'm not sure the whole camping/backpacking thing is for me? Don't get me wrong, I love day trips in the hills and mountains, but I also love my bed. Not sure what to do. Perhaps I should wait and see if my circumstances change before I sell all my gear. I suppose I expected to have the same rush and excitement as I did 30 years ago, but so far this hasn't happened.
I'd wait unless some pressing need for storage or cash flow or some such. It'll last quite a while and it certainly won't be getting any cheaper to replace it any time soon. Judging by recent years it could be quite a bit up.
Sorry to read that Simon
Unless you desperately need the cash, having now got all the gear my advice would be to persevere.
To an extent, camping (of any sort) is a bit of an aquired taste - the more frequently you do it, the more natural and familiar it becomes.
In particular, many people say that sleeping on a mat (almost any sort of mat) feels uncomfortable compared with a bed when they first start doing it. But you soon get used to it. I suppose it's a bit like walking - if someone has done little long distance walking they build up their stamina by training. Same with sleeping in a tent - the more you do, the easier it becomes.
Stick in there. Hang onto the gear. Try a few more nights of campsite car-camping (or even camp in your garden). You may well find it becomes more do-able as you become used to it.
On reading this, my first reaction was to tell you to hold fire, keep hold of the stuff for a while longer, and advise you to try a couple more nights out and see how it goes.
On the other hand, I only have to think of a mate of mine, who bought a pile of gear when he accompanied me on a month-long bash, and sold the lot soon afterwards. He decided that the camping scene wasn't for him, even though he enjoys the outdoors immensely and has a great passion for walking. In fact, he's just completed a 1400 mile trek through Europe over the past three months, staying in budget digs.
You say you cannot afford transport -Hitch. I know it's not as 'fashionable' as it once was, but it works -I still do it occasionaly. ( -I also give lifts whenever I can). Not having a car can be an advantage if you want to do longer A to B routes - no wondering how to get back to the start, and time is on your side with no work to get back to.
If you are feeling down about the job situation, then time in the outdoors making your own way and 'surviving' can be a real ego boost.
I will hold fire for now. I wish there were some experienced campers/backpackers near where I live. I do belong to the U3A & Ramblers, but their camping days are behind them. Thanks for all the words of sense/encouragement.
If you are unemployed, why not go somewhere and stay for a while to help spread the cost of travel. You can always spend the odd night in a bunkhouse if you don't want to camp all the time. Going on your own seems a bit daunting at first, but there is no one to argue with and you can decide exactly where you want to go and what you want to do.
I know several people who spent most of the 1980's wandering about Britain and abroad whilst unemployed.
Can sympathise with you the sleep situation, on a recent 6 day trip two of the night i only managed a couple of hours at best due to not taking a better sleep mat. (was cutting weight)
What mat do you use ?
As a side sleeper and a light one at that i can't get a decent kip on anything other that a proper blow up mat, self inflaters and roll mats etc just don't cut it, so maybe look at something more comfortable. ?
Include a little history in your walks. Pecsaetan - Ancient Derbyshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire - http://pecsaetan.weebly.com/
Ah yes... if only you could take your own bed with you...
Actually... that's what a former resident of my town used to do...
George Fox, founder of the Quakers, or Religious Society of Friends, used to travel and preach extensively. Apparently, he used to lug his bed along with him, and he was a big man. The bed was made of interlocking timbers that must have required the use of a strong mule to carry, but clearly, he wasn't ready to settle for anything less.
It can be done.
Metric Kate wrote (see)
That bastard Skip wrote (see) Fri 27 July - Sun 29 July 2012: Campsite /wild camp Dartmoor (south moor) Sat 11th & Sun 12th August 2012: Day walks Peak District Fri 17 Aug - Sun 19 Aug 2012: Bothy/ wild camp Lake District, Kentmere Horseshoe Fri 31 Aug - Sun 2 Sept: Brecon Beacons National Park Sun 9 Sept 2012: day walk along the ridge of the Malvern Hills, Worcestershire Fri 9 – Sun 11 Nov 2012: Hostel – Lake District - Black Sail for Great Gable Act of Remembrance
That bastard Skip wrote (see)
Fri 27 July - Sun 29 July 2012: Campsite /wild camp Dartmoor (south moor) Sat 11th & Sun 12th August 2012: Day walks Peak District Fri 17 Aug - Sun 19 Aug 2012: Bothy/ wild camp Lake District, Kentmere Horseshoe Fri 31 Aug - Sun 2 Sept: Brecon Beacons National Park Sun 9 Sept 2012: day walk along the ridge of the Malvern Hills, Worcestershire Fri 9 – Sun 11 Nov 2012: Hostel – Lake District - Black Sail for Great Gable Act of Remembrance
Fri 27 July - Sun 29 July 2012: Campsite /wild camp Dartmoor (south moor)
Sat 11th & Sun 12th August 2012: Day walks Peak District
Fri 17 Aug - Sun 19 Aug 2012: Bothy/ wild camp Lake District, Kentmere Horseshoe
Fri 31 Aug - Sun 2 Sept: Brecon Beacons National Park
Sun 9 Sept 2012: day walk along the ridge of the Malvern Hills, Worcestershire
Fri 9 – Sun 11 Nov 2012: Hostel – Lake District - Black Sail for Great Gable Act of Remembrance
Don't forget to keep an eye on this thread to see what's going on Simon .
edit, the link doesnt seem to be working
Wot Alex said. Good company can be the key. Keep an eye on the OM Meets threads and spend a night or two on the hill at one of the meets.
Stick with it, Simon
Alex, here goes.....
Curry (Gits boil in the bag) £2.59
Tea (made with milk & sugar liberated from the pub) £0.12
Spending the night outdoors miles from civilisation with some good friends..Priceless!
I know all about being UEP, nor do you get much from the SS. If you can put by a few quid a week, £10 can get you a return fare and food to get away for a overnighter.
OK, not far from home, but there is somewhere near to most people to wildcamp for a night or two.
Or as others have said, see if there is a OM meet near you. Most of us are willing, if we can to help out and you could maybe get a lift if someone lives/ passes where you live.
Don't give up just yet.
Sleeping on a mat can take getting used too, the more you do, the easier it gets.
Thanks for all the words of encouragement. I suppose at the heart of all of this is my unemployed status and the fact that I do most of my walking solo. I will wait and get a few more camping nights under my backside before I decide what to do. I'm sure If I was working I wouldn't have started this thread. I also think that walking with the U3A & Ramblers can sometimes be counter-productive, in that they aren't backpackers or campers and prefer to brag about expensive guided tours to the Galapagos or Venezuala rather than pitch a tent in the Peak District. When I tell them I quite often have to decide whether to put money in the electric meter or buy some food, it usually shuts them up.
U3A? As in University of the Third Age? "Self-help, self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for older people"? I'm an older person and that sounds a bit dodgy to me.
As for Ramblers (with a capiutal 'R'), I'm not sure the average Ramblers Association member would be my first choice for advice on either subsisting on unemployment benefit or on wild camping. Wooly sock buying advice, yes; stile-climbing technique; wearing gaiters on dry farmland, yes; inconsiderate parking right outside my house, yes.
Keep the gear for now, Simon, and join in an OM meet if you get the chance - we'll put you right .
I've struggled with my motivation for such things for the last several years and frequently think "F**k it. I'm selling the lot". But then I'll spend a night outdoors and be glad I didn't.
Keep your stuff would be my advice. Being unemployed is the absolute f**kin pits but your circumstances will change.
But, if you're absolutely convinced camping isn't for you, then find another, more rewarding, pastime.
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respect others in their view and demand that they respect yours.
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