Jeff and I have camped for many years.  Our first ‘experience’ as a couple was on the top of a cliff near Boscastle during a bad storm with extremely high winds.  We were in a tiny two man igloo tent which was one of only two tents to survive the storm.  

We moved on to a two man ridge tent with a small porch area - and joy of joys, we could actually stand up in the central area of this tent.  We used this tent for several years until we fancied getting a trailer tent.

The trailer tent wasn’t a great success.  It was difficult to put up and if we used the awning it was much too big for the two of us and our dog.  On a two week fishing holiday, we arrived back at the trailer tent in the dark every night and had to prepare a meal using a tiny lamp - more luck than judgment to achieve something which was edible!

Next, we had a frame tent which was much easier to manage.  We used this tent for many trips, including an ill fated trip to Forest Glade at Cullompton.  On our second night we had a severe thunder storm - according to the locals, it was “the worst storm in living history”.  Our dog was terrified of thunderstorms and promptly had diarrhoea in the bedroom.  The smell was horrendous and Jeff and I were fighting to escape through the tent door when Pepi (the dog) ran out between us into the storm.

Pepi was a black dog and the only time we could see her was when the lightening flashed.  She was absolutely terrified and was streaking around the tent field not knowing where to go.  Jeff grabbed an umbrella and started to chase her, forgetting that he was in the buff.  Anyone looking out at the scene would have seen a pink blob chasing a black blob highlighted by the equivalent of strobe lighting.

Our beautiful dog Pepi, who died in 2003 at the age of 17.

Our beautiful dog Pepi, who died in 2003 at the age of 17.

He eventually caught Pepi and brought her back to a very smelly tent. Unfortunately, the exertion caused Jeff to have a heart attack and he spent the rest of the holiday in Exeter hospital.  This was before my son died so I called on him (once again) to help me out by packing the camping gear and getting it home.

We had a brief flirtation with an Aztec dome tent but this was much too big for two people and a dog.

The best tents we had were Coleman Sahara tents.  These can be seen in the Gallery.

We acquired a Vango Venture  500 for weekend trips and when we bought the caravan, we retained this tent ... just in case.