It's Time we got Camping!
It is now under 40 days until Easter and although Easter is a little earlier this year, so we can say that it's now under 40 days until Easter a little earlier too it remains a fact that the first Bank Holiday since the last one is nearly upon us.
It's also the first bank holiday of the year which is evident earlier and earlier each year with Chocolate Eggs appearing on every vacant shelf space as soon as we hit December 26th.
It's 4 days off - nothing happening, unless you're a Junior Doctor in which case you get to work for less than you used to while we all get to go camping and in all cases are greatful that you're there in case of that drunken tent peg episode.
There's also that funny Sunday where the Supermarkets are shut because they're a certain size or shape.
So what to do?
Sometimes the first bank holiday is the one where people do less in order to recover after months of credit card bills from Christmas and the relentless worry of -20 and snow.
It's odd because it's not Winter any more but it still feels quite a lot like it, but with Eggs .. and then suddenly it all gets a little bit warmer.
What to do?
In 1995 myself and friend - it was supposed to be two friends but one lay in, decided we'd walk from my then home Sheffield to Hope, in the Peak District and camp. The intention was then to walk on to Castleton.
They say in those parts Live in Hope, Die in Castleton. For us it was almost the case. A step too far, almost, on a very cold day.
We relied on my friends tent, a $20.99 two man affair from a shop that, in those days, was a high street chain. Oddly my Uncle ran a climbing shop in Sheffield and sold actual proper tents but for some reason we went with a cheaper one.
By the time we'd made the long days walk in the strong, cold wind we needed a beer. After a few we set up the tent on a small but busy campsite.
The wind, the rain, the cold.
I'd packed for four or five days and by 4am I was wearing every piece of clothing I had brought. Had the rucksack I'd carried been big enough I would have worn that too.
Damien said that he'd spent the whole night wondering what my first words would be in the morning. When they were - "Let's go home" I am sure I saw a tear of joy in his eye - a frozen one.
We did walk to Castleton that day. We came across a child who had dared to buy a ice lolly and then got his tongue stuck to it due to the air being colder than the lolly. The last we saw of him was an old lady in a Co-Op boiling a kettle and sitting him down.
On the way home, on the train, I swore I'd never not take a tent camping again that couldn't hold up to the wind, that wouldn't see us through a Easter bank holiday.
At Easter it's the first chance to get out there. To have the time, as the shops are shut and you have four whole days to enjoy time away but whatever you do beware the easy option. Buy a proper tent - Buy proper gear and enjoy it.
I don't think we've actually had as cold a Easter since then.
I'll never forget 1995 and we often laugh about our one day camping trip but we missed out on a few more days out in Hope and Castleton and the dozens of times I've been back I've enjoyed them more knowing that my bed was comfy and my tent was warm and dry.
I'm not saying just buy OLPRO - Just buy a tent and the right accessories you'll enjoy and use over and over. It is the reason we began 5 years ago. It doesn't have to be Easter to be wet and windy in the UK but we've made OLPRO Tents and Inflatable campervan awnings to survive the Great British weather.
From now on we're going to keep on blogging and all of our older blogs, from the last four a bit years we're going to re-post too. We'll tell you about what we're upto, our thoughts, our experiences and I hope you enjoy them.
As a British brand made and inspired by Britain... but sold around the world we want you to know more about the brand and the products we make and we use too.
And we have more to come. This year we're five years old but we have only just started.
- Daniel Walton