Sunday, 9 May 2010

Glamping - the art of going heavy.

Any kind of sleeping outdoors is good with me. When a friend invited some of us to celebrate her birthday with her with a night under the stars I signed up. The emphasis was on fun, relaxation and comfort. We took along fishing gear as well as grills, wine, huge tents and baking supplies. Groaning under the weight we trudged the short distance along the trail, gazed across the lake and were relieved to see that our proposed campsite was vacant and bathed in sunshine.

When daylight and good weather stretches out in front of you it's good to make camp as comfortable as possible so we beefed up the fire ring, built a seating area, swept the sleeping area free of small rocks and erected the tents. Thirsty and hungry work. Haloumi and veggie kebabs, pork chops and gourmet burgers were assembled and accompanied with celebratory wine and Swedish cider, chilled in the icy mountain stream. Not a freeze dried meal in sight.

The rest of the time was spent thrashing the crystal clear waters in the fruitless pursuit of fish. I can only presume that the recent snow melt had slowed the fish's metabolism as they refused to play despite our best alluring. Swallows and flies buzzed the lake surface all evening but not once did we see any evidence of fish.

Once the sun descended behind the ridge the temperature plummeted and we were reminded of the earliness of the season here. We retreated to the fire ring and spent a fun, relaxed evening keeping busy by roasting marshmallows and the incredibly important job of periodically poking the fire with sticks.

We retired to the tents and I was shocked at the comfort afforded by this 3-person palace! No need for yoga poses when changing socks, no contortions to switch off the light. I could practically stand up! Then remembered it weighed 4.7kg and I was glad I didn't have to hike anywhere carrying the damn thing.

Despite the temperature dropping to around freezing overnight I slept warmly under my GoLite Ultra 20 quilt. I woke up early and after a spot of early morning fishing and a half hour walk around the lake I settled down next to my stove and brewed tea and coffee for everyone. Once Steve had the bacon sizzling on the Trangia I started baking. Fresh, warm, gooey-centred chocolate muffins steam baked in my Titan kettle put a smile on the birthday girl's face and warmth in our bellies. The sun crept across the lake and on this beautiful Sunday morning time slowed again.

5 comments:

Dave Hanlon said...

Never let it be said that you don't know how to show a girl a good time.

Hendrik Morkel said...

Great stuff! As I saw the silicone muffin cups in the Mystery box, I knew they shall be mine!

Re: Fishing, you're right, it is too cold still for them fish to hunt our lures - hopefully that changes in the next couple of days/ weeks - we got 23°C promised for Friday :-O

Joe Newton said...

Dave - no expense spared! Chocolate muffins, the key to any one's heart.

Hendrik - The steam baked muffins are amazing. They're not a meal in themselves but as a sweet treat with minimal equipment they're a nice addition to breakfast.

Yup, I can't see it being long before the fish 'switch on'. We've caught a few in the sea but some trout would be nice now. The Tenkara is slowly but surely moving up in priority on my shopping list...

James Boulter said...

Now that it what I call camping, a superb way to spend a night or two. I am going to have to look up how to steam bake muffins on a camping stove!

Joe Newton said...

James - thank you. You can read the article that inspired much of my ultralight backpacking cuisine here http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/quick_healthy_meals_with_an_ultralight_cook_kit.html but a subscription is required (well worth it in my humble opinion!)