Garden Camping, Sowing the Seed!

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve all been getting used to being at home.

At times it feels like you’re the only one going mad, getting lost inside your head and reeling with frustration as a teenager or child asks you another pointless question when you’re doing your very best to keep on working! And if I hear ‘Mum’ called one more time I swear I’ll explode.

But then you just need to get into your WhatsApp group, hop onto Face Time or House Party and speak to a few friends to realise that we’re all in the same strange and surreal boat.

As a family we are all finding our way spending so much time together. As families go we get on, we do stuff together but we all know how to enjoy time alone too and it’s this that’s seeming to be compromised in these lockdown times. 

So as we're all getting irritated with each other, this weekend we’re going to do what we love best and get out the camping gear. We usually meet up with other families and it's a festival type affair but this time it will just be us.

We'll try to relax and enjoy the time together - no bickering allowed!

Putting up the tent in the garden means we can all hang out and be outdoors. We’ll cook over the campfire, toast the mandatory marshmallows and absolutely have to sleep out too. It’s also a good excuse to give the tent an airing, check it over for any little marks and if it does rain we can check out whether it needs re-proofing or not (more on that later!).

And then, it will be there in the garden to be our extra space. It can be our head space, exercise space, maybe a work space or teaching space,  a chill out for the teens a play space for the kids. Even an isolation space.

We'll see how it evolves so watch this space!

TLC for your Bell Tent! Cleaning and Proofing.

With so much time on your hands during this strange lockdown time why not treat your tent to a bit of TLC!

First of all, drag out your tent and dust it off!

Spread out your tent, pitch it as you would do normally and make sure it's completely dry. Inspect the tent for dirt or marks and decide if you need to clean these off.

If you are able to remove the dirt with a clean stiff brush and no solution, then do so. If not, it's important to use a specialist tent or outdoor equipment cleaner for this process as you don't want to compromise the functionality of the fabric.

We recommend 'Storm Wash'. They are the experts and advised that their Wash product suits 100% cotton canvas tent cleaning. Use it as per the hand washing instructions for light marks and dirt, or neat for a deeper clean. Always then rinse the canvas, before applying any proofer.

Mould and fungus can grow on natural materials of they are stored damp. It is essential that you never put your tent away damp.

If you have opened up your tent to discover mould or mildew, it maybe possible to remove small patches yourself using specialist cleaner or do try to have it professionally cleaned. This has varying levels of success. We recommend Wash and Waterproof, so please contact them directly for pricing and specific advice.

In order to reproof your tent it needs to be pitched in an open sunny area and the day needs to be dry and mild. We recommend Storm Canvas Proofer as it is a specialist reproofing solution that is designed for heavy weight canvas and ensures the canvas retains flexibility and repellency.

Apply the solution to either the whole of your tent or the effected areas with a brush or roller. Full instructions can be found on the Care page of our website.

Even if your garden isn't big enough to put your tent up you can spread it out and fold into halves or quarters to inspect each section. It maybe that some of the dirt can be cleaned off in this way.

The tent's then ready for re-proofing in a friend or neighbours garden or even the local park, when we're free to roam once again.