Campingninja Blog

Cheapest Way to stay in London for the Royal Wedding (camping).

30 March 2011 : Written by The Campingninja Team
Cheapest Way to stay in London for the Royal Wedding (camping). London Wedding Camping
It's official, Lambeth Council has allowed the large Clapham Common Campsite to go ahead for the Royal Wedding Weekend. So, why not book yourself a spot for the biggest Royal event for the last 30 years and get down to London to join in the celebrations of Kate and William's Wedding. You can book a spot for yourself on Campingninja for the big royal wedding sleepover. 

It's a great way of bypassing expensive London Hotel prices.


Details: 

Dates: Thursday 28th April to Sunday 1st May 

Where: Clapham Common -  a safe and secure home from home for the Royal Wedding celebrations only 25 minutes from Buckingham Palace and Central London 

How much does it cost? 3 nights accomodation for only £79.95 per person. Kids under 12 half price. No booking fees.

Why to avoid tick bites – everyone should read this.

28 March 2011 : Written by Rhian Evans
Why to avoid tick bites – everyone should read this. Tiny tick, big effect
As a camping website and as keen campers ourselves we sometimes think it’s important to let you know about something we think you should be aware of. And just by telling you it could mean you, your family, your friends and pets could ensure you don’t contract Lyme Disease. Please don’t stop reading at this point thinking it might be boring or that it’s not something which would affect you because, quite simply, if you do stuff outdoors then you can get a tick bite without even knowing; and this tiny little annoyance could lead to serious infection and long term ill-health. So, read a bit now and make sure it doesn’t happen…. 

So, why do you need to know about ticks?
Ticks in the United Kingdom can carry a number of infections which cause disease in both humans and animals. If left untreated, many of these infections can result in severe and debilitating symptoms. Early recognition of infection is most likely to occur if a patient is aware of the presence of disease, and can recognise the symptoms. 

What illness or infection could I get and how do I know?
The primary illness to affect humans is Lyme disease (Borreliosis). Symptoms usually begin a few days or weeks after a tick bite, but sometimes it can be months. 

What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease?
The most common sign of Lyme disease is an expanding rash; the rash can resemble a bull’s eye (round and with a central clearing), or it can appear more irregular. Other symptoms can include a fever, headache, chills, muscle and joint aches, and extreme fatigue. If left untreated, the infection can progress and result in much more serious complications including skin lesions, heart abnormalities and neurological symptoms. Such an infection is referred to as neuroborreliosis and can result in tingling, pain or an altered/loss of sensation and visual problems. Facial paralysis may also occur and, in severe cases, paralysis of the limbs.

If I get a tick bite will I definitely get the disease? No, not every tick carries infective organisms, and not every bite will transmit disease. However, the longer an infected tick is allowed to feed, the more likely it is that an infection will result. 

How do I know if I have a tick on me?
You are very unlikely to feel anything - ticks release a numbing saliva when they attach so you won’t feel a thing! So, do the Tick Check... Ticks prefer warm, moist, dark areas of the body so what you need to do is: 

1. Check the whole body. It may be helpful to have someone else inspect areas that are hard to see, or if you are alone use a mirror. 
2. Preferred areas include hidden in belly button; around or in the ear, hairline and scalp. Parts that bend: back of knee, elbow, between fingers and toes, underarms. Pressure points where clothing presses against skin: underwear elastic, belts, collar. 

So, where do these ticks come from then?
Ticks are usually found in long grass, leaf litter and on low plants where they wait for a host. In a split second they climb on as people or animals brush past,then look for a safe place to feed. There are usually more ticks in woodland and forest areas, but they can also be found in fields and parkland, especially where there are livestock and deer. However, ticks can also be present in town parks and gardens. 

Are they around all year?
Ticks are more abundant in late spring to early summer, and again during autumn. However, they can be active all year round during milder weather (above 3.5°C). 

How can I protect myself and family from a tick bite? 
1. Know where to expect ticks. Many areas in the UK with good ground cover and diverse wildlife (such as squirrels, hedgehogs, birds and deer) can pose a potential risk as wildlife feeds any ticks and allows their population to increase. Animals also transport ticks to new areas. 
2. Use a repellent, reading the instructions carefully. There is currently no vaccine to defend against Lyme disease so prevention is key. 
3. Tuck your trouser legs into your socks. This helps to deter ticks from crawling inside your trouser legs, down into shoes and through most socks. Wearing gaiters will also help to prevent this. 
4. Check your body carefully for ticks after being outdoors taking special care to check all over the body. 
5. Don’t bring ticks home. Check clothing and pets for ticks to avoid bringing them inside. 
6. If you do find a tick, carefully remove it by using a specialist tick-removal tool or fine-tipped tweezers. 
7. Protect your pets. Talk to your vet about tick treatments.
8. 

For loads more information, advice, case studies and ways in which you can volunteer to help contact BADA-UK (Borreliosis and Associated Diseases Awareness UK) – people who are very passionate about what they do and making sure none of us gets a horrendous disease. www.bada-uk.org and www.tickbitepreventionweek.org/

It’s Tick Bite Prevention Week 11th-17th April and our friends at BADA-UK will be working hard to spread the word – make sure you tell friends and family too. Check out the Tick Bite Prevention Week Website: http://www.tickbitepreventionweek.org/

The Secret Diary of a Camping Ninja: The RV

28 March 2011 : Written by A Camping Ninja
The Secret Diary of a Camping Ninja: The RV

I say potato, you say potartoe. I say tomato, you say tomaytoe. They say RV, we say big campervan or motorhome. They had an alien, and I'm a ninja. Nonetheless, am loving the RV in the film 'Paul'!

It's just the ticket for these milder nights before the sunshine comes fully out of hibernation. We developed a bit of a taste for the RV after watching the film so Eric, Susie, Ellwood and I set off the next day to investigate. If you're not quite ready to buy one of these beasts and are worried that they may take more looking after than a hungry Tibetan Mastiff puppy, as we were, the simple solution is that you can hire an RV for your camping trip.

But before you're let loose at the hands of the wheel of one of these enormous beasts, they like you to do a test drive. A practise run around a few cones in the RV hire centre car park. Easy peasy.

But who was going to drive? A competitive game of rock, paper, scissors was the deciding factor. Our friend Susie won with a pair of scissors against 3 of us with paper. I shook my head in disbelief at the result. I should have known she'd opt for the scissors with Susie being a hairdresser.

We all piled into the RV and Susie, who tends to drive much like an alien anyway took to the wheel. We all braced ourselves, wishing we'd all chosen to be rocks.

Brmmmmm. The RV roared. I held on tight.

Straight over the top of the cones she went, crushing them beneath the mammoth wheels of the RV. All three of us in the back held our heads in our hands.

It wasn't long before we handed the keys back to the hire centre. On second thoughts, we thought we'd be better off sticking to the tents and regular camping for our next trip. And then we made a pact that the three of us would never again be paper in a game of rock, paper, scissors involving a crazy driving hairdresser!

So, what exactly is Campingninja?

23 March 2011 : Written by Rhian Evans
So, what exactly is Campingninja? What is Campingninja?
At Campingninja we're proud to be the first and only independent website where you can book a campsite, touring caravan or holiday park online. Basically like laterooms.com or hotels.com but for camping. 

We love camping and were frustrated that we couldn't book a campsite in the same way we expect to book a flight, hotel or hostel.

We figured that you wouldn't dream of booking a flight by phoning around individual airlines to see where they go, on what dates and for how much..... and then thought, well, why hasn't this been done yet for camping? 

Why spend hours or days on the phone and emailing trying to find somewhere to go camping when you could find and book one online in under 5 minutes?

So, that's what we have done. 

We worked really hard talking to campsite owners and campers to see what they wanted in a website, then made it! 

And here we are now, 18 months down the line with new and brilliant campsites signing up every day from all over the UK (and one in Tanzania!) 

We know that sometimes when you look, because we're new, you might not find exactly what you are looking for; we're sorry about that – it takes time to call all the campsites and explain the concept and get them to sign up; but, we're getting around 6 new campsites a day on board with Campingninja which means the next time you look you'll probably find somewhere you want to go. 

We want all of you to spend more time outdoors doing what you love and less time indoors, trying to find somewhere to go and do what you love – it just makes sense!


Sorted your Easter camping yet?

22 March 2011 : Written by Rhian Evans
Sorted your Easter camping yet? Beautiful Lochranza on Arran
Spring seems to have crept upon us like the proverbial..... I'm not sure what, and then, before we know it, Easter is around the corner and the first Bank Holiday of the camping season has yet to be booked. 

Now, maybe it's because, until the last couple of days, it is has been somewhat miserable and really quite cold of late and the idea of camping may border on the ridiculous. However, if you have a look around you'll notice that daffodils are sprouting everywhere, birds are being quite vocal and you may have just slightly caught the sun on your face a little over the weekend? 

This can only mean 7 things..... 

1. get your tent out of the garage / attic / cupboard / back of van * (delete as applicable); 

2. make sure it still functions; 

3. get on the phone / email / social network of your choice to some friends and family; 

4. find some good campsite candidates on Campingninja; 

5. share the selection with your friends; 

6. book your pitch; 

7.feel pleased with yourself and get excited about your trip in a few weeks time!

In the words of the Jackson 5.... "ABC..... easy as 1,2,3".... 


The Secret Diary of a Camping Ninja: A Royal Flush

20 March 2011 : Written by A Camping Ninja
The Secret Diary of a Camping Ninja: A Royal Flush

A bleary eyed Sunday morning, I was on auto pilot, in a zone, walking along not noticing a thing, almost as if I had my eyes shut. Then suddenly something in front of me made me open my eyes. It was Kate Middleton!!!

My imagination started running away with me and I began to wonder what I'd do if she invited me to the royal wedding...

Obviously I'd have to turn it down as I'm bound to be away at Camp Royale that weekend. Then she started to turn round. Oh no! How do you say no to a royal princess? Yikes! I wanted to hide.

And then she turned to face me..............

Ah. Turned out it wasn't Kate Middleton after all, but Shrek's third cousin once removed. A double from the back but simply a case of mistaken identity face on. Phew! No need to make excuses to the future Queen of England now. What a lucky escape!

The Secret Diary of a Camping Ninja: Lovely Jub-il-ee

11 March 2011 : Written by A Camping Ninja
The Secret Diary of a Camping Ninja: Lovely Jub-il-ee

It wasn't all lovely jubbly on the jub-il-ee line this morning. Delays and morning rush hour hold ups sparked a game of CWW (Commuter Chinese Whispers). We've all been there before, when one mad whisper completely distorts the words that come from the horses mouth, but we play along nevertheless, not realising until after the event what has really happened, the whisper effect leading us on different journeys than we otherwise planned to take.

It all started with an announcement:
'Ladies and gentlemen, due to overcrowding on the platform we are holding customers in the travelator area.'

Now with loud music and headphones on, to some this became:
'Ladies and gentlemen, due to a body on the platform we are holding customers in the travelator area.'
A body on the platform?!! From one misunderstood whisper to another, the word spread. Panic!!!


And to others a garbled message of:
'Ladies and gentlemen, due to overcrowding on the platform, a free pina colada is available for customers held up in the travelator area.'

Flawed information passed from one passenger to another. Misinformed, we dispersed. For the people who heard body, a frenzy of panic and chaos emerged and they ran, ran, ran away.
Other people, like me, heard about the pina colada. A free pina colada? Excellent, I thought!

Maybe our different paths were down to the music we were listening to, how loud, how tired we were to be up at ridiculous o'clock in the morning, how inept our ears had become at being able to interpret real information, or dependent on how much, or little, we actually wanted to go to work today and how much in fact that we wanted it to be something else, or perhaps even whether we had been watching CSI or the Tom Cruise Cocktail film last night. Neither of which I had, but it seemed our fates were all in the hands of the whisperers.

Standing in the queue waiting at the ticket office to claim my free pina colada, I thought I must have been the only one on this particular version of the story, as the people in the ticket office didn't know what I was talking about. No one else had even been to collect a free pina colada and the man behind the ticket desk looked very confused. Nevermind.

By this time I was already late for work. I didn't mind, as being a camping ninja, if I really wanted to make up lost time I could bolt it like Usain at the extremely fast speed of ninja and make it in to work on time. But with my mouth watering for a pina colada and it being a Friday, I launched a plan for a fantastic Friday night pina colada party under the big tent in the back garden. A few phone calls to friends and a short trip to the mini mart to pick up the cocktail ingredients pursued, and then into work, to look forward to the evening ahead.

A ninja party tonight at 63 Monkton Avenue. All camping friends invited too. You bring the pina and I'll mix up the colada!

The Secret Diary of a Camping Ninja: Spring

05 March 2011 : Written by A Camping Ninja
The Secret Diary of a Camping Ninja: Spring

The first weekend in March. I stood on the back door step and looked out onto a patch of daffodils growing in the back garden. They weren't just daffodils, they were the symbol of so much more. Standing next to the cat, both admiring the pretty yellow flowers, we sniffed the air. Ummmmm. Spring was here. And that means only one thing for a Camping Ninja – that the Spring / Summer 2011 camping season is about to begin and I just cannot wait! 

Elongate the "summer" - bring it on!

04 March 2011 : Written by Rhian Evans
Elongate the All this 1 hr later?
The news today is full of the outline plans, made by the government, around ways in which we can encourage more holidays to be taken in the UK and also to enhance the British summer time. 

The main plans are: 
  • Push the clocks forward an extra hour in British Summer time - means it will be lighter for longer in the evening (but also a little darker for longer in the morning), also will bring our summertime hours into line with Europe. 
  • Move the May Day Bank Holiday to have one either in October, or in April (for St Georges Day in England) and in March (for St David's Day in Wales) - the idea is to elongate the holiday season.
In our opinion anything which can be done to enhance what we already have is a bonus. Also, we tend to all travel and go away in such a narrow time period in the Summer, which is natural as that's when the main holidays are, that spreading that further is only going to be good for the economy, the travel industry and the camping industry. 

The Bank Holiday move would be great for the camping industry as bank holiday weekends are classic times for everyone to go camping - a long weekend in the UK.

It is also true that our number of bank holidays is the "stingiest" in Europe so adding one instead of moving one would be even better - let's encourage people in Britain to travel and stay in Britain and encourage those from Europe to come over and not have to bother changing the clocks. 

The main thing the Tourism Minister can't control though is the weather, no matter how many bank holidays, no matter what time it gets dark....! So, always take your wellies, a good waterproof and a great tent! 

As bank holidays are so scarce and precious, they are getting booked up already. Find and book your bank holiday camping, caravan, campervan or motorhome trip now: 


Review and comparison of the best websites to find a UK campsite

01 March 2011 : Written by Rhian Evans
Review and comparison of the best websites to find a UK campsite Gear we are review Campingninja
Campingninja has been reviewed by the guys at geweare.com and compared to the other main contenders in terms of finding campsites in the UK. We're really happy with how we have fared - in summary: 

"Campingninja.com is a great looking sight, with bold colours, a really simple interface" 

"you can bookmark your favourite campsites and make bookings through Campingninja without having to go to the campsite directly." 

"Camping Ninja also has a very comprehensive listing of what is, and isn’t provided at the site." 

"Booking is very simple, and you can use a credit card to pay the campsite a deposit. Camping Ninja themselves don’t take a cut, which is nice." 

"All in all, Camping Ninja was an excellent browsing experience. I easily found a perfect campsite, got loads of information on it and some very useful reviews. The layout was easy to follow and the process quick and simple." 


This positive feedback from an independent and knowledgeable source is great and we are very glad that the website is as easy and good to use as we always intended it to be. It is also great to be recognised as the UK's only independent source of booking a campsite online. 

The number of campsites we have signed up is growing daily and we are working extremely hard to make sure we get campsites on board who appeal to our users: e.g. campsites where dogs are allowed; campsites where people can have campfires; campsites with great showers!!! 

Gear We Are write honestly-written equipment reviews based on the experiences of their founders who have spent more nights under canvas and days avoiding cowpats and drizzle than they’d care to remember. Find them at www.gearweare.com