Every year we like to do something to raise money for a charity. This year we were lucky enough to discover that a local charity was looking for people to camp out to raise funds. As we love camping this was right up our street. It didn’t bother us that the camp out was in February, normally the coldest month here in the UK. We had the right kit so we signed up and started fundraising waiting for the date to come around.
Getting Ready For The Campout
We were on Facebook when the advert came up for the campout. This was to raise funds for our local Cancer Support Centre. Ayrshire Cancer Support – who supports those living with cancer and their families. Support can come in many forms. From support groups, counselling, financial advice, transport etc.
After we signed up, we set up our Just Giving page to start fundraising. This was easy to do as we had used Just Giving before. I also printed off a few sponsor sheets for those who wished to donate the old fashioned way. This also allowed me to take the sheets into my place of work and get even more sponsors. From past experience, I’ve noticed that people are more willing to donate if you ask them face to face.
The next thing we had to do was choose our kit. As we were due to camp in February we knew that the temperatures could drop well below zero during the night. The camp was going to be fairly close to home, at a local racecourse. This meant we would be driving to our camp location and wouldn’t have to be carrying everything. The weight would not be an issue so it meant we could make it a really comfortable night.
I must add that you could do this camp out at the organised event or on your own and document it. We thought the event sounded fun and made it seem different to just going out camping. It would also give us the chance to meet other fundraisers.
Our Camp Out For Cancer Camping Kit
Below is a list of the kit we took, we have also added links if we have previously reviewed these products. Just in case you would like to view them for yourself.
- Olpro Pop-up Tent – Pitched in 60 Seconds – 2 Man Pop Tent From OLPro
- Outwell Dreamcatcher SIM – A Great Sleep With The Outwell Dreamcatcher 10cm SIM
- Army Arctic Sleeping Bags – Army Arctic Sleeping Bag – Great Price, Great Sleep
- OEX Etna Stove
- 1L Kettle
- Accessories – light, mugs, head torches, food, drinks etc.
Now we had sorted what kit we were going to use it was just a matter of continuing to fundraise and waiting for the date to come around.
An Unforeseen Change
The week leading up to the event was terrible weather-wise. The event was due to take place on February the 19th 2022 and we watched the weather closely. If we were to get any heavy rain I would have changed out the tent to one of our other small tents.
We had 3 named storms around the dates of this event. Dudley hitting on the 16th and 17th of February. Then storm Eunice on the 18th of February. Then there was storm Franklin due to hit on the 20th and 21st of February. The only day not to be impacted was the date our event was due to take place.
As everyone in the UK knows our weather can be really unpredictable. The event organisers decided to postpone the event, for everyone’s safety. The camp was now postponed until the 19th March. We were disappointed but had an arranged campout for the following weekend for Bivvying Our Way Into The World Record Books.
The Night of The Camp Out
The 19th of March wasn’t long in rolling around. Since we were camping close and would be taking the car to the event we didn’t pack too light. We chose to take our super comfortable Outwell SIMs, very bulky!
We packed our stuff and headed off to Ayr. When we arrived we had to register and then had a choice of where to pitch. We quickly pitched as the sun set and got all our gear organised. Once we were organised we offered to help a few people round about us who were really struggling with their tents and equipment. Some people who were attending this event had never camped before!
We roughly counted between 50 and 60 tents on the evening. There was around 150 pitches so we had been expecting it to be busier. Many may just have went out and camped on the original date and documented their own camp event.
After this we made a brew and enjoyed some live entertainment. On the Mic for the evening was Colin McCardle – an ex local Radio DJ, who now does various events throughout the UK. There were a few local bands playing live music. Then at the end of the evening Colin Russell – Scottish Wild Camper, a camping vlogger took to the stage. Colin camped out for an impressive 40 nights to raise money for this great cause. In his own words ” he smashed it” and we think he definitely did. Colin entertained with a cooking demonstration (burgers) and some good Scottish banter that ended our evening.
After this we retired to our tent and started to get settled for the evening. Is now almost 11 pm and we were in hope of a good nights sleep.
A Sleepless Night
As I stated before we had packed for a super comfortable evening, however, that wasn’t to be. I hadn’t taken into account this being an event, camping here would be different. The part of the racecourse we were using was being lit by floodlights powered by generators. This was for safety reasons as there were portaloos for everyone to use during the event. That meant that these stayed on all night.
For me a very light sleeper, it meant very little sleep. I had my earplugs in and a blanket pulled over my head to keep light out. This was going well and I eventually settled and started drifting off. However, there seemed to be a few people who had different ideas of how to spend their evening. I was disturbed after a few hours by campers being asked to leave for drug use. There was a clear policy against this and it was well published in communications when and after signing up for the event.
Then another couple, in the next tent, decided to pack up and leave at 4am. They were not quiet about this and showed no respect for other camping around them. I think maybe it had just gotten too cold and they maybe didn’t have the right gear. At this point I gave up trying to sleep and got up and made some coffee.
A Beautiful Morning
As I sat drinking my coffee, other campers started to emerge and the sun started to rise showing a beautiful day ahead. Hot drinks and breakfasts were being made and there was a little chatter about the disturbance during the night. It was just after 6.30 am when I decided that I should wake Carol and get packed up. Carol said she’d had a great sleep, she slept right through everything getting close to her 8 hours in. I often wish I could sleep as well as her.
However, for those of us who had stayed and played by the rules we were happy and humbled at the event nearing completion. Smiles and greetings were abundant amongst the remaining campers and as we were starting to pack up Colin Russell took to the mic again for a 7 am wake up call. This was to get all campers up and ready to head home. Security and Paramedics who had attended the event overnight to ensure everyone’s safety were all needing to get home for their sleep now.
We finished packing up, said goodbye to nearby campers and headed back home ready for a day of family visits.
How Much Was Raised?
Well, I’m guessing you would like to know how much we raised? Well, after we tallied up our Just Giving Page and our sponsor sheets we had raised £610 by completing this event. We had set our target at £500 so we were chuffed with this amount. It may not be a huge amount by some standards, but, every little helps and it is for a wonderful cause.
If you would like to add to this total simply click on the picture of our total. Our Just Giving page will remain open for a few weeks yet.
A few fellow campers managed to raise over 1K each and others over this amount with group fundraising. Some people will have done a personal camp and did not attend the event. No matter how much everyone has raised, we know, it’s for a great cause. This money will greatly help those who need it the most, whether they have cancer or are supporting someone who does.
We are still awaiting a full total for the event and I will update the post as soon as we hear.