A night to remember with the stars (and clouds)

For many people part of the appeal of camping is that big ‘reveal’ moment. First thing in the morning you unzip the front of the tent or open the caravan or motorhome door, to see what vista lies before you. I’m no different. It can be all the more enjoyable when you pitch up in the dark the night before and then see what view greets you the next morning.

Given I love a good view, when a couple of press releases landed in my inbox that featured two unusual tents aimed at maximising the view, I was intrigued.

Simon gets comfy in the Duotaire hoping the clouds will clearThe two tents in question were the Nigor Laughing Owl 4 and the Eureka! Duotaire. Both were a little different to your typical tent and both tried to maximise the views in their own way.
I don’t want to give too much away about my thoughts on the tents at this stage – I’ll be writing about it in print for a forthcoming issue of Camping & Caravanning and here on the magazine’s website – but to take a good look at them I pitched up this month at the Club’s Drayton Manor site in Staffordshire.

Photographer Ali Cusick and I needed a clear night sky to set a star-studded backdrop but true to form the weather didn’t want to co-operate. Clouds rolled in to cloak the stars, and the tents had even been battered by hail earlier in the evening.

The tent with flysheet rolled back during the dayBut Ali is a man of patience and calmness. He was confident a gap would appear in the clouds and so we waited, camera, lighting, tents and model (er, me) at the ready. And we waited. And thankfully that patience payed off. The clouds began to thin and the cosmos put in an appearance. Brief at first, then offering longer looks.

With the photos in the bag, Ali headed for home while I sat in the Laughing Owl enjoying what for me is one of the simplest pleasures in life. Sitting in the countryside late at night with a beer in hand just starring up at the stars in complete awe. I find it so relaxing.

Staring up at the night sky from the porch of the Laughing Owl 4However, it was bitterly cold so I turned in for the night (I was camping in the Duotaire) but not before enjoying the tent’s own unique feature for longer glimpse of the night sky above. And after a few important adjustments to the tent to help me avoid hypothermia, I slept soundly.

Yes, I will always love that big reveal moment in the morning. But there’s also something special about the night sky, especially when the view is helped by a couple of slightly unusual features on tents.

Simon McGrath Now Editor-in-Chief for Camping & Caravanning magazine, Simon has been a journalist for more than 20 years and a magazine editor for at least a dozen of them. Simon has a love of the great outdoors, not to mention camping in all its forms, which is a great way to get out there. But he doesn't just like admiring the countryside, he loves getting active by sailing, trekking and walking, canoeing (when he gets the chance) and mountain-biking. Read other posts by this author