Going off-grid: Camping without electric

As happy campervanners we felt like we always needed the electric hook-up. We didn’t have a leisure battery and our fridge only ran off 240v mains electricity so without a hook-up we couldn’t power the fridge and were worried that we’d run down the van’s only battery if we left the lights on too long and wouldn’t be able to start the engine in the morning. As happy trailer-tenters we don’t have a fridge (or any battery at all) and we’ve started to realise how much we limit our options if we only camp in locations that have a hook-up available – especially at busy times as the electric pitches are always first to go. Also, some sites charge quite a premium for the hook-up which is disproportionate to the small amount of electricity we consume so we’ve started to look at alternative power sources to broaden our campsite options.

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Wold Farm, Flamborough, East Yorkshire

Website: woldfarmcampsite.com | Phone: 01262 850536 | Postcode: YO15 1AT

The first thing that strikes you about Wold Farm is its beautiful remote location. The site is accessed down a half mile gravel track from Bempton Lane that runs past Flamborough. We stopped at the farmhouse-cum-reception and were directed into the 2nd field (Puffin Meadow) where we could pitch wherever we liked within the non-electric part (about 2 thirds of the field) as there are no marked pitches here. We went to the furthest side and set up facing away from the campsite which meant that we looked over the grazing sheep in the neighbouring field and out to sea with a view of Flamborough Head Lighthouse. The views are hard to beat. The beach and sea are not accessible directly from the campsite as it’s located near a clifftop. The fields are fenced and it’s far enough from the cliff edge that it’s safe for children. A path has been made through the farmland to the coastal walk that extends in both directions along the coast.

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What’s the best way to make great coffee when camping?

I’ll admit that I like coffee. I might even admit that I can, occasionally, be a coffee snob. I like good coffee. I can’t stand terrible coffee (“instant” doesn’t even count as coffee in my book). When I’m camping, a great cup of coffee in the morning with breakfast can be a nice little luxury.

Over the years I’ve been through several different methods of making my coffee on the campsite, looking for an option that’s portable, easy to use and clean and produces a tasty cup. Here are my thoughts on the various options available…

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Wood Nook, Skirethorns, Skipton, Yorkshire

Website: woodnook.net | Phone: 01756 752412 | Postcode: BD23 5NU

Our first camping trip of the year was three nights at Wood Nook campsite in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, a few miles from Skipton. We arrived on Friday evening with our trailer tent in tow, excited to kick-start our camping season – our first as a family of four. The approach to the campsite through Threshfields and Skirethorns is down a winding single track road with few passing places which could be tricky in a large motorhome, but is very picturesque and set our expectations high for the campsite.

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Pexton Moor Farm, Dalby Forest, Pickering, North Yorkshire

Website: dalby-forest.co.uk/camping-dalby-forest.htm | Phone: 01751 460294 | Postcode: YO18 7LU

Our weekend at Pexton Moor Farm campsite marked our first camping trip without the Mazda Bongo campervan,  This was a test run with our new Camp-let Concorde trailer tent (click here to read about our reasons for the change). This was also likely to be our first and last camping trip of the year – we have not managed to fit in as many camping breaks as usual this year.

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