We’re back on track with the interview series after a week of technical issues and this week I am joined by Tent Sniffer Naomi. Naomi is a fun loving hippy with a passion for being silly in the outdoors. Even more specifically, Naomi loves the atmosphere, fun, relaxation, fancy dress and freedom that she gets when camping at a festival. And who can blame her! Especially with her daughter and pup in tow.
And for those of you not into the festival scene, Naomi also has a great way of getting in the camping fix without having to travel or pay for tickets! (I personally love it, so read on to find out what it is!)
We are lucky that camping season is yet to begin as I reckon it would be pretty challenging to get hold of Naomi while she was off in her tent soaking up the fun (and sun!) of a festival!
Hey Naomi, thank you for agreeing to take part in my interview series. Let’s start off finding out where in the world you are based and I’ll throw in that you have to describe yourself in one sentence too!
The deep south (of the UK) and I’m a middle-aged hippy, who adores festivals, and being silly outdoors.
I love the idea of the deep south (being up North an’ all!) It makes it sound very mysterious. You sound like my kind of girl! Hippy, festivals and being silly are a great blend. I how we all have great stories of our memories of first discovering a love for the outdoors, I’d love to know yours Naomi?
When I was a kid we went camping in the New Forest. I can vividly recall being kept awake by the horses as they tripped over our guy ropes and whinnied outside the tent, I think my parents were scared the tent would fall down and we’d be trampled but I loved it and my younger brother made us laugh by complaining that the horses making so much noise were keeping him awake. I also remember the joy of cleaning our teeth outdoors, and once, being licked by the rough tongue of a cow as I stood washing with cold water in a field.
Haha, that sounds like a fantastic trip (for you and your brother at least!) There is definitely something about brushing your teeth outside and meeting local animals who are doing their own thing. I love the picture of you being licked by a cow while washing too – it must have been helping you.
When did your really get into spending time in the great outdoors?
As an adult I didn’t really camp much but I did enjoy walking, spotting flora and fauna, especially photographing and identifying plants on our walks, and bird watching. Then in 2007 I discovered the joy of festivals.
It is fun identifying plants and birds on walks. I’m not so good on birds myself, but I do enjoy and appreciate their beauty and calls. That’s great that you discovered festivals as an adult! So many people I know think that they are just for teenagers, so you prove my point that they are for everyone, adults, children and everyone in between. So what is it that you enjoy about being outdoors?
Most of the things I like about camping and the outdoors are the things other people hate! Maybe it’s being challenged to live simply and have fun whatever the weather? You can find out more about my love of camping in this post on my blog.
What activities do you do, Naomi?
As I’ve got older and my disability affects me more, I walk less and camp more. I make sure I attend several festivals a year and even camp in the back garden so that I can listen to the night sounds of snuffling foxes.
I love how you don’t let your disability get in the way of the things you love doing, even if it does mean a bit less walking. My favourite part of this, though, is that you bring your love closer to home by camping in your garden. It goes to show that you really don’t have to travel far to enjoy the great outdoors and nature at it’s best.
Are there any outdoor activities that you enjoy but are not so great at?
Walking. I love to wander the countryside but my Charcot-Marie-Tooth (a neurological disorder) means I walk very slowly and stumble a lot. Recently I get hip pain too if I walk too far – which is annoying!
Having had a long-term knee injury myself, I can feel your frustration. You are a great inspiration though as you have found ways to enjoy the outdoors in ways that you can. What has been your greatest challenge?
It turns out that Glastonbury with its steep hills was more of a challenge than I had bargained for! But I’m pleased to say that my teenage daughter and I managed to get all our camping stuff to a camp spot and spent a great weekend there. With a little help we managed to get everything back up the hill to the car too! When you are disabled you can’t be shy in asking for some assistance and on the whole, other campers, and festival goers, are lovely.
I didn’t realise that Glastonbury was so hilly either! Just goes to show. Well done to you both for defeating that hill with your camping gear and getting back to the car too. Camping stuff isn’t the most ergonomic of stuff to be lugging around! I agree, I think there is something about campers and festival goers that shows a lovely sense of community. And definitely asking for help goes a long way too!
We are speeding into 2017, do you have any challenges panned for this year or beyond?
No specific plans, just more festivals, though I have toyed with the idea of camping abroad and camping in America (in bear country) is on my bucket list.
Oh my gosh, camping in bear country would be amazing! Actually, camping anywhere abroad would be brilliant too (I have only UK camped) I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on your blog for your festival posts and hope to see some abroad ones too. I bet your daughter would love that!
I know a lot of people would love to go to festivals but don’t have a clue where to start. What are your three top tips for anyone wanting to get camping at festivals?
The best thing about festivals is that there are so many types. It’s not all drunk teenagers and music. Look online for some festivals near you to start with and maybe plan a day before a full weekend. Festivals with an outdoor theme are great fun, you can learn woodland craft or tracking skills, build dens, wild swim, and really get back to nature, while having other campers on hand for fun evenings, beer and marshmallows. For a full weekend all you need is a tent and a sleeping bag.
If you’re wondering whether to go to a festival, you can find out more in Naomi’s post here.
Great tips! When you see the festival goers trawling through town to the station it looks like you need everything but the kitchen sink. It is great to know that you can go with a simple kit and have an amazing time. Thank you for showing that it is much more about the simple pleasures.
You have some great tips to encourage people into the outdoors, so what would you say to someone who was new or reluctant to the idea?
We really should be free range. Like most mammals we can do with a bit peace occasionally. Getting away from the normal urban area (or even a small green space in an urban area) can help stress melt away. Camping, particularly without watches and phones, can reset our body clocks (there have been studies that prove this)
Oh definitely! We all need some fresh air, peace and quiet and a digital detox to refresh. (I’m now thinking about camping, ahhhh!)
And last, but not least, what inspired you to start writing your blog?
I’ve blogged for years, but as I realised that a lot of the posts were about the outdoors or festivals I thought they needed their own space, the blog does see less action over the colder months, and I’m working on that. I think the puppy will help!
Looking at that cheeky face, I really do think that there will be more action in the colder months! What a cutie! I think it is great having a blog sharing the outdoors and especially festivals. You certainly show that it is possible for everyone to enjoy festivals whatever age or ability and that, I personally think, is invaluable with all the Instagram stylee posts out there about it.
Thank you so much for joining me for the interview and sharing your tips, story and of course puppy with me and my readers. I think you are a total inspiration and I look forward to reading more about your camping, festival going and other adventures over on your blog throughout the year. I hope that I will get the chance to interview you again in the future too.
To find out more about Tent Sniffer Naomi, you can find her in the following places:
And if you missed the other posts in the interview series, you can check them out here.