Avoid QRM – go camping
Editors note – This article is based on an email from John, G0GCL, who finds he can work better DX by operating /p. He’s often joined on his mini-DXpeditions by Greg, G4EBY.
July, 2019 – Greg G4EBY and myself have just returned from another week away under canvas. We have always taken our own setups, booking separate pitches placed alongside each other, so that the total available space is maximised not simply for the placement of our individual camping equipment and cars, but also enabling space for antennas. Once explained, the site operators have been willing to accommodate us, and we have had good experiences at each site, so as we seem to be building up a small but viable portfolio of locations.
The common factors used by me in selection have been (in no particular order)
- good shower and toilet facilities
- provision of EHU (electrical hook ups)
- absence of local power lines, closeness to water, distance from local housing (usually determined by examining the site from Google Earth) all providing for low noise floors.
(No children and no dogs might also be factors to consider if using guyed antennas- Ed)
in addition to the other criteria usually sought by campers such as level ground, but with avoidance of flooding by good drainage; and either good shopping facilities on site or easy striking distance to local grocery and eating facilities.
All the above have either been met or been a close fit for our needs to various degrees. Great contacts made on variety of modes including digital. I also found loads of things to do in and around each of these places as well. So I will let you know where these places are, but rather than give you up to date pricing, will provide for each a URL from www.ukcampsite.org to enable you to see the reviews of others, which will then give you the further details you need to enquire about tariffs should you wish. Lat/Long given to enable to get the QRA and WAB if you wish, and as they are mostly off the beaten track, I found them also quite desirable for WAB as well.
The Secret Garden, Bosavern House, Bosavern, St Just, Penwith, Cornwall
Lat 50 06 56.7N; Long 05 40 43.89W elevation 115m asl
We stayed here two years running. On request the owners set aside for us two large 10m x 10m pitches side by side. Good local shops in St Just, great eateries for brekkie, and pasties fresh from the local (original) pasty bakery shop. Worked into SM in daylight 40m SSB, and GM/M stations no real problem. The furthest to get to from Windsor at 275m one way via shortest route.
Woodhill Park Caravan and Camp Site, East Runton, Cromer, Norfolk.
Lat 52 56 17.49N; Long 01 15 53.38E elevation 38m asl
North facing elevated position. Perhaps the least level in the plot we were assigned, nonetheless a shop was on site and good facilities in both Cromer and Sheringham.
Fen Farm Caravan and Camp Site, Moore Lane, East Mersea, Colchester, Essex.
Lat 51 47 26.89N; Long 0 58 51.13E elevation 14m asl
Sea path, with relatively short distances and facing the continent. This place was the easiest of the bunch to get to. Access to site shop. Local shopping. Couple of good hostelries. Cons were that access was tricky; this is an island, and if you want to get somewhere else you have to travel via Colchester!
The Grange, Boston Road, Wainfleet St Mary, Wainfleet, Lincs
Lat 53 06 07.17N; Long 0 14 05.82E elevation 5m
Just returned from here end June 2019. We agreed that this find was in fact the best place we had gone to so far, for a number of reasons. Quite apart from fulfilling all the above mentioned criteria, this place had the most laid back atmosphere. There was no reception to report to; I had previously been told on the phone we could simply turn up and take the space we felt was most suitable. The Manager arrived in his own good time and we showed him the setup; he was both happy and interested. On departing, there was an honesty box to accept our payment for the time there. It was also the cheapest we had been to. Wainfleet is 7 miles from Skegness, with a local brewery, shop, chippy, and greasy spoon. Bad flooding had happened in Wanfleet about 10 days prior to our arrival there, and the week before we had had second thoughts about going there, but the weather held, the River Steeping was low, and the Environment Agency who had a local presence told me the river breaching was a 1:3000 year occurrence. My own measurements indicated there was a gain of at least 7dB over the home qth for signals on MF and Top Band due to reduced noise floor, with sea paths to PA, DL, OZ, LA, and SM.
Hope all this was interesting!