Sporadic Scottish summer weather means making the absolute frugal best of any sunshine, so when the opportunity arose to catch up with friends in a rural idyll and talk caravans and camping, I packed the tent and got on my bike.

Frugal living is second nature to me. I have been living like this for more years than I care to count and now the time has come to relax, chill out and make the most of all that has been achieved so far. Freedom to take time out and spend it with friends, freedom to explore, freedom from the worry and stress of money, bills and debt... this is frugal freedom and frugal freedom is the basis of Frugaldom.

The frugal meeting place

I was rather excited at the prospect of camping. Wild camping was something that friends and I did over 30 years ago, but now it seems strange and a little worrying to consider the possibility of returning to such a frugal pastime, so we agreed to meet about 5 miles off the beaten track - me with my tent and they with the caravans.

Balloch O' Dee campsite

It wasn't quite wild camping but it was pretty close, barring the fact that we were blessed with the comfort of real running water, toilets and showers. The location and the weather were fantastic on Sunday!


Balloch O' Dee campsite sit at the foot of Culvennan Fell and has views clear across the moors to the Galloway Hills. This is a small holding setting, but the animals here are ponies, chickens and pet rabbits, all of which roam freely. The spirit of wild camping is surely upon you, should you choose to remain self contained.

Pi the tiny eco caravan

This is 'Pi'. He was our next door neighbour on site and was doing a brief tour from Perthshire to Dumfries and Galloway. This is definitely a 'must have' gizmo for the posh glamper or perhaps even the latest fashion accessory for ladies who like to lunch is exclusive locations. These are fully customisable, so you can have pink and sparkly, tartan, stripy, spotty or even have a bespoke personalised design promoting your brand as you tour the country glam camping, or glamping.

Tent and Pi

Here's my little tent pitched next door to 'Pi', who now has a super awning expansion kit attached to accommodate all the family. My accommodation is a secondhand EuroHike 2-man tent bought last year for £20. This is my first overnight camping in it, as my October trip to Tinto Hill in Lanarkshire was called off at the last minute owing to extremely wet weather. (We still climbed the hill, though.)

The main purpose of this visit was to catch up with friends, discuss future projects and to take possession of my new frugal mobile office...

The frugalvan

I haven't named her yet, nor have I even cleaned her since she arrived, but she is an old 4-berth caravan that came complete with electrics, leisure battery, gas and a cooker for that total off grid experience. I think I bagged myself a real bargain with this!

With less than £50 budget remaining to kit out the frugalvan, I will be scanning the free-ads and investing in a small trickle feed solar recharger for the battery. Needles are out to make whatever else is needed to turn this into a mini home-from-home office.

Now I have absolutely no excuses for not returning to the joys of wild camping! Better still, NOR DO YOU! As a fully active 'Friends of Frugaldom' member (free to join) Balloch O' Dee campsite is offering half price site fees.

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