Carry on Camping
Wonderful camp at St John’s School this weekend. Thank you to all who made it happen.
Camping is a true art form, not for the faint of heart nor the infirm in body. Ensuring an enjoyable experience is all down to personal opinion about what exactly is enjoyable.
There’s the deciding what to take along with you and if you’re anything like me that would be everything apart from the bath tub and kitchen sink. This includes taking the available facilities at your camp site into consideration. Will there be power points to pump up air beds or do you go for self-inflating mats instead (bearing in mind that the ‘self’ in ‘self-inflating’ may well be your knackered self) ? Bunsen burners or electric cooker? And so on, and so forth, etcetera, etcetera.
Then there’s the fitting of everything, first into bags, pouches, coolers and all manner of receptacles then into the vehicle that will conduct you to your camping site. You can forget about using your rear view mirrors. The only rear view you will have will be that of sleeping bags.
There’s the choosing the right tent for your needs and taste. They range in cost and size from £10 pop-up, jack-in-the-box types to hundreds of pounds worth of palatial boutique Bedouin marquee complete with deep shag pile Persian rugs, chiffon-draped ceilings and bejewelled belly dancers.
Then there’s the locating the perfect spot for your tent (note: a rocky patch is usually a bad idea and so is underneath a benevolent tree which provides stopovers to hordes of migrating birds. Ever tried washing bird poo off polyester?) And thereafter the putting up of your tent. The latter is single-handedly responsible for many a divorce unless your tent falls into the pop-up category.
By the time the tent is up, you may have long lost the will to live much less clap in time to and sing Kumbaya around the camp fire.
Anyway, if you manage to navigate all the aforementioned, marriage and sanity intact, you are well on your way to a lovely time in the great outdoors.
However, let me just put this out there, camping is a holiday only for those who didn’t attend boarding school in Nigeria.
PS: Ours is the orange and gray tent. And we’re still married. And sane. Well, somewhat.