Camping is like marmite. You either love it or you hate it. But even if you love it, at some point you’re going to end up hating it.
Despite having dropped plastic boxes caked in grass in the garage, loaded a pile of damp clothes into the washing machine and kicked sleeping bags and airmats into odd corners of the house because I haven’t the energy to put them where they belong, I’m still feeling fairly positive about camping. The last load of washing is drying outside and when we packed up the tent it was bright sunshine, so we don’t have to wait for a windy day to air it on the lawn to stop it growing mold… such is the lot of a seasoned camper.
Last week we headed off for our umpteenth camping trip beside the sea in Devon. What could be more wonderful? Two days before ‘D’ day we decided we couldn’t fit everything in the car plus an extra passenger and would need to order roof bars so that we could take a top box. This wonderful invention allows tall people to store beach things and anything sandy high up out of reach where they will never be seen again, until you come to unpack at the end of the holiday and discover that’s where the badminton rackets, beach ball, windbreak and umbrella were after all. The roof bars arrived and were carefully assembled, but unfortunately didn’t fit the connection with the roof box. Problem one. No time to order new bars, so alternative bars had to be purchased locally, which also didn’t fit. Problem two. Third time lucky the bars were exchanged, fitted and the box was on top and the car was ready to be packed. Another problem was the fridge. Problem three. Tents don’t have fridges unlike their superior caravan cousins. So cool boxes/bags had to be bought (and returned due to unsuitability)… We began to wonder – is it really worth it? Why are we going camping? What about air B&B?
7 reasons I love camping:
- No housework
- Minimal cooking – due to limited pans and burners
- Waking up to blue skies
- Sitting out under the stars drinking… wine mostly
- The perfect view from the tent of a curving sandy bay and rolling waves, with an island in the distance
- Smelling fresh grass and BBQs 24/7
- Not feeling guilty about fried egg and bacon for breakfast
5 reasons not to go camping:
- The possibility it may rain
- The long walk to the toilets in the middle of the night – or stinging yourself on nettles seeking alternative loo point by the hedge
- The beds – there aren’t any
- The cool box, that isn’t, and smells of cheese after 24 hours
- Filling the water bottle, carrying it up the hill back to the tent and then realizing you needed to go to the toilet
Oh and also… leaving the Fairy Liquid beside the communal sink – returning half an hour later to find a half used Co-op bottle in its place!
On balance, I think camping is a good thing. Our children love it. We endure it and I expect we’ll be back again next year… after all there are 7 good reasons to go. And I forgot to mention the sunsets!