Tales From... The Archive

Happy Camper

I hate camping.

There, I’ve said it. I seek no enjoyment from sleeping in a restrictive worm like bag on a yoga mat sheltered only by a thin piece of canvas that guarantees I will either be boiling hot or freezing cold, but regardless of the temperature said canvas shelter will always be dripping with condensation thus making me feel as if I’m sleeping in a wheelie bin, one of the domes at the Eden Project or Wookie Hole. My girlfriend on the other hand, loves it. She has two firm arguments, the first is that camping is fun. Ha ha ha ha ha (that is not laughter that is hysteria) The woman can’t get enough of eating baked beans out of a tin crouched in a damp confined space whilst listening to the rain pelting outside. It’s a dream come true for her. The Great Outdoors! Nature! Washing in a public shower block 1 mile from where we’ve camped! I on the other hand find myself rocking backwards and forwards, weeping whilst mumbling, “There’s no place like home…” repetitively under my breath.

Her second argument is that camping is a great way for couples to really bond. For example, she thinks ‘snuggling’ in sleeping bags is romantic. Personally I can’t see the romance in trying to embrace your loved one whilst trapped in a synthetic bag that has clearly been designed to restrict all movement other than rolling from left to right. I’ll be honest, once your girlfriend has elbowed you in the face three times in a clumsy attempt to move closer to you, the desire to ‘snuggle’ evaporates.

I’m not trying to be a grumpy old bag, although anyone who knows me will know that I AM a grumpy old bag. It’s just that I’ve reached an age where I like my comforts, four walls, a roof, a bed; I’m crazy like that. I’m of the opinion that holidays should be… you know…FUN. Not a harrowing experience of survival and endurance! Dear God I don’t eat sausages and baked beans in the comfort of my own home, why the hell am I choosing to eat them crouched in a two man tent in the pissing rain?

Unfortunately I am not allowed not to camp – I have committed myself to a woman who derives so much pleasure from waking up in a fetid, damp confined space fit for fungal farming and not much else, that I am obligated to do it. Thus, I have set out some basic rules in order to survive future ‘camping’ experiences. 1. we have a tent that doesn’t require me to crawl on my hands and knees to get inside it, dress/undress myself lying on my back, or mean that if I turn over in my sleep I will awake to find my face stuck to a sagging, dripping canvas that smells of feet. 2. I want to sleep on a mattress not a mat, I take no enjoyment from feeling like my hips have been repeatedly beaten with a wooden spoon 3. I would like to sit in a chair rather than a piece of muddy tarpaulin that no one has be arsed to clean EVER. 4. I want to eat good food, like avocados or olives or at the bear minimum sausages that aren’t 40% eyeballs and 60% wood chippings and last but not least 5. I want to stay in a hotel. I think if we go straight to 5 we can pretty much ignore the first 4, which seems like common sense to me.

I can’t wait for my girlfriend to read this and ignore everything I’ve said.

Posted on 28th November 2011


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