I barely remember the last time I went camping. I remember liking camping though, and even the school camping trip in the Hwange bush under what I would now call a marquee rather than any sort of tent, had not put me off. The days before Health and Safety…
There I was again, after all the years, in a tent. In a tent in a tent more precisely. I was looking forward to this camping trip and hoping for good weather, but alas, it rained cats and dogs (not literally)! Not only that – my period decided to show up too – how inconvenient is that? Although thanks to the heavenly torrents, there weren’t too many women mad enough to go camping, so there were more than enough toilets and showers to go around.
The 8-man tent we had borrowed last minute was very spacious and blended in well with the tents around us. Some of the tents looked like mansions, and our original 2-man tent would almost certainly have looked a joke next to these! It would almost certainly have blown away too.
We settled in just seconds before the heavens opened, the rain thumping against the tent and the wind trying to uproot it. Then, drip, drip, drip…the rain was coming through the tent. If we wanted to stay dry – which we most certainly did – then we would have to put up the 2-man tent – in the 8-man tent. What a splendid idea! We just about managed to squeeze the blow-up mattress into the 2-man tent, so not only would we now be more sheltered from the rain and wind, but we’d have a nice, comfy, cosy night too – even if our feet did stick out of the tent.
Tip – when buying a 2-man tent, make sure you ask how tall these two men the tent is made for, were! I am 5 foot and struggled to fit in the tent, so these men must have been the shortest men in China, where indeed this tent was made (but bought from a reputable camping shop if I might add). I know which Chinese man was not used to measure the tent…
A good night’s sleep…was nothing more than wishful thinking! If you ever thought that modern-day walls were thin, whatever tents are made of is much thinner!! 11.30pm and the neighbours’ conversations could still be heard from 5 tents away. On and on…then a little quieter…Then farting began from the next tent, and a horse began neighing loudly. The farting again, and then the neighing horse. Cars driving on the road sounded like they’d be driving over our tents. Snoring from some of the tents sounded like a constant chain-saw. More farting…did they literally eat cans of beans for dinner? Thank God I wasn’t in that tent! Still more farting and snoring, more people joining into the melody. The horse neighing, and some coughing, and more snoring and farting!
Moisture forming in our 2-man tent. Condensation I was told. Were we not supposed to breathe inside the tent? As I lay there the tent started feeling smaller and smaller. I felt stiff, ears perked, no room to turn. Turning in a two-man tent is not an easy feat. It had to be a synchronised, planned move so that the blow-up mattress, acting like a see-saw, didn’t throw anyone off. One, two, three, TURN! We turned. Relief for a few hours. And then silence as I eventually fell asleep until morning. Very stiff, very sore. So much for camping!
Got any numbers for a hotel?
The hotel was amazing! The hot, powerful shower was orgasmic! I’ve never appreciated a shower and a bed so much!
I conclude that if this is what camping is like on a wet and miserable English weekend, that it can’t be much better any other time of year. A blow-up mattress will still be a blow-up mattress, and the walls of the tent will not get thicker. People will still snore and fart and horses will still neigh. My camping days are truly behind me!
And you won't miss a thing! Receive email updates and resources to help you keep fit and healthy.