Monday, 14 March 2011

Carry On Camping

Excuse the pun but you're either in one of two 'camps'...

You either love camping or you hate camping.

Me? I love camping but sadly I married a man who hates it.

Mini Cheddar loves getting her indoor tent out and setting up camp in the living room.  I'd love to take her camping.  I mentioned this to my husband the other night and I was fixed with a rather icy stare - the kind many of us women have taken years to perfect.

"Why do you hate camping so much? Have you ever actually been?" I asked.

"Yes, I did it when I was younger with Scouts".

Hardly reason to hate it is it?  One bad experience when he was younger and he's off it for life.  Pah! Then he says "Anyway, you're the one who should hate it, remember what happened last time you went?"

Ah yes!  I'm suddenly reminded of my last experience of camping and I snigger to myself.  I only went for one night but was home by 8am the very next morning.  "Had a fall out with your friends have we?" my husband said upon my return.

"No" I yawned.  I then filled him in on what had happened...

Picture this, a lovely warm sunny Saturday morning in early August 2006.  3 close friends in a car full of tents, barbeques and booze cruising along the A55 heading to the North Wales coast.  We arrive at a campsite just the other side of Caernarfon so only an hour or so from home but it's just nice to get away. Considering we were only going for the night (and there was only 3 of us) we certainly didn't travel light:

How all 3 of us managed to get in I'll never know!
1 x 4 man tent
1 x 2 man tent
3 chairs
1 gazebo
1 windbreak
1 table
1 barbeque
3 double duvets
3 pillows
Food and snacks

Just look at that tranquil scene

We found the perfect pitch over-looking the sea. It was beautiful. Although, at the time, we couldn't quite figure out why everyone else chose to camp further in-land.  All the happy campers watched as we spent hours setting up out little camp.

Afterwards we chilled out, admiring the sea view, stuffing our faces with fresh barbecued food and drinking some vino.  It was perfect!

The weather was lovely and warm and we were loving just being together and having some giggles.

This was the view from our little camp

We watched a beautiful sunset and drank to good times, good friendship and laughter.

Around about midnight the wind started to pick up a little.  We thought nothing of it.

Later on we decided to call it a night.  I was sharing the 4 man tent with the youngest of our gang whilst our other friend had the 2 man tent to herself.  The wind started getting stronger and stronger.

Within probably 30 minutes of us all turning in for the night the wind was really hammering the tents.  I started to get a bit scared.

Although I was sharing a tent we were in separate 'bedrooms'.  Next thing my phone bleeps with a new text.  It's a text from my friend I'm sharing the tent with.

"Heath?  Are you awake?"

"YES!" I quickly text back.

We both unzip our compartments and meet in the middle. By this time the wind is really trying to lift the tent.  We stick our heads out to check on the other tent which is taking a real hammering in the gale. We can just about hear our friend snoring. We both start laughing about how she must be able to sleep through anything.  After a while my phone bleeps again.  It's a text from our snoring friend.

"I'm scared".

We look out to see her tent almost being blown away so she makes a dart for our tent.  The 3 of us are sat huddled together in the darkness.  The wind is getting stronger and stronger.

Then our tent starts to collapse.

Just then we hear voices outside.  Two women have run down to our camp and are screaming at us to get out of the tent.

"Just get in your car and drive!" They both shout in.  Seriously, looking back it was like they were auditioning for a blockbuster disaster movie!

We bundle ourselves into my car just as the tent poles are about to hit it.  I drive into the centre of the campsite away from the sea edge.

We all breathe a sigh of relief and wait until sunrise.  All I can remember is the wind dying down and us sat in my car passing the time by flashing my headlights at lots of rabbits jumping around the field.

RIP gazebo
At about 5.30am it's light enough for us to go and inspect the damage.

Both tents are half collapsed but it was our precious gazebo that took the most hammering.

We try as quietly as we can to pack up our things without waking the rest of the campsite who have managed to survive what my friends and I have affectionately nicknamed 'Hurricane Myfanwy'.  Bastards!  The contented campers - not my friends.

I ask myself, why exactly do I want to go camping again?


alysonsblog said...

see THIS is why I HATE camping.. case closed

Claire said...

We like going to the Wigwams. We took our two dogs there about two years ago and loved it. It's like camping but with a little bit more heat and you don't have to pitch a tent (which I can't do anyway!)

Joy said...

Oh my, what an adventure! I don't often go camping as I worry too much about things like showers and toilets, but whenever I do go, it always turns out to be a lot of fun. I know your last camping trip was a bit hairy, but still, you went home with a great story to tell, didn't you? :)

The syders said...

Lol...OMG, talk about living life on the edge! What an hilarious story although I bet you shat yourself at the time!

Anonymous said...

When we used to sell at agricultural shows we used to camp but had the organisation of it down to a fine art. Recently went on a canal boat with three grandchildren. My idea of heaven and my husband's idea of hell!

The Dotterel said...

After that story I certainly know which camp I'm in... and I quite like sleeping under canvas!

Liska said...


Adrenalynn said...

Yes, why DO you ever want to go camping again?! I can't stand camping, it's too... outdoorsy. I prefer my comfy, dry bed and a little less breeze, thank you.

Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...

Its the total opposite in my house. I hate it and he loves it. Every once in a while Ill go but most times I send him off with the kids. I hope that next time you have a better experience.

Lauren "Real Housewife" said...

Nightmare! I can't believe the amount of stuff you took for one night! ha!

I am an odd one though because I am in both camps, there are certain things I like about camping, and certain things I hate about camping.
Toilets-I hate. I just cannot 'go'. I shower because I have to but constantly feel like I'm being watched.

We went to France camping last year and it was fantastic. We drove there (obviously) and it was a really hot day, weather was touch and go whilst we were there and we all got bitten my horrid evil mosquitos (except for Charles thankfully!) but I managed to pick up 2 beautiful Maxi dresses and the town we were staying in was amazing and so quiet. Although we very nearly didn't make it home, our car starting making a horrible noise only 2 hours into our 6 hour journey from the camp site to the Channel Tunnel (then had a 5 hour journey from the Tunnel to home)! Thankfully we *just* got back, if the journey was any longer we'd have been in major trouble.

We have a particular place we like to camp on the North Norfolk coast, one year they were full so we went to their "sister site". It was disgusting. Tent pitches were so cramped. Facilities were poor, we went home a day early and on that last day found the showers!....they were in a disgusting state. Poo everywhere, yes poo in the showers. We will never visit there again!

I'm So Fancy said...

there's a problem with your packing list. Alcohol goes first.

Anonymous said...

There is no way that 'fun' and 'camping' should ever go in the same sentence!
Hubby is planning a trip with the boys and kids . . . no wives thank god!

Jenny said...

This reminds me why I totally was in the camp that hated camping. ha!

Love your story here. It sounds so much funnier when it happens to someone else, but I think when you're in the circumstance there is absolutely no humor. I think most of my camping was humorless. Much if it being done with my parents who actually put rugs and a pan of water outside the tent to keep it clean inside. You can imagine how relaxing those times were - NOT!

Anyway, thanks for the smile and GOOD MORNING!

Emma said...

Love the picture of the car, that's hilarious! :) Emma

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I really really would not like this! Give me a nice hotel room any day...

kevin said...

Fun fun fun! I really love this place and always mentioning this to my scout master when we met. When I'm a scout my scout master always told me to do the things better in scouting that's why I really admired him. So that's why when I go outdoor with my friends I always not to forget bringing my camping gear and a tents. Thanks scout master


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