…and please never use it in my presence.
My friends are like me who enjoy the urban lifestyle. So mid-sip of champagne, when they invite me to go camping, I almost always choke.
But ‘you are not a Birkenstock hippy so why this desire to sh@@ in the woods?’
They tell me it’s the feeling of freedom, it’s the stars hung so low in a clear sky that you can reach up and grab them. They tell me the wine tastes better with friends around a campfire. They tell me it’s a feeling you can’t beat. They say once I try it, I will love it.
It’s addictive, they say.
Hogwash, I say.
If you are like me, then please don’t believe them. You are either a camper or your are not. Its not something thats going to magically appeal to you once you toast your first marshmallow.
I fell victim to camping. It was quiet possibly the most boring experience of my life not to mention the acute discomfort of it all. I went Glamping. A solid wooden cabin with locks on doors, electricity, power sockets, curtains, heater and….free wifi! Clean built up bathrooms, two fat stray cats and strawberries with chocolate.
My shoes and mouth were full of grit, my nose full of woodsmoke, my clothes dusty and sitting around a campfire is appealing only for so long. I started to panic when I realised it was only 9pm and day break was far, far. far away.
Day break when we could pack all our frikking paraphernalia and drive home. Paraphernalia of food, coffee, water, bug spray, torches, candles, cutlery, bedding, toiletries, hand towels, hand sanitisers and cooking pots. A lot of it and very heavy.
This bit is grossly un-necessary and should be provided by campsites as a service. Someone to source, carry and set it up.
But the whole exercise is pointless, so who am I to nit-pick.
As the sun set it started to get cold (California desert temperatures) so ofcourse I had to go to the bathroom a lot. Bathrooms are a novice campers biggest fears. But this was glamping so it came with a clean and brightly lit bathroom. But instead of being attached to my log cabin it was communal and stood on the edge of the pitch black country park woods.
It looked like a leering Halloween jackolantern .
Add to this the screeching animal sounds in stereo. Sounds that would muffle my cry of help when the serial killer lurking in the woods would leap out and slash my throat, mid p**.
My husband who was on bathroom duty all night long did try and make it magical by pointing out the BIG FAT low hung stars and the Milky Way. But I snapped at him. It was too cold, and having escaped the serial killer while in the bathroom I didn’t want to tempt him by dawdling around in the dark staring at stars !
On hindsight a swift slash across my throat would have been welcome relief.
The air-mattress was uncomfortable and at daybreak, my sister and husband knew I was at the end of my tether..and without further ado packed up and we headed home.
Home- where the outdoors stays where it should, OUTSIDE, with me comfortably inside.
My Top Tips for a ‘Camp’ like experiance: have a hotel arrange it for you. Where someone else does the work. You show up, as you would to a party. And when you have had enough you retire to your 5 star room with an ensuite bathroom and free wifi. I wouldn’t mind a glass ceiling so you can look at the night sky as you fall asleep. Now that I think would be awesome!
However if you want to experience what I experienced then please visit http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/parks/Camping/heise.html They didn’t pay me for this plug, but I do think you would enjoy it.