Camping Anyone?

camp camping environment forest
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Now let’s be clear, camping is not for everyone.

Indeed, it wasn’t for me for the first 45 years of my life until that wretched thing called love got in the way. You know how when you’re truly smitten with someone you’ll do anything just to be with them? Hang gliding, parachute jumping, ironing their pants? Well, camping was in that category for me.

After a month of camping on my own around France (yes, I shall be bringing out that ol’ chestnut for many months to come), I became a bit of a good camper. I can get my tent up and down in a nanosecond without breaking a fingernail, can make fabulous meals on what is effectively a Bunsen Burner but with only a fraction of the gas (particularly after I broke it) and finally, can manage to ensure that standards prevail at all times in terms of cleanliness (the entire range from Clinique was hidden in the base of one pannier – a necessity but somewhat heavy). So yes, I can now proudly say that I am indeed a jolly good camper.

However, yesterday I went one step further and the Colonel and I visited the Caravan and Motor Home Show at the NEC in Birmingham. (For those not living in England, in terms of size, the NEC is like a dozen aircraft hangars all stuck together i.e. VAST).

Now I know, for a middle class lassie like me, this is not really the done thing. It’s certainly a far cry from the twinset and pearl brigade. And I will confess that it is full of sock and sandal wearers with practicality rather than aesthetics at the forefront of their minds. It is akin to being stuck in a giant IKEA with groups of anorak-wearers. And yet here I am, rebelling slightly by wearing a sassy little skirt and my fabulous Gant boots but loving every minute of it.

I have discussed and bonded with complete strangers over storage capacity within caravans, have talked and listened at length about tents, floor mats and cooking implements, and have lain down sniggering beside the Colonel on many a double bed in the Motor Homes, to see if indeed we can both fit in. (For those interested, the answer is yes, but any ‘whoo hoo’ would be fairly limited without serious injury i.e. falling out or knocking oneself out.)

So a wonderful day was had by all, with packed sandwiches in the Colonel’s very practical military backpack at lunchtime and despite having a couple of collisions with two motorised wheelchairs, I came away with perhaps not an upgrade to our current tent, but certainly with even more enthusiasm for spending more time in the great outdoors.

I will never go down the route of socks with sandals, but perhaps I shall find a backpack of my own. Perhaps something in a fantastically zingy colour and fabric other than the dreary black or camo in canvas, and fill it with a more practical, smaller and therefore lighter travel version of the Clinique range. Fabulous! I have found my inner troglodyte, but one with class!

Katie xx

Are you an outside or an inside sort of person? Indeed, have you gone camping?

Ps Apologies to all sock and sandal wearers …

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32 thoughts on “Camping Anyone?”

      1. As you gathered, even ‘glamping’ is not for me.

        That said. The idea of wild-camping alone does appeal. The thought of sharing a field and washing facilities with a bunch of strangers and their rugrats doesn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ahhh so you might not have enjoyed the time I had to share the washing facilities in the pouring rain with three drunk men … that was an experience – I eventually had to shoo them all out after they tried to wash their feet in the ladies basins …. 😫😫

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  1. Hahahahaha I love this!!! And the stuff we do for love – I’d actually do the socks and sandals combo if hubby asked me to. Honestly. 🙂 But I’m very glad it hasn’t come to that for either of us.

    As a Swede I’m from a nation that worships nature and the outdoors and no wonder with all those forests we have and endless wild, unspoilt nature! So being outdoorsy is sort of a built-in thing but it’s disappeared a little over the 24 years I’ve lived in Britain. You don’t have the same access to nature, it takes a bit more organising I think, partly due to the lack of the Swedish “Allemansrätten” – this basically translates as “every man’s right” and applies to ALL land, including private: you can set up camp anywhere you want so long as you don’t damage anything. If on private land you can only stay in one spot for one night, but you get the idea. It means everyone can go anywhere they please and cuts out the camp sites (and cost) etc if all you have is a tent and a wish to camp out in the woods.

    I’m probably just making excuses, actually….. It’s at my fingertips twice a year when we’re in Sweden, and yet it’s my husband who goes off with my brothers to sleep in a tent in MINUS 20 DEGREES AND SNOW (yes, we do this). And it’s hubby who tells me about those magical things I experienced way back when, when I was a standard nature mad, happy camper Swede: like snuggling into your fit-for-minus-30 sleeping back in a military tent with a fire going in the middle as you listen to the lake “sing”. It’s when it’s frozen and the ice shifts – it’s a beautiful sound, almost like a roar but not menacing.

    I’m thinking I need to rediscover my love of the outdoors beyond running in the park!

    x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. MINUS 20?!?!? Good God! I am most definitely a fair weather camper in that case. I’d have to take hot water bottles and live in a 100 tog duvet onesie! I love the idea of Allemansratten… perhaps it works so well because Swedes have good respect for people and places. When I see our litter problem here, I question whether us brits could be trusted. I don’t know, perhaps I’m being a little harsh. Litter really bothers me! Oh dear I’m getting on my soap box again … 😫. I did reach the point a few times in France when I was very close to having to wild camp, but the thought of axe murderers and the infamous wild boar made me hold off …! Xxx

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  2. I have been camping just twice in my (nearly) six decades – the first was when in my teens and my mother conscripted us all to a week in the Lake District – I simply refused to use the rather scant communal washing facilities so, as you can imagine, I was pretty ripe come the end of six days in the great outdoors.

    I should have learned my lesson then but no – many years later I was persuaded by some friends to go camping in France – we rocked up to the campsite which was on the edge of a lake and couldn’t understand why all the other tents were way back from the water’s edge in the trees, leaving all the lovely wide open space by the water. We set our tents there, feeling rather smug at all the others who were cramped together. Come nightfall we discovered why everyone else was way back – it was bull-frog mating season and we at the water’s edge got the full range of the thousands of frogs as they made their mating calls – I cannot actually articulate just how loud this sex-laden symphony sounded! Needless to say we moved our tent the very next day!

    Camping? You can keep it!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ha!! That’s hilarious! Oh my goodness! But yes, some shower blocks are absolutely disgusting. I wanted many many times to take in my own bottle of Cif and and scrubbing brush and give them a darn good clean! Urghhh!

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  3. You make me laugh, camping is good if it is on a site with shower and toilet facilities a must for me. Why the socks? I prefer to just wear sandals with no socks. The idea of camping in a caravan is more appealing. Enjoy yout newly created life have fun.

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    1. Yes the caravans were amazing. Like a home away from home with proper heating and cookers and fridges and curtains on the windows … with a few of my cushions, rugs and books cluttering up the place, they would have been perfect!

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  4. I haven’t gone camping in literal decades at this point, but I’m overall open to the concept. The biggest challenge, for me, is bugs. But, barring that, I think it could be feasible. In fact, hubs and I have talked about trying it sometime, or at least doing more regular road trips. And, of course, some farther journeys, because I’d love to see a whole lot more of the world (including England! 🙂 )

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    1. Yes, bugs can be a bore! Luckily we don’t have anything too scary here, it’s probably too cold for them! England is absolutely lovely with some incredibly beautiful areas, but it can be wet and pretty miserable in winter so if you are going to go, make sure it’s summertime!! Xx

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      1. I actually prefer wet and dreary. I fell in love with it in college when I moved to Seattle. Too much sun makes me want to hide, which is strange, really, since I’ve lived in Southern California for most of my life.

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  5. Much to my teenage daughter’s embarrassment, 2018 was my backpack year. I decided to fill her old school bag with all my tat then walk around proudly with it everywhere. I have since gone girly again in the last 2 weeks, so it is back in the loft feeling lonely, but boy did I enjoy being frumpy for a while! I cannot fathom the whole socks and sandals thing though. Surely if one feels the urge to wear sandals, it’s because they are wanting to air their toes? Then why cover them up again? Noo, that’s too Darby and Joan for me, even if I have got one of those grannie trollies. My Hilda (yes, you’re not the only one who names their wheely possessions) has been my trusty friend for many a year. I am mainly an indoor person I think. Especially in the winter when I cannot stand the feel of wet leaves under my feet. And in the dark how can one tell if it’s a leaf or dog poo? I am the crazy lady who walks in the middle of the road when it’s dark outside. Afterall, who’s ever seen a canine poo off the pavement? And I don’t like driving in the dark either. I can’t see as well as in the day time. Obvious fact I know, but it perturbs me greatly. I love being out in the summer though, because we don’t get enough of it in England, so I try to make the most of it when it is warm.** Camping in Australia, no. too many bugs on the ground. Camping in California, yes. Camping in the UK, no. Too much rain. Overall, I’m an insider who loves my fairy lights and sofa blanket 🙂

    ** never been to these places – just using my imagination.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahh dog poo! Why, why, why do people not clear it up? I loathe it! And I don’t blame you for walking in the road to avoid it … I hope you’re avoiding the cars too tho’! I won’t do camping in the uk … it’s far too cold and wet and bugs are problematic … when I was in France I managed to get a grasshopper in my tent! Honestly it was hours of squealing entertainment trying to get this darn hoppy Lille creature out of my tent! Xx

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      1. Oh no! I don’t think I’ve even seen one – only heard them squeaking about. That must have been ‘fun’. I never thought about avoiding the cars. They drive so crazy round here, that staying on the pavement doesn’t make much difference to my chances of coming into physical contact with them. xx

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  6. I love camping! But only as long as I am in a van or motor home with my own bed and a heater if needs be. Then I can cope with whatever the weather might be doing outside and even brave it at some point. I also love cycling…but these days only do pottering . But family camping holidays cannot be beaten! Simply fabulous times are had by all and lots of adventures always occur. Really enjoyed your post and will look to read more. Fiona

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    1. Aww thanks for reading Fiona. We have an annual camping holiday which honestly is hard to beat … I think it’s the simplicity of it all. I do think however that when we return to the UK and have a permanent base we’ll be getting a caravan! We’re completely ‘sad’ and go to the Caravanning shows at the NEC and also the ones in Glasgow where we were recently living! We love them! I’m totally with you about having a heater though … being cold is miserable! Many thanks for reading. Katie

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