I’m not talking about that cardboard-box-under-the-freeway lifestyle, but the camping thing.
Outside the Army — which is a whole ‘nother sort of camping — and excluding those “tent in the garden” escapades as a child (which I didn’t much care for either), I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually pitched a tent and lived outdoors for longer than overnight.
And on one of those occasions there was a horrendous thunderstorm which caused a miniature flood in the campground, soaking our bedding and all our clothes. We ended up sleeping in the car — as it happens, a 1976 Alfa Romeo sedan, which was never anyone’s idea of spacious.
We left for home at dawn the next day and that evening, three hundred miles away from the campground, my buddy and I scored with a couple of sisters at the bar of the Sunnyside Hotel in Johannesburg (where they were spending the weekend, much more sensible) and bonked our brains out overnight.
And said bonking took place in complete privacy and seclusion in the girls’ hotel room — okay, maybe there wasn’t that much privacy between the four of us — but it’s still better than Doing The Deed under canvas, where a noisy conclusion usually brings a loud round of applause from the other campers (don’t ask me how I know this).
So articles like this one leave me completely unmoved:
Perhaps you’ve been put off by the horrific scenes at airports up and down the country and are thinking: ‘No, I don’t need that.’ Perhaps the cost-of-living crisis is making you question a pricey holiday overseas. Perhaps the sunny weather we’ve been having is an encouragement to stay put here in the UK.
And that’s where camping comes in: easy-going, affordable and, if you follow our guide, you’ll discover there’s still availability for this summer.
…all accompanied by pictures of lush landscapes with no sign of thunderstorms, ants, mosquitoes, sundry rodents, wild beasts or murderers, which are all part of actual camping nowadays. And nary a toilet in sight, of course.
The whole outdoor thing has been much overrated, in my opinion.
I might think about having a small-ish RV to tour around and so on, which could be okay, but that’s not really camping, is it? (More like taking your apartment for a spin in the countryside.)
And you still have to find a toilet somewhere. And forget altogether those bus-sized elephants which look like the things rock bands tour in.
I can hear the catcalls now: “Kim, your idea of roughing it is staying at a Holiday Inn Express.”
Guilty as charged. Your opinions may vary.