Monday, 11 June 2012

Pros and Cons of Camping

We are a family who camp alot. When I talk in the playground about the fact that we are going camping, some mums look at me in horror and tell me that they could 'never' camp. I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of camping (don't tell my husband....he thinks I'm growing in my appreciation for being outdoors, but really I'm still an indoor girl at heart), but if it is a camping holiday or no holiday at all, I'll opt for the camping one! So, for those of you who have never camped before, and for those who want a giggle and can relate to my experiences, here is my rundown of the positives and negatives:

Negatives (let's do the bad news first)

1. It doesn't matter whether you are going for one night or two whole weeks, you still have to take the same amount of gear. And it's alot.

2. If you happen to have an airbed with a hole in it (like me this weekend), you won't find out until halfway through the night when you wake up and your body has sunk to the hard, lumpy floor. This is not a pleasant discovery because, unless you want to scramble out of bed and pump it back up again, you are stuck with it for the rest of the night.

3. If it rains or is very windy (as it was when we were putting up our tent last Friday) there is more potential for marital discord. And that has been described politely. I will say no more on that matter.

4. It is very cold at night, and you can't wear your usual bedtime clothes. Wrapping up like the michelin man is the best option. I had 5 layers on last Saturday night. I could not move, but I wasn't cold.

5. If someone in a tent close by happens to snore, it sounds like it is coming from right inside your own tent. Or perhaps it was.

6. The toilet facilities are not 5 steps away, so when your little boy needs a poo and leaves it until the very last minute because he is having too much fun playing, the consequences are not in any way pleasant. Especially when he tries to 'sort it out' himself and doesn't tell you until afterwards.

7. The washing created is quite mountainous. 3 loads so far this morning and more to come. But perhaps that is just my family, and possibly caused by point 6.

Positives (let's hope I can find enough to outweigh the negatives)

1. There are no screens so those of us mothers who experience the 'screen guilt' can be free of it.

2. The children can play outside and have space to run free.

3. The friends who you may go camping with see you at your worst, and still want to be your friends (hopefully).

4. You do not have to wear nice clothes, do your hair (I didn't even brush mine all weekend... Ssshhhh) or wear make up. In fact, you can be as slovenly as you like because you have a great excuse.

5. You can overhear extremely interesting conversations in the tents nearby at night when everyone is supposed to be sleeping (Now that has worried a few of you...).

6. You always become more hungry when camping, which is the perfect excuse to eat cakes, biscuits and other such foods that will fill you up.

7. When the children are off playing in the fresh air, you can sit still, chat to friends, read your book or anything else that takes your fancy. Some with smaller children are yet to experience that pleasure, but it will come, I promise. There were times over the weekend when I did not see my boys for hours.

8. The children become so exhausted from the fresh air and late nights, that they sleep better than ever before.

9. The sun and wind give you a fantastic sun tan.

10. Boys do not wee all over my toilet - they can run to the nearest bush and wee all over that instead.

There are plenty more I am sure. So, for those of you who have never camped before - don't knock it until you have tried it. You might be surprised!

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