Thursday, April 18, 2024

What Your Camping Loving Friend Doesn’t Tell You!

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There is something enchanting about the idea of a camping holiday: Fresh air, ‘free‘ days, nature, tales around the camp fire, no wi-fi, waking to the sound of birds singing sweetly.  

Now not being one to burst anyone’s camping bubble buuuuuutttttttt let’s just say Murphy’s Law is always in effect on a camping trip – what CAN go wrong WILL go wrong,  factor in 4 kids and it’s a recipe for disaster.


‘Just think, its a cheap holiday…….once you have all the stuff you can go whenever you like’.  

Weirdly I found myself easily persuaded and totally convinced my ‘discovery channel’ loving hubbie would be able to pitch our tent like he was born in the wilderness.  How hard could it be?

The kids couldn’t wait, their excitement was catching.  In my head idyllic visions bounced around, playing games (without arguing), toasting marshmallows, BBQ’s, warm evenings drink in hand.  I couldn’t deny it, camping was looking good.

My excitement nose-dived momentarily when I drained our bank account of all funds purchasing the ‘outdoor fundamentals’ required………….never to be used! (let it go Sharon).



With bank funds drained I put all the ‘what have you done’ thoughts to the back of my mind,  even laughing when I considered how it might actually have been cheaper (and better) to jet off somewhere hot.

I had to remain positive.  After all we had all the camping ‘stuff’ so would be able to enjoy cheap holidays for years to come.

Convincing myself  I reminded myself:

  • camping will be fun.
  • we will be able to go anytime throughout the year ’cause we have all the ‘stuff’.
  • it will be soooooo cheap.
  • no need to waste money going abroad ever again! (clearly deranged at this point!)

Photos like these would be replaced with ‘Camping is fun’ photos.



Squashing things into the car is the norm with us, without boasting it’s something we’re pretty good at.  Or so I thought until we decided to move home go camping.

Like an intelligence test from the Krypton factor – how to get 6 people and half your house in a car, it was safe to say we were challenged.  Hours later and with all hands and arses on boot we got it shut, we were ready.

Ignoring yells of “I’m squashed, I can’t see out” we set off.  Seconds after the back wheel left the drive it was into second gear and the shrills of “how long will it take?”started on repeat, along with the back seat arguments.

All I could do was sit praying we had packed everything we needed.

Even when a bird shit on my husband’s arm en-route we saw it as nothing more than a lucky omen.


Realising very soon hubbie was no Bear Grylls, we spent hours scratching our heads wondering what pole went where.  Finally admitting defeat we asked the kids for help and within no time our canvas hotel was up.

I couldn’t help but think how small our ‘6 man’ tent looked,  it was way smaller than I’d imagined.  Standing back I wondered how the frigging hell we were all going to fit in the bloody thing.

Clearly, ours had been modelled on the size of 6 Gingerbread men.

Nestled between other proper looking tents ours looked more like a dressing room.  Thankfully we only had to sleep in it after all we were camping, we would be living outdoors enjoying the British sun…….ha ha ha how foolish were we!

That thought is a mere starting pistol for the rain to start.

It was dinner in the car and nights huddled round in a smelly canvas hellhole trying to keep dry.  What FUN camping is.



  • The campsite will bear no resemblance in any shape or form to the one you have in your head.  You will spend the next week convincing yourself, it’s not too bad, at least you didn’t spend a fortune!
  • A ‘6-man’ tent is NOT for 6 men.
  • Camping is NOT a holiday.
  • Camping with 4 kids =nightmare.
  • The sun will be shining as you leave home with rain hot on its heels.
  • You will have tent envy.
  • Time will be wasted every day searching for that one item you need ie. toothbrush.
  • The showers will stop working the minute you put shampoo in your hair.
  • Waterproof tent my arse!
  • There is no such thing as a good night’s sleep.  You will go to bed teeth chattering and wake up melting in an inferno.


  • It will rain and you will get wet, VERY wet inside your waterproof tent.
  • You will be more concerned with keeping yourself warm and the tent dry than you will with doing your make up let alone doing your hair.  You will look shit and not care!
  • Wondering why people pitch up to the ‘no electricity’ pitch.
  • Sitting round campfires, playing guitars & toasting marshmallows only happens in the movies.  Our sites NEVER allowed campfires!
  • Who knew nights could be sooooooo long.
  • The kids will love the great outdoors until day 2 , then they will want to do something fun!
  • You will hear ‘things’ at night and remind yourself the Blair Witch project was only a film.
  • Wrapping yourself up like a mummy to an inch of your life praying no bug will squeeze its hairy arse in.
  • You will never run out of things that can go wrong.
  • You will walk around with a fixed campers grin of ‘I love camping’ knowing tomorrow is one day nearer to going home.IMG_2370


  • Limiting your drinks after dark for fear of waking up needing the toilet.
  • There’s more chance of inserting your housekey in a door in the pitch black whilst completely rat-arsed first time then you will finding the zipper at night to get out of the tent for the toilet.
  • You will spend hours in the prison queue just so you can wash your plates and cups while the person behind mimics the clock from Countdown!
  • Dinner will become a concoction of anything goes.   Thank god for King Size Pot Noodles.
  • You will ‘nap’ on a plump, inflated mattress and wake up on the hard ground, mattress deflated rolling around like a weeble wobble trying to get up.
  • You will suffer with a bad back.
  • Your kids will wake up desperate for a wee, your husband will be unable to open the zipper so will get cross, turn green, let out a roar and rip the tent apart to get out (oh just my husband then!).
  • You will go home early (or maybe that’s just us!)
  • Bin tent on way out.

The final straw in the canvas tent’s arse was when rolling up the tent to go home in torrential rain: We had forgotten to remove the car keys from within!    

After braving it twice we unanimously agreed (a first for us!) camping was not our kind of holiday.  

From here on in, it’s long queues, franctic searching for passports, carousels and planes for us and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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This post was first published here. For more from Everyone’s Buck Stops Here click on the the image below or any of the recent posts. Go on. You know you want to…

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