And whilst I may be a convert, I'm certainly not evangelical - you won't (yet) catch me signing up for two weeks in the wild or even a weekend on a site that has a compost toilet and no showers. Having recently read a blog that made me vomit in my mouth a little bit thanks to its earnestness ("you really must buy merino under layers for your children"), I thought I'd bust some myths and reveal the truth (ok my truth) when it comes to camping.
Camping is cheap.This is a LIE. Unless you're camping in your back garden and subsisting on tap water, foraged
|A money pit with a view...|
Camping is easy.
|The 'lap of crap'|
Then try to put up a tent. Together. My husband's tactic was to first put the tent up with one of his friends, which meant that when we went camping as a family I had no idea what was required. The same went for when we had to take the damn thing down and pack it back into its slightly-too-small bag. It was one of the least laid back holidays we have ever had. On the plus side, it has probably worked wonders for our marriage as several trips later we are expert in the art of tongue biting and compromise.
Camping is great for kids.
|Now *that's* a family walk|
*Under no circumstances say to your children "Why don't you go off and make some new friends?" It's like one of your friends pointing out a group of mums on the playground and saying the same thing to you. These things just need to be left to happen.
Camping is about getting back to nature.
|Oh - deer!|
On the other hand, the sites we have selected always have 'facilities' which have ranged from club houses, pubs and play parks, to swimming pools and shower blocks that come with hairdryers. We have also had day trips to water parks and been out for a curry during one of our recent breaks. Hardly Bear Grylls (but then even he has been known to stay in a hotel...)
Camping is healthy.Given the diet of the average camper seems to consist largely of barbecued meat and alcohol, I'm putting this down as a LIE. No nuts and berries here my friends.
Camping is fun.
|The sound of a tent being unzipped at midnight.|
Photo (c) www.vulcantothesky.org
Aside from the fact that your children will argue no matter where you take them on holiday (or how you holiday), that you will always forget something crucial (but never the beer), that other families never seem to be having the sense of humour failure that yours is (until you hear another dad shout "we ARE NOT having another day like yesterday!), and that any sound in the middle of the night is equivalent to the Vulcan Bomber flying overhead, this is absolutely TRUE. We'll be going again soon.
Like this? You might like my book - Reasons to be Cheerful, Part One - find it on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/JZKTmY