Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Camping? at my age??

Camping is something I haven't really tried - certainly not since my age ran into double digits.

I once, as a child, attempted sleeping out on the back lawn in an old tent - got woken by thunder and ended up sleeping indoors!

My parents, who'd been enthusiastic campers back in the 1950s, decided we've give it a go as a family one year - but I mainly remember abandoning the tent and checking into B+Bs because of the rain!

BUT ... this year is supposed to be about trying new things, accepting a challenge or two, and stepping out of my comfort zone, so ... how about trying a night or two under canvas (or whatever the modern equivalent is)?

A Curious Arts Festival, Pylewell Park
Through OurBookReviews I've been offered the chance to go to A Curious Arts Festival at Pylewell Park in the New Forest. It's part literary event, part music festival but a safe, sedate music festival, one that surely will be ok for a novice camper like myself. Anyway, I started looking at the various camping options available - bring your own, hire a basic tent or choose a luxurious bell tent fully equipped with camp beds, bedding, and carpets - and was seriously tempted by the 'glamping' option, but a niggling voice was still saying 'what about queues for toilets and showers?', 'how comfortable will that bed really be?', and 'how about looking for a nice B+B?'. At this point I was beginning to question the whole idea of camping; I like my comfy bed to sleep in, a hot shower in the morning and breakfast prepared for me. A B+B was starting to look tempting ...

Then instead of the downside, we started to think of the advantages of camping at the festival itself -
there'll be three of us going, different ages, different interests, so it's unlikely we'll all be going to the same events. Staying on site means some of us can sleep in in the morning while enthusiastic ones start the day early, rather than all having to be up and leaving a B+B at the same time. During the day, 'back at the tent' is an easy way of making sure we know where we're supposed to meet up. and with the door partially closed, the dog can have a little freedom from his lead, and peace and quiet for a snooze - and so can his people. In the evening, if not all of us want to stay up for the live music or the DJ sets which follow, or the late night organised bat walk, then sleepy ones can head to the tent, and, of course, there are no worries about drinking and driving.

Actually, I was beginning to see the sense of choosing to camp.

checking out his new home
Well, we've been out and bought a cheap tent - this way there are no worries about the dog traipsing in with muddy feet or ripping a groundsheet with his claws - and we already have a lot of necessary things, such as the inflatable beds usually reserved for visitors, so we're ready for the weekend! 

The weather forecast looks good, though thankfully not as hot as today. We've conducted a trial run of putting up the tent which was easier than expected, and Dylan the dog checked it out and seems to approve. I'm not sure how comfortable the bed will be, or how long the queue for the toilets in the morning, or even if we'll be plagued by insects inside the tent ... maybe I'll wish I'd chosen the safe option of a B+B but I'm going to give camping a try, if only for a couple of nights.

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