Much of my teenage years were spent tying myself in knots and desperately trying to stay away from the edges of a tent. Now I’m not describing an awful family holiday but rather my time spent as a guide.
Every week I would walk down to the local community hall to meet up with my friends and spend an hour and a half having fun, chatting and working my way towards whatever badge happened to be on the agenda that week.
Now, most of the badges I sailed through – agility; not a problem; friend to animals, easy with 2 cats and swimming, not difficult considering I am sure I am part Dolphin. But the badges I struggled the most with were knots and camping. The thought of camping in a small tent with, possibly, up to five other girls did not fill me with glee. I would much rather the leaders had looked for the adverts that said “Kent Marquee hire” rather than “damp old tent purchase”
As you can probably tell camping is not my thing. However, having a party in a marquee with music and good food is definitely more my style. Perhaps a marquee like you can find on http://www.2intents.co.uk/. Certainly not the khaki green 6 man tent I was presented with on pack holiday.
There were parts of camping I enjoyed – the campfire and toasting marshmallows, cooking breakfast on the fire in the morning, all of the activities like rafting, orienteering, and team building. And sitting outside the tent as the sun went down with a hot chocolate in my hand was pretty magical. But once the weather turned the whole adventure went from idyllic to a nightmare. Gone were the chances to sit outside with a good book feeling the warmth of the evening sun and instead we were faced with soggy shoes, fighting over the driest seat by the fire and the constant reminders of do not touch the inside of the tent when it is wet because water would leak in!
Trying to light a wet campfire is no fun either. These suggestions on the Great Outdoors forum would have been very handy at the time. But as it was I just had to try and find more dry wood to replace the saturated ones and start a fire. Everyone’s mood dipped when the weather turned as well and the singing around the fire at night definitely lost some of its sparks. Still, one of the guides motto’s is ‘to always be prepared’.