I’ve never, ever been attracted to the idea of camping, unlike Michel who has rose-tinted memories of camping on the shores of the Mediterranean under the warm sun of his homeland. Me, my only memories are of being cold, wet, fed-up, uncomfortable, miserable, home-sick and dirty – yes, I’ve only camped in the UK and that was as a child. Actually, I did attempt it a couple of years ago on a swimming holiday, two nights under canvas after spending all day swimming in rivers in a cold and wet Norfolk in August. Again, I can’t say I honestly enjoyed even a moment of it when I was out of the river, in the water I was happy as Larry.
So, quite why I think it’ll be fun to take us all away camping this year is a bit of a mystery even to me. But that’s what we have planned and I’m full of optimism and hope that the girls will love being snuggled up in a tent with us for a couple of nights after spending all day hiking through beautiful British countryside.
I’ve committed us to it now, as I’ve spent this morning (from the comfort of my warm study) choosing and ordering a tent and sleeping bags for our first foray into this new world of outdoor living. I’ve spent a fortune on getting good gear, I don’t want to do this half-heartedly, and have worked on the basis that if I’ve spent a reasonable amount, I’ll be motivated to get us out and using it all this year.
Right now, our first official camping outing will be a big schnauzer-fest that’s being loosely organised on our favourite schnauzer forum
in the Peak District. I hope to combine a bit of outdoor swimming with walking and hope to get the girls in the River Dove with me. I am thinking though that before we head north to the Peaks, we’ll have a few nights more locally as a trial-run. More locally might be as local as our garden, but I know I’ll be fighting the temptation to sneak indoors to climb into bed.
After the Peak District Schnauzer weekend, we’ve also got a swimming-camping weekend lined up in Dorset in June (June weather is nearly always rubbish for me if I plan anything outdoors, so this might challenge my camping resolve).
Quite how we’re going to manage the food side of things whilst camping I haven’t quite pondered. As this is such an important part of our lives, we can’t side-line it otherwise we’ll all be miserable. There’ll be no point in me making sure we’ll be cosy and comfy in our tent, if we have to eat camping scraps of food, no, that won’t do at all. I shall have to set Michel the task of ensuring Susie-Belle (and us) have their usual standards of culinary delights, camping or no camping.