Camping's not everyone's cup of tea, and that's OK. While it can be nice to escape from modern life for a few days, these are a few of the worst things about camping, and certainly something to consider before you rush out and buy a tent.
(Don't think I'm being all doom and gloom about this. Check out my list of the five best things about camping.)
- Facilities. We're talking toilets, shower blocks, washing up areas and the like. This one's a bit of a jackpot really - you never know quite what you're getting until you arrive at the campsite. No matter how decent the facilities and how attentive the cleaning staff, you're still sharing a shower and a toilet with potentially hundreds of strangers on a daily basis - if that's not something you like the sound of, camping may not be for you.
- Which brings me on to night time needs. To put it frankly, the possibility of needing to pee in the night makes the idea of taking on any liquids after 6pm unthinkable. If you pitch your tent close to the toilet block, you'll have people walking past at all times of day and night. But, the further from the facilities you set up camp, the longer the potential night time walk in darkness.
- You're not getting and sleep if it's windy. A strong wind can make a tent rustle unbelievably loudly. Add to that the fact that the walls around you are literally moving, and you'll be lying awake crossing your fingers that you hammered in your tent pegs sufficiently, and aren't about to recreate the Wizard of Oz.
- Ditto rain. Pitter patter, pitter patter, all night. Not the sort of noise that's conducive to sleeping. Plus, it'll probably make you need to pee, which brings us back to 2, above.
- Ditto sun. Tents are like greenhouses - a couple of hours in the sun, and they'll retain that heat for the rest of the day and throughout the night, making for an uncomfortable attempt at sleep. Trees are your friend - use them as shelter.