Friday, 24 August 2012

"Making tents just like home spoils the fun"

An in-tents experience

Camping is not about yearning for emails and EastEnders and electric light; it is a game

Too many of us have become disconnected from life and caught up on the hedonistic treadmill.  And it's not making us happy.  Camping, proper camping, and even for short periods, puts you back on an even keel and rebalances perspectives and priorities.  

How many of us live in centrally heated houses with fresh running water and electricity freely available regardless of hour or season?  Light when you want it, warmth when you want it.  At the flick of a switch.  

How many of us can eat whatever we like, whenever we like, regardless of season?  

How often do we get into our climate controlled cars from our cocooned houses to go to work to buy things we don't really need?  Yet we only know what time of day or time of year it is from our watches or calendars, or know what we need to buy because someone else tells us so.

In other words, life has become too easy and too comfortable, and we work far too hard.  It's so easy to lose your way and not even realise.  

Can you remember the last time you felt the sheer joy of seeing the first spring buds appear?  The first rains?  The first walk in the snow?  The relief of finally snuggling into a toasty bed with a hot water bottle on your feet, whilst knowing that, in a few hours, you'll be able to see your breath in the frosty morning? The delight of the broad beans and peas finally coming into season (and the turnips and swedes going)? In other words, to feel life, to really, really feel it.  To live it, to become part of it, working in harmony with it, through the highs and the lows.

Camping may not always be easy, and at times you will cry through frustration, fear or fatigue.  But you will laugh too, and your heart will soar.  Time and time again.

This, for me, is what camping brings.  Make it too comfortable and you're recreating that plateaux of sensation once more.  Mediocre highs, mediocre lows.  Give me the soaring highs any day.  

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