The middle class have ruined camping – here are 31 signs you’re part of the problem


“I’m just going outside and may be some time,” said ‘Titus’ Oates as he heroically sacrificed himself on Scott’s doomed mission to the South Pole in 1912. History doesn’t record the next words spoken, but we’re pretty sure they weren’t: “It’s just that I want to try out my new extendable marshmallow-toasting fork.”

Camping meant something rather different in those days, you see – and, arguably, something rather better. Oates, Baden-Powell and, um, Swampy would all be turning in their graves and/or sodden cotton sleeping bags to see the damage ‘glamping’ has done to the national backbone. Hell, even modern-day mockeries like Bear Grylls would think twice before deploying a multi-armed ’mallow prong.

So here — just in case Oates should be discovered, defrosted, and want to know what the hell has happened to camping in the last century or so — are 31 reasons why he might not like the 21st-century version…

Shoe heaters

These clever little battery-powered devices are perfect for drying out wet footwear overnight. But it’s only the damp that makes our old-style leather walking boots flexible enough to contort our feet into. And a bit of trenchfoot never hurt anyone, right?


Getting lost because your destination was right on the worn fold of the OS map: no fun. Eating the Kendal Mint Cake you’d brought along as ‘emergency rations’ in case you got lost: worth it.


We’ve seen it all — these days you’re not even a glampsite if you haven’t got a four-poster with chandelier swinging gently above — and we like none of it. Repeat after us (think of it as a mantra; that will be an extra £55 per night for our ‘mindfulness package’ please): ‘It’s not camping if you can still move your neck in the morning.’


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