Carry On Camping (Part 1)

Or “Five men trying to prove to their wives that they can organise a piss-up in a brewery”

CampingSo it was back in January when a family friend sent me a text message inviting me and my two children to a “Dads, Lads and Lasses Camping Trip (no mums)” in the New Forest planned for early June. At the time ‘Flaming June’ was a long way off and the idea of a sun-drenched relaxing long weekend in the New Forest was quite appealing. Perhaps it would be like the film City Slickers I thought – a group of urban dwellers, herding kids not cattle, bonding and getting back to nature (but without Curly dying mid-trip).

The Planning Committee (the Dads) have had two meetings. The first started in the pub, moved swiftly to a curry house and ended up at the organiser’s house (after we’d purchased several six-packs from the local supermarket). Sadly nobody took minutes so any plans that were made got largely lost in an alcoholic haze. Thankfully at least one member of the committee remembered that he had been asked to book an adventure park near the camp-site so archery, ropes and canoeing are all arranged.

The second meeting was held in a pub but was far more productive (i.e. it was conducted at the beginning of the evening not the end!) and notes were taken. We agreed a departure time, a loose plan for the purchase of food whilst away and that some of us would take part in the local parkrun on the Saturday we are there.  The next day I typed up and circulated the notes I’d made and after an Herculean effort a Whatsapp group was created for us to communicate with each other.

Well now it’s the day before we go. There have been several heavy downpours in the last 48 hours and the wind has been too strong to practise putting up our specially purchased tent. There’s no electricity anywhere near our ‘plot’ and we couldn’t find a shop today that had a foot-pump for sale so we could well be blowing up our air-beds using lung power.

On the plus side, the car is packed, the camera is on charge and battery packs for iPhones and iPads are also plugged-in and charging. I have somewhat optimistically bought the OS map for the New Forest and downloaded the digital copy of it to my iPad. I have also dug-out our waterproof map case for when my iPad battery inevitably runs out on the day I really need it!

Subject to the reliability of the aforementioned iPad battery and a Vodafone signal in the New Forest, I plan to blog about the trip at the end of every day. This is mostly for the benefit of the Mums who will, no doubt, be worrying about their children and possibly re-evaluating their decision to leave their precious charges in the care of five men who can’t even organise a Whatsapp group without help from their kids.

To be continued……..

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