I’m about to lose my camping virginity... and I’m dreading it | Rick Jackson

LOO BLUES: Rick's eagerly anticipating using a chemical toiletLOO BLUES: Rick's eagerly anticipating using a chemical toilet
LOO BLUES: Rick's eagerly anticipating using a chemical toilet
It’s sitting in the boot of my car.I’m hoping it will stay there, but sadly my wife is ringing around every campsite within a 100-mile radius.

It looks like I am going to have to face the inevitable – I’m going to have to lose my camping virginity.

After all these years, I’ve discovered that I may have to sleep in a field.

OK, camping does look reasonably attractive on paper.

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Camping friends tell me all their lovely stories of the benefits, but still, for me, I’m worried the reality will be vastly different.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, I’ve never put up a tent in my life and now, resting in my boot, is a second-hand tent which allegedly sleeps seven and it weighs a tonne.

So, what do I know I’m not going to like about camping?

The possibility of being cold, the kids not sleeping and us unable to escape ‘downstairs’. And the prospect of us having nothing to do in the evening when they are finally asleep and it’s dark.

With two young kids running amok, Sarah and I will have to attempt to put up this huge thing and hope the children don’t run off and hitch a lift back home!

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OK, let’s assume that if we do find a campsite then the shower and toilet facilities are likely to be closed. With this is mind, Sarah has spent money on a special chemical toilet.

It’s basically a bucket with a handle on the side that you can hang some loo roll from. But where do you use it?

Personally, when that time of the day comes, I like to disappear for an hour with a newspaper or my iPad. That won’t be so easy in a hedge will it?

Then there is cooking, washing up, cleaning clothes? Do we spend the week using wet wipes for everything? I’m worried.

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What if it rains? What if the children get bored? What if my wife gets bored with me? What if there isn’t a pub or an emergency hotel nearby?

There are many things to worry about, but now is the time, it seems, to find out for myself.

When that time does come, I will report back.

If I survive...

Surf’s up! Now, if I could only squeeze into that wet suit...

Now it looks like paddleboards are in short supply! After loo roll, hand sanitiser, flour, yeast and hot tubs, everyone seems to want to be out on the water.

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We’ve had wonderful beach barbecues this week but I’ve felt envious of friends disappearing for a paddle. I’ve spent my whole life living just minutes from a beach, but I’ve never surfed, boarded or even ‘slipped’ into a wet suit. I’m now desperate to break my surfing duck, especially as our kids loved playing on friends’ boards.

Imagine flat calm water, no breeze, barbecue smoke wafting through the air, hot sun starting to set and... an overweight, middle-aged man looking like he’s in an episode of Total Wipeout!

‘Aaaah yes! Play Misty for me,’ said the DJ sheepishly

I’m constantly telling off my wife Sarah when she returns from places like Ikea and The Range, but this week I’ve had to make a public apology.

You see, she always returns with loads of stuff we don’t need, and this week was no exception when she came back from The Range with a mist fan.

‘What a load of old rubbish,’ I said.

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Then the heatwave came. After a day on the beach, I was hot and my skin tight and sun-kissed. I switched on the fan and aimed it at my face. It was refreshing but not as refreshing as then spraying a fine mist of cool water, aided by said fan, into my face. The ultimate in revitalisation!

I shall never chastise my wife on her purchases again.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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