That word will either conjure up nostalgic memories of being at one with nature, free in the open countryside, with the fresh smell of morning dew in your nostrils as you wake at dawn. Or it will conjure up pure, unadulterated panic.
It’s a fact of life – just as there are dog people and cat people – there are campers and non-campers.
I am very much a camper. Unfortunately, however, I married a non-camper. I know, how on earth will this marriage work?
For me, camping is exciting. It’s childhood holidays playing in the outdoors, freed from the shackles of city life and negotiating pavements on a bike. It’s barbecues and swimming and sleeping bags and night trips to the loo with a torch.
But my husband is a camping virgin. He doesn’t “do” camping. The idea of a week in a tent is one that makes him visibily shake. He winces at the thought of sleeping under canvas, where wolves could get to him at any moment and bears are less than a whisker away. (I’ve explained that camping in the UK is different to camping in Canada, but he remains unconvinced.)
So it was perhaps a risky move to accept an offer of a holiday to Cornwall this summer, where we will be… camping.
It’s not just any holiday, you see. It’s a review holiday, meaning we get to test the facilities at the swanky and really rather beautiful Trevella Holiday Park in Crantock, Newquay.
At first my husband was excited at the thought of a “free” holiday (as in, he won’t actually have to do any work for it, and won’t have to fork out any cash either). But when the “C” word was mentioned, his face fell.
So I explained that, in fact, it’s not really camping at all. Not in the sense that he knows anyway. It’s Glamping. We arrive at the site, to find the tent already erected. There’s not even a tent peg in view. And when I say tent, I actually mean canvas house.
This is a Safari Tent. With proper beds, duvets, bedrooms and a kitchen. There’s even a wooden deck with table and chairs outside so we can enjoy the sunset while Frog sleeps soundly in her bed “indoors”. (Who am I kidding, this child is going to be far too excited to sleep.)
We will spend the days rambling around the beach and the stamping ground of my postgraduate year at Falmouth (or “Falbiza” as we liked to call it). We’ll swim in the gorgeous heated swimming pool on site. Frog’s grandad can fish in one of the plentifully stocked lakes. We may even do a spot of crazy golf. And I don’t doubt Frog will spend much time at one of the hugely exciting play areas.
So why am I so worried? Is this the end of my marriage? Any tips from campers who have managed to convert non-campers would be much appreciated…