Something struck me during my stay at a North Yorkshire campsite during the weekend. This scheduled tarry taken in the campervan my West Yorkshire beau Sarah and me use to explore little corners of this green and pleasant land.
I suppose camping in a van, especially one modernised to provide comforts of home such as fridge, gas hob and barrel fed sink, isn’t ‘slumming it’ like spending a few days in a leaking canvas tent in outdoor breaks of yore.
To be honest, with Sarah and I mostly having access to an electrical hook, we’re also affording use of a microwave, air fryer, toaster and kettle. Consequently, our trips in Victor (the nickname we’ve bequeathed the vehicle) should possibly be labelled glamping not camping.
If you add an electric heater into that domestic appliance brew, it us fair to say our breaks take place in conditions a million miles from what old school bivouac dwellers would class as camping.
After all, those hardened folk were forced to embark on grim canvas covered treks which would oft leave them cold, wet and bereft of toilet/bathing and entertainment facilities for a few days. Situations which many overly pampered ‘new to the party’ campers, like my Ossett lass and me, would class as ‘a right bloody ordeal’.
Yes, the biggest hardship Sazington and GJ Strachan face when sampling outdoor living is occasionally having a bit of a walk from the campervan to use site toilets and showers… And even then, if needing a wee during our wine fuelled evenings listening to Apple Music, or watching Netflix on my laptop, sometimes we spare our legs, performing our nature call in nature.
Anyhow, the inspiration to pen today’s journal was not so much to relay our camping episodes are we reasonably luxurious… No, my literary raison d’être was to disclose an incident which highlighted to me how cushy and indulgent our campervan life plays out.
An event displaying how far we’d diverted from old school camping, taking place during yours truly’s Saturday morning’s freshen up in one of the sites immaculately clean washrooms.
A realisation hitting home after swilling my face and brushing my teeth when I looked into my toilet bag to see a tube of face moisturiser. Application of this cream ordinarily forming the next part of my daily grooming regime.
It was at this juncture of the morning cleansing routine whereby the real scale of how pampered my current existential zeitgeist really is… I mean, taking visage moisturiser along on a camping trip; I ask you!!
At that time my mind pondering what explorers Chris Bonnington and Edmund Hillary would have made of such a notion when they scaled Everest in the 1970’s… Or, coming to think of it, which emasculating judgements would be forthcoming from contemporary adventurers like Bear Grylls and Ran Fiennes.
Incidentally, I realise the explorers referenced in the previous paragraph embarked upon far more daring escapades than Sarah and my sleeping in the warmth and comfort of a well equipped campervan… And, consequently, their names should not be made in comparison to my weekend exploits.
However, bereft of someone famous who does make more challenging camping expeditions (but not as extreme as those above) I’m gonna use artistic licence and still include Bonnington, Grylls et al within the narrative .. Even though I’d venture they have never used face moisturiser during the extreme outside activities they partake.
Coming to think of it, though, why should I feel guilty for outdoor living in comfort if that’s available to my partner and me. After all, I made financial sacrifices during a 30 year career in a role I hated to get to the point where I could retire early. A life event which now affords me opportunity to enjoy many elements of post-retirement existence.
If I want to pamper myself with facial moisturiser during camping expeditions so be it. On reflection, I’m no longer going to emasculate myself for such indulgence.
In fact, never mind moisturising, next time we venture away in Victor I might ask Sarah to pamper me further with a massage, along with a back, sack and crack wax treatment… Actually, for the sake of our relationship’s longevity and my pain threshold, it is probably best I don’t ask for the latter!!