I hate camping. Or should I say, I hated camping. Stupid, soggy, saggy tent pitched either in a field miles from anywhere or squeezed into a 6 ft square area of the busiest campground in the world, with the neighbours’ 16 kids and endless dogs tripping over the guy ropes.
Waking miserable, cold, damp and scratchy with no chance of a shower or decent cup of tea. It always rains.
That was until I came to British Columbia. I discovered what camping can be like when the tent pad is level, when you have a picnic bench to eat at and a fire pit to gather round, when you are shaded by the trees and warmed by the sun and you can swim in the lake to get clean. When you have space all around you and when your neighbours respect the quiet hours rules. When there is always a risk that a bear might come through the camp, but you can be confident you put all the food in the car and locked the doors – didn’t you? I know that the equipment is cheap to buy and easy to carry. I am confident in the waterproofing on the tent, and I have learned how to cook spaghetti bolognaise under a tarpaulin shelter. My children run wild for days at a time, entertaining themselves with trees, moss, streams and endless toasted marshmallows. We are all filthy, unbrushed and smelly, and we love it.
Now, in the miserable wet dark days of January, I can dream of the beach front pitches at Porteau Cove, or catching the ferry and diving deep into the Islands to find the perfect hideaway, or driving into the mountains to camp by a cold, clear lake. If I carry on this way, who knows? I might even be hiking into the back country and stringing up my food from a tree in a few years – maybe!