My husband Andreas and I love camping, especially at music festivals. We came late to the daisy rocking scene, as we spent our early 20s studying too hard and our late 20s making babies. So it was only in our 30s that some kind soul showed us how to pitch a tent behind an assortment of cooler boxes doubling as furniture.
But boy, then we were hooked...and we’ve been rocking creeks, splashing fens and hauling our cookies up koppies ever since. Of course, being substantially older and less cool than everyone has meant we’ve had to carve a very specific role for ourselves.
“Oh great, Sam and Dreas are here!” a 20-something will shout as we arrive. “And they brought the three-roomed canvas flat!”
“And a large bag of oranges,” I’ll add. “Because you’re going to want to mainline vitamin C tomorrow morning. But why don’t we quickly set up the skottel and make sure everyone’s lined their stomachs with a boerie roll?”
Yup. We are the Festival Parents.
And while we may like to camp, we sure don’t squat. In fact, this year at Rocking the Daisies, I managed to convince a gullible American freshman that our tent had a second floor. That’s how big it is. Two people snuck into the spare room on the second night of the festival and we didn’t even notice.
Until they started fooling around.
Ever noticed how people consider tents to be portable houses? What is this, The Three Little Pigs? A stretched piece of canvas does not an impenetrable fort make, regardless of how much you might huff and puff while blowing up the air mattress.
A tent is more windbreaker than dwelling. And a camping site is really just a bunch of folk, in close quarters, separated by bits of fabric. So why does everyone start shagging as soon as they have the tent pole up?
I’m right aren’t I? (Either that, or you all have really weird sinus problems.) There’s something so sexy about the outdoors that we’re all too eager to leap on each other once we have those canvas dividers in place. And it doesn’t matter that our closest friends are often literally inches away... because we’re the ones doing it quietly. Right?
Wrong. We just think we’re doing it quietly. And as I listened to these amiable interlopers and their ah, sinus problems that fateful night, I found myself thinking: Damn. I wished I’d figured this out a few years back.
Sam Wilson is the Editor-in-Chief of Women24, Food24 and Parent24 and has one thing to say to all those she’s ever shared a camping kring with: “...Bygones.”
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This column first appeared in i magazine, a weekly lifestyle mag that comes out with City Press every Sunday, in Gauteng and KZN.