How to… survive a back- packing weekend

luxurious past-time of camping.

Campers are those pampered individuals who, sitting in the comfort of their beige Volvo,

Effortlessly transport their ten-man tent (with separate bedrooms),

Portable stoves, loo, 14 gallon gas bottle and satellite dish to their ‘well-appointed’ camp-site! No, no!

We’re talking back-packing; the genuine outdoors,

macho-man (and scarily macho-woman) experience of conquering the elements,

Whilst laden down with 25 tonnes of equipment and,

Armed only with an ‘easy-to-read’ map and a ‘totally reliable’ compass,

How to… survive a back- packing weekend Hiking through the wilderness,

where the only company is cow-pats,

In varying degrees of sloppiness, and the occasional mindless sheep!

The key to any successful expedition is all in the preparation.

Women, the undisputed champions of list-making, definitely have the edge over men here.

Armed with their comprehensive inventory.

(organised along the lines of a meticulously planned military operation),

Women co-ordinate,

Fold and efficiently pack their items, according to what will be needed first.

Whereupon they simply chuck whatever has been left on the bedroom floor into a bag,

In a desperate and frantic attempt to get out of the house ten minutes ago.

Monsoons and blizzards descend upon you,

That you your bright orange waterproof should probably not have been stuffed at the bottom of your rucksack.

To be honest, it is questionable whether it is even worth unpacking the entire contents to retrieve it,

Golden Rule applies: ignore the rugged, type salesman who will smugly assure you that.

Two pairs of size 15 boots, two 80 litre rucksacks, two 15 season sleeping bags and 36 cans of cheap lager.

How to… survive a back- packing weekend If you want to avoid sleeping (or not sleeping!) with your legs.

permanently contorted into a figure of eight formation and your.

Face squashed against the condensation-saturated tent liner,

Simply go for the largest tent you can stagger along with.

Next, invest in decent, heavy duty plasters.

You can guarantee that, the 15 pairs of socks, along with cushioned insoles and soothing foot spray,

Will not prevent your feet from erupting into a myriad of blisters.

Your fellow back-packers will think you have bizarrely.

bathed in some pustule –inducing acid or that you contracted a bad case of the Black Death.

Never believe the claims of Tesco that their ‘super quality plasters’ will perform any useful function.

A passing helicopter… and yes, we had the job of putting the fence back up.

 I always enjoyed the voluntary work as I felt.

Activity: mountain biking through the reserve, an elephant back safari,

A 35 m abseil, canoeing, meeting the tame cheetahs, bush walks and numerous game drives.

These game drives, for me, were one of the highlights.

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