Everyone who knows me laughed at the very thought I would go camping for the first time since I was a carefree schoolboy! Surely it couldn’t be as bad as everyone seemed to make out!

Before I go to Festival Number 6 for a weekend of music, comedy, fun and camping, I am reliably informed by my friend, Martyn, that he had got us a two bedroomed tent with a lounge type area in the middle. I’m thinking it can’t be that bad, I have my own bedroom, surely there will be extra comforts associated with that.

I pack my bags for the two nights of camping, 8 pairs of socks, 5 pairs of boxer shorts, 1 shirt, 4 t-shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of trouser, new shower gel, new shampoo, hair brush, toothpaste, toothbrush, 4 bottles of eau de toilette, 1 deodorant, 2 deodorant sprays, shoe deodorant, electric razor, alcohol hand gel, baby wipes, soft charmin toilet roll, moistened tissues and some other bits and pieces. All sorted so lets go!

Martyn arrives and puts the tent in my car, this can’t be right, it fits in a bag small enough to fit in a sideboard drawer, two bedrooms and a lounge my arse! How on earth have they collapsed my en-suite bathroom into such a small bag? I guess we will find out!

So we get there, I’m now swapping turns with Martyn at carrying my accommodation to the campsite, who does that? Why would anyone choose to take their accommodation on holiday with them when there are perfectly good hotels everywhere. We arrived in the field where we would pitch our tent, well we arrived on the Saturday and some had been camping since Thursday so we struggled to find space. We eventually found some space near a fire exit (a fire exit in a field, come on, whatever next?). Martyn opened the tiny bag and pulled out some poles and some material, I immediately suggested we pay someone £20 to put it up for us, Martyn didn’t agree. We put the tent up but not without difficulties, the bloody thing was forever trying to blow away, bits of rope got tangled, then some dude in a yellow jacket came over and said, “You can’t pitch it there, it’s too close to the fire exit.” Needless to say, we got away without moving it as we managed to persuade him that there was plenty of space for burning people to get past.

I was sweaty and fed up, time to get changed for the first time, see I’m not crazy taking all those clothes. I needed a drink so we went off for the night. Upon returning to the tent to take my place in my ‘bedroom’, I laid out my sleeping bag and got in, because damn I needed to sleep. Like that was going to happen, I’m lying on the floor, rock hard and what was that? an earwig, how the hell am I sharing a bed with an earwig? Next up was the noise, security people walking around talking stupidly loud into their walkie talkies, a symphony of snoring from tents around me so I got absolutely no sleep that night.

In the morning it was time to go to the toilet. I had avoided the portaloo’s so far as I had used the toilets in the media centre (press privilege). At 6am the media centre was closed so I had to brave the portaloo’s, you can smell them as you walk up to them, then when you open the door you are greeted with 24 hours of other peoples poo staring back at you, I ran, I ran so so fast. I was going to hold mine in until the media centre opened with real toilets. I needed a shower now but there was a two hour queue, I’ve never known suffering like it. I even had to brush my teeth using outdoor water troughs……with other people! Other people spitting around me, the noise, the sites, the smells….it’s all so so wrong!

Martyn woke up a few hours later and asked if we were staying the second night or driving home late. Another night in a tent or my own bed? No bloody competition, I was driving home after the music finished that evening! Not staying in a tent that night or any night ever ever again.

I’m reliably informed that people pay to go camping, that’s just ridiculous, do people like that have a screw loose? Who on earth would pay for what I have just experienced? Who thinks that they want to go on holiday and sleep in the cold, go to the toilet in other peoples poo, wait two hours for a shower, carry their own accommodation around? Surely this is a lie, no one in their right mind would pay for that.

Camping – Silly idea

Phil Woods

Phil Woods

Comedy writer with Steve Smith. Author of the book & Satire Website, 'The Daily Skid - The best bits' also Beat About the Bush with @GiftedDuck