It has been an emotional recently in the BOTRA household, with lots of reminiscing and a few tears. All because Mr BOTRA and I have faced the truth that we are [probably] never going to sleep under canvas or take a backpacking trip again.
I don’t think we are the only motorhomers who started our camping holidays with a tent, although we might be the only ones who, when we got married, didn’t own a fridge or a washing machine but did both bring a Vango Force 10 tent to the marital home. Given our lack of white goods and possession of two tents, an extravagant purchase early in our marriage was a lightweight Saunders Spacepacker. This beautiful and practical tent served us well over the years as we backpacked all over Europe, firstly just the two of us and later fitting our son into its womb-like interior. Although the Spacepacker was sold on eBay years ago (another emotional time) as part of our money saving project to buy a brand new campervan, we had hung on to the larger tent and the possibility of camping. In reality, since we bought our first campervan in 2005, the tent has only been used by friends and relatives.
During a recent clear out of the stuff among the dust under our bed, I pulled out the tent and our two large Karrimor rucksacks and dared to suggest it was time to offer them out to the world via eBay.
Mr BOTRA, the sentimental one, became misty-eyed, remembering all the places he had carried his rucksack and a trip down memory lane, accompanied by photographs took up the afternoon. I was the practical one, reminding him how much we enjoy the comfort and freedom of the ‘van and pointing out how else we could use the valuable storage space in our small flat.
Amazingly there is a market for old camping gear, thanks to the British passion for festivals where inexpensive gear makes common sense. So the old, but still waterproof, tent was collected by a local man who was optimistic enough to think that a British festival might not be as muddy as we knew it would be, and our old trusty rucksacks were bought by two similar music-loving individuals. Our savings got a small boost and the tent and rucksacks were recycled and given a new life.