You're cold and wet, trying to get to sleep in a muddy field with just a polyester flysheet for protection against passing wildlife. Surviving on a diet of carbonised sausages and Pot Noodles, bumbling through hedges at midnight to find the latrines, then discovering you forgot the loo roll – camping is not for the faint-hearted. Anyway, what's wrong with holidaying in proper accommodation with brick walls, roof, a trouser press and a powershower?
In this brave new Gore-Tex world, the Camping and Caravanning Club claims membership has risen 10% year-on-year for the past three years to 400,000 members. The Outdoor Industries Association says the number of camping shops is at an all-time high. Many of these happy campers are middle-class weekend 'tenters' seeking a pastoral two-night stay to appreciate the simple things in life. The trendy summer festival circuit has done much to promote the campers' cause, with über-babes Kate Moss and Sienna Miller taking to the al fresco Glastonbury lifestyle. Argos even offers a £24.99 tent for those carefree festival weekends.
No longer is it about damp canvas and a hole in the ground. Think special-sprung, instant-erecting tents with room dividers. Complete the look with fold-out plastic table and chairs at a campsite with modern showers, swimming pool and even a spa. Zipping open the tent flap in the morning to feast on a glorious view of rolling hills bathed in sunshine, who has the last laugh now?