Don’t bug me to Carry on Camping

Aasma Day
Aasma Day
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Apparently, I’m extremely tasty.

Sadly it isn’t members of the opposite sex who have come to this conclusion, but pesky flying insects who love feasting on my flesh.

Carry on Camping

Carry on Camping

Yes, it’s official, I am a mosquito magnet… as well as being completely irresistible to midges, horseflies and any other bugs that happen to spot me on their travels.

And it’s not just in foreign climes where my allure to chomping insects comes to the fore, but closer to home too, as I discovered recently during a weekend of camping.

Those who know me well will know camping is an alien concept to me – I like my creature comforts and the thought of roughing it sends a shudder through my spine.

My introduction to camping came about 15 years ago in the Years BC (Before Children) when Keith and I camped at a music festival for a weekend.

Not having slept under canvas before, I made it clear I wanted a roomy tent rather than be squeezed into a tiny triangular temporary home.

So it was with pride Hubby and I came back from our tent shopping trip with a spacious four man tent for the two of us.

I insisted we try it out by pitching it in the back garden for a night. I’m sure the neighbours must have thought we were a pair of weirdos.

Our festival actually went fine, although I spent the entire weekend trying not to drink a drop as I desperately wanted to avoid using those hideous toilets.

However, I slept absolutely fine – even though I was a bit perturbed to wake up in the morning with a suspicious brown substance on my face. Turns out it was a Jaffa Cake.

My foray into the world of camping was so successful, our tent made another couple of outings at music festivals. For the last decade, however, our tent remained unused at the back of our garden shed.

Until the other weekend, that is, when Hubby, I and our two eight-year-olds went for a weekend of camping with plenty of outdoor activities.

Camping wouldn’t usually be my first choice for a weekend away. Or my second, third, fourth or fifth.

But when our children, who are both Cubs, came home with a letter telling us about a Family Camp Weekend and looked at me with puppy dog eyes and pleaded, “Please, Mummy, we want you and Daddy to come. It will be fun”...

And do you know what – it really was.

Our tent made its comeback – although it was less swanky than some of the ultra modern swish tents in the field. Some had their own solar lights and separate living rooms and I’m sure one even had its own conservatory.

Our four man tent which had seemed so cosy for two was crammed when all four of us were in it and we couldn’t get changed without punching each other in the face.

But it was certainly cosy. And we all slept well and didn’t even ache the following day.

Our camping weekend, organised by 5th Penwortham Cubs, was “all inclusive” and there was no need for us to sit there trying to cook sausages on a tiny stove or fill up on Pot Noodles. Or Jaffa Cakes.

Instead, meals were cooked for us and we had everything from bacon and sausage butties to a buffet lunch.

And we were certainly ready for all the meals and snacks after all the activities we took part in.

The only drawback to being in the great outdoors was 
being bitten alive by all the midges and horse flies. That’s when I realised I am just as captivating as ever to insects.

While most of our fellow campers received a bite or two over the weekend, my legs and arms were effectively gnawed off, leaving me with at least 20 bites itchier than chicken pox.

It got me wondering why some people are more susceptible to being bitten than others. Hubby’s theory is that bugs are attracted to sweat –one I disputed straight away. Doesn’t he know women don’t sweat – they glow?

Another reason given for women being more attractive as a mozzie meal is because we tend to bare more flesh. But I also poo-pooed this as I had shorts on over the weekend, the same as most of the men.

The way a person smells is another factor. Some have an odour which naturally attracts insects while others have an in-built mosquito deterrent.

One of the theories that does wash with me is that some blood types are apparently tastier than others. According to a study, mosquitoes land on those with blood type O – that’s me – twice as often as those with group A.

Keeping vampire-like 
insects at bay can be an arduous task. Dousing yourself in repulsive smelling repellant and using a plug-in thingie are my methods of choice.

But even then, there’s sometimes no fooling those crafty creatures. Some bugs have worked out the terrible smell of repellent spray is an indicator food lies beneath.

I wish they’d all just buzz off!