Cheap wine and a wet, wet tent

There are no photos of Damian Bathersby's new tent in the Gympie storm so here's a file photo of someone else's predicament after a different storm, somewhere else.
There are no photos of Damian Bathersby's new tent in the Gympie storm so here's a file photo of someone else's predicament after a different storm, somewhere else. John Gass /TWE250112wet

WE bought one of those "instant tents" the other day.

You know, the sort that magically unfold and are ready for use as soon as you take them out of the bag.

We bought it online, which meant we didn't have to endure a demonstration by a salesman who knew what he was doing.

Two days after it arrived we received an email from the supplier that went something along the lines of "some people have trouble folding our instant tents so they can fit back in the bag so here's a link to some Youtube videos you probably should watch".

We spent five minutes watching two blokes folding Point A over to meet Point B, Point C to meet Point D, then performing a three-quarter pike from a prone position to bring it all together into a neat little package that slipped back into the bag.

"Piece of cake," I grunted.

"Are you sure we shouldn't watch it again?" my wife suggested in a rare moment of responsibility.

"Nah," I said. "If they can do it, any fool can."

So we took the tent to Gympie for that big concert a few weeks back. You know the one - Jimmy Barnes, Thirsty Merc and The Black Sorrow.

That's right. The weekend the big storm hit.

"The tent seems to be standing up all right," my wife said hopefully as we sheltered from the afternoon deluge under our leaking pergola.

"Yep. A great little tent," I offered.

Our friends who came for the concert but not the camping huddled sadly besie us in the pergola.

I consoled them by drinking bourbon, splashing through puddles and singing Cold Chisel songs loudly.

Eight hours later I was still belting out Chisel classics and drinking bourbon as we staggered back to our tent, saturated but happy.

"Sure you don't want a lift back to the Coast? It's a miserable night to be camping," our friend offered.

"You're soft," I replied, maybe a little curtly.

They had barely pulled out of the caravan park when my wife gave a yell.

"The bed's wet!" she cried. "The tent's leaked like a sieve."

Yep, I reckon there was as much water on our bed as there was in the potholes outside the tent.

So we did what any red-blooded camper would do when their tent's leaked all over their bed and the only lift back home has just left the station.

We had another bourbon and laid on the wet bed waiting for sunrise.

And when daylight finally broke after possibly the worst night's sleep in history, we gathered up all our wet stuff and threw it in the back of our little car.

Except for the bloody tent which refused to fold into any shape that would fit in the back of a semi-trailer, much less a Toyota Yaris.

I love camping.

It's just a pity we won't be doing any for a while.

At least until we can afford a new tent.

Topics:  camping column damian bathersby humour column

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