Sober camping


We’ve just retuned from our annual camping holiday and I’m pleased to report that I managed to do it sober this time around and I actually enjoyed it. I am not a camper as such, Mr Hurrah is the outdoorsy type, I’m much more a self catering cottage kinda gal. On our previous camping trips booze played a really big part. As soon as we put the tent up the beers came out and we would spend our days on a slow alcohol drip between various camping activities.

This year the car was packed so full that the backseat looked like a Tetris puzzle with soft toys, blankets, pillows, 2 grumpy children and a guitar between them. We packed fairy lights, sheepskins, drums and even packed in the bunting so I was convinced that this time camping was going to be marvellous, I am sober after all, what could go wrong?

My daughter was ill the night before and I had high hopes that she just ate something bad and wasn’t actually getting a sick bug. As soon as we pulled onto the highway my hopes were dashed to smithereens when she projectile vomited all over the pillows, the seats and my arm.

FML…I stayed quite calm, as calm as to be expected in such a predicament and as soon as we could do so safely, we pulled over at the services. After we cleaned up, I told Mr Hurrah that I wanted to go home, as I really didn’t fancy spending seven days with children vomiting in their sleeping bags. Hubs, ever the eternal optimist, insisted we stay the course and see what happens.

The drinking me would have had a fit and caused a fight but the sober me considered that it could be 24-hour bug and just maybe if the gods were smiling on us and we were lucky, my son wouldn’t get it.

Onwards we went, car smelling of stale vomit with hope in our hearts.

We unpacked while my poor daughter was draped over the picnic blanket, white as a sheet. She perked up after a while, it turned out to be a 24-hour bug, which was a massive relief. After the gargantuan task of pitching the tent, unfolding and unpacking everything was complete I cracked open a coke zero, didn’t miss the beer at all.

We made a fire and had an amazing barbeque and did the obligatory marshmallows on sticks. My son insisted on doing his own and kept dropping them into the fire.

I loved going to bed in my light blue and pink fluffy unicorn onesie sober. Yes, I have a unicorn onesie and yes, it is every bit as awesome as it sounds. This time, I didn’t have to get up at 4 (still tipsy) and fumble around the bushes with a torch to find the bathroom because I wasn’t drinking wine till the ungodly hours.

The early mornings were wonderful. I got up before the kids, they went to bed later than usual and I went to bed earlier than usual, so most mornings I had an hour to myself. I sat in my unicorn onesie on my camping chair drinking my coffee listening to the birds. It was bliss. No hangover, no wondering what the hell I did the night before, totally well rested.

The next day it rained and just as it started bucketing down I realised that I forgot to pack everyone’s Wellies. No matter, the sober me was cool calm and collected, nothing a debit card cant fix. Wellies bought, we were off to the movies to watch Captain Underpants. I didn’t think it was possible for my children to learn any new ideas on toilet humour however Captain Underpants introduced a whole new level to their already potty-centred vocabulary..

There was massive storm raging when we emerged from the cinema and I suggested we pop back to the campsite to double check that our tent hadn’t blown away. When we got there we were pleased and a little surprised that the tent was still standing. Our poor unfortunate neighbour’s weren’t so lucky, their event shelter had totally collapsed and the stuff underneath was soaked.

We opted for a nice hot meal at the pub as a barbeque was clearly out of the question. There was a point when Mr Hurrah’s red wine arrived that I had a twinge and thought that a glass of red might be nice but then quickly reminded myself what that would lead to. It wouldn’t be just the one glass, it never is. I don’t know if those thoughts ever go away but they are becoming less frequent.

The rest of the holiday we were blessed with good weather so it went off without a hitch. We saw glow worms, snakes, frogs, bunnies and loads of butterflies and birds. We spent lovely family time together, no ipads, no phones.

I felt like a kid this camping holiday, I felt clean and serene. There was stress but I could handle it SO much better sober! So despite the projectile vomiting and the storms, this was by far the best camping trip ever.


31 thoughts on “Sober camping

  1. This is great. I am a camping lover, but not for a few years now. When the kids were little, we would spend the whole holiday camping. I did it completely sober, but I was always on my own with the kids. This brought back some brilliant memories for me. I have to say though, just how amazing you are! I KNOW just how shit it can be to have rain, vomit and the like on a camping trip. That you did it without drinking is amazing. Good on ya xx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wonderful! 🙂 That sounds really really great! I am happy for you. 🙂
    You do however realise that at some point in time you will meet people of the sober blogosphere and they will think of you and your unicorn onesie…. 😀 😀 😀
    When we were about 4 to 7 years old my parents actually used to pack us into the car with 40 degrees Celsius fever at the first day of the holidays. We would be back to normal at the time we settled in the cottage. In hindsight she said we probably found it all too exciting. 🙂 Sweet, also in hindsight. 🙂
    I am happy for you. It all sounds like wonderful family time and wonderful hour with coffee, birds and the onesie…
    xx, Feeling

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay, you! And your family! Surely you have a photo of you in the onsie? It’s not fair to taunt us with that without a glimpse of the unicorn pajamas.
    I feel like I’ve been camping myself after reading this. So peaceful and so fun, despite vomit and torrential rain. Who knew life could be fun without drinking through it all? And like you said, you would have missed the entire experience with the constant drip, drip of alcohol.
    Congratulations! 💕

    Liked by 2 people

      • I’m with you there. To reveal, or not to reveal. I’ve come up with a happy medium: I’m going to use my middle name (which no one really knows) as my last name, so it would never come up on a search of any of my other names. (Been married twice so have a couple names that might pop up, including my maiden name.) Perfect answer!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That sounds wonderful despite the vomit and torrential rain. Lovely to read how your perspective shifts when you are not hungover or obsessing about drinking! Just goes to show how alcohol can dim your view of life and circumstances. No more poor me, pour me another drink – just roll with stress, move on and really appreciate the now. Well done and thank you for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, i’m late to the party and everyone’s beaten me go the ‘unicorn onesie’ remarks. Still……i hold this vision of some poor soul wandering thru the woods (camping sites), breathing the fresh air and enjoying the still ad quiet early morning hours and coming on….the lady in the unicorn onesie! You may have found a new appreciation for sober camping, but I wonder how many others out there have been scared straight?? (😍Thanks for the vision and the laugh…and congrats to you on a terrific milestone!)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Now you know this is as ‘up my alley’ as it gets. I just went camping last weekend! Our roles (me and my wife’s) match yours and your husbands as well. My wife and daughter (although I don’t recall her giving consent) agreed to come with me on the next one I take my son on in October. Should be some vomitty goodness! Oh, Hurrah. This. Just this:

    “Onwards we went, car smelling of stale vomit with hope in our hearts.”

    I’m dying over here. I’m glad you can add such humor to the uncomfortable sides of life. And Hurrah for sober camping!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes to the vomity goodness:) This time wasnt as bad as the time my son projectile vomited on the plane to South Africa. He vomited all over me the first of the 11 hour flight. Of course I brought a change of clothes for the kids like a ‘good mom’ but neglected to bring a change of clothes for myself so I sat in the ‘vomity goodness for 10 hours:) “What doesnt kill you…”and all that:)


  7. Wow good on you!!! (The AF camping I mean, not the vomit 🤢) Lucky no one else got the flu bug! I think some online retailer is going to experience a rush on unicorn onesies now 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. HURRAH! This is the best post ever, you’re so darn cute! I don’t know if I would have been able to handle the vomiting part lol lol. I probably would have been hanging my head out the window vomiting the rest of the drive myself with that smell setting me off.
    I’m so glad that you stayed sober on your camping trip! Yay! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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