If you have ever travelled on a group tour where your accommodation is a tent, then you will know what I am talking about.
Camping tours are more cost effective than hotel tours and the lure of communing with nature is appealing. The creature comforts are left at home, instead you sleep on a thin mattress in a sleeping bag that can take up half of your backpack.
After a couple of times setting up your tent you become a professional and after a while you are an expert that can predict whether or not you will even need the outer layer, choosing instead to have an open air tent with just the fly screen to protect you.
The one detail that you cannot predict and that you will only learn in time is the wake up call of the camp. No, it is not the birds that live in the trees surrounding your campsite and it wont be your phone alarm. Instead you will be woken by the Symphony of Zips.
Inevitably the sun will wake up someone in camp who will be the first to rise. Once that first person is up, the music will play.
The score will begin with the first zip – the sleeping bag.
Then the second zip – the backpack,
The third zip – the packing cell,
The fourth zip – the toiletry bag,
The fifth zip – the fly screen door to the tent, once to open and then once to close,
The sixth zip – the outer layer of the tent, once to open and then once to close,
And finally – all the above steps in reverse order!
Once the first musician begins on their piece of music, the Symphony of Zips will continue to grow as fellow travellers wake and get ready for the day. The more musicians that join the Symphony the less likely you will be able to sleep and you will be compelled to participate.
This Symphony of Zips will have varying intensity throughout the piece as musicians begin and end their section. The finale will come as the last person zips their tent door closed for the last time.
Never fear, the Symphony of Zips is such a popular piece of music that is it played every morning and every night of your camping tour.
Unlike the mornings where there is limited time before you leave the campsite, in the evening the Symphony of Zips is a more scattered piece as bedtimes vary between musicians. The finale of the piece occurs when the last person zips their sleeping bag ready for a peaceful nights sleep, that is until the music plays again the next morning.