We’ve all been there.
It’s 3am in a tent as black as pitch. There’s a light frost forming on the empty beer bottles in the grass outside and your hearty-but-bland pub curry and chips has processed enough to make seismic displacement something of a… pressing matter. There are some problems that can’t be solved by an empty Coke bottle.
Trying not to encourage any further contractions you urgently pull your breeks* on and grab a hoodie. You fall over your shoes in the porch, knock over the rickety camping table and grab your slightly damp lavvy roll. Time is running out. The turtle is stirring.
But where’s the torch?
WHERE’S THE £*!@ING TORCH???
Luckily for you, once upon a time a company called Happy Camper gathered together its top boffins on April 1 and asked them to come up with a solution to solve one of camping’s most serious problems: How to see properly when pebble-dashing the porcelain.
Enter the Happy Going. It’s a bog roll cover with a built-in LED lamp. Read it again. It’s a bog roll cover with a built-in LED lamp. Honestly.
When GWA’s Admin handed the Happy Going to me I looked at her agog. I didn’t really know what to say. Mrs Muz was cooing over a brand new Leatherman and a few other people were opening exciting-looking boxes with gadgets inside.
“…why?” I asked. “Why me?” But, like The Shopkeeper, she was gone. And poor old Mr Ben was left holding a poxy bog roll holder that lights up.
It’s essentially a bag made out of waterproof tent-type fabric with a carry strap, a shoulder strap (because why wouldn’t your want to parade it around like a handbag?) and a strap to keep tension in your tissue when it’s all wrapped up and not in use. The roll slots on to a plastic bar inside the closed end of the bag.
But what could have been just another forgettable bit of camping guff has been transformed by five tiny LED lights and a Velcro’d-in switch at the flappy skirt end. It’s now a light-up forgettable bit of camping guff! Eureka!
But there’s a trick up its sleeve. Not only does the Happy Going glow in your general direction while you meditate, if you press the power button again the lights… well, obviously, they flash. They even flash at two different rates of urgency. Perfect for those speed poo scenarios when you just want to launch and go. Get these babies strobing in a dank, dark, spider-infested cubicle in the wee small hours and you’ll want to get the whole ungodly experience over with as quickly as humanly possible before your epilepsy kicks in.
It works though, don’t get me wrong. Your loo roll sits in there quite happily and pokes out of the other end. The bag hangs up thanks to the straps, and the lights help you achieve a successful splashdown. It’s even waterproof – I tested it under the tap.
I suppose the kids might like it, but this is a silly, silly thing. It’s the kind of silly thing you see on display while you’re being corralled in the till queue at your camping shop of choice. It’s the kind of silly thing your favourite aunt would give you at Christmas, watching with bated breath as you open the wrapping. It’s the kind of silly thing that would see the inside of a charity shop by December 27.
As a problem-solving piece of camping equipment it’s pointless. As a £13 ish novelty camping item it’s also pointless. But, then again, I always know where my torch is.
* As part of our Ethnic Diversity Policy, we’ve employed a Geordie to write this review, and thus he means Trousers. Or underpants. We think.