"It is difficult enough to fix a tent in dry weather"

Tents were at that time mostly bell tents and ridge tents, which were always a struggle to put up, with their heavy canvas and heavy wooden poles, dreadful in wet weather. Perhaps it is not surprising that camping as a recreational pursuit was only just starting to become acceptable at the time of Three Men in a Boat. A few years later, in 1901, the Association of Cycle Campers was founded in the UK with 13 members, which led to the organisation that is now known as The Camping and Caravanning Club. By 1906 there were several hundred members.