Camping adventures with the family
My family and I just got back from our annual camping trip. It was, in a word, great. But once again I was reminded that everyone has a different idea of what makes a great camping experience.
Some people’s idea of camping is entirely about loud conversations while sitting next to a roaring campfire flanked by a stereo on one side and a case of beer on the other, with 1980s thrash metal filling every stretch of quiet that may sneak in there.
It’s kind of interesting, don’t you think, that some people eschew every comfort, while others won’t leave home without their brand of quilted toilet paper and a flat iron yet call themselves campers?
We are somewhere in between. We are car campers, which means that we pack a lot of stuff and use our vehicle as movable storage. We’ve been doing it for so long we now have packing and meal planning down to a science. (Well, most of the time.)
Allow me for a moment to reflect upon what I love most about camping:
- food cooked over the fire
- the silence
- hiking, and exploring new places
- quiet contemplation (marginally related to “silence” in the list above)
- canoeing on calm waters
- sleeping outdoors
- … in my cosy sleeping bag
- … on an inflatable mattress
- looking at the stars
- collecting cool rocks
- napping in the tent
- swimming in the lake
- staring at the water
- feeding the chipmunks
Speaking of which, check out this greedy little guy:
Here are the things I do not like about camping:
- the preparation, the risk of forgetting something important and then having to take the flack for it later (“Moooom, how could you forget the maple syrup!”)
- when neighbouring campers blast their music (often from tinny car stereos), let their dogs bark on the site, or roll out the big screen and projector for a family viewing of Indiana Jones.
- stinging bugs, flying bugs, hairy bugs
- the smell of bug repellant
- outdoor toilets (although I will tolerate them)
- sand in the tent and/or in my shorts
- leaky tents and soggy sleeping bags
- getting up to pee in the middle of the night
- loud tent zippers
Things that could bother me, but amazingly, do not:
- wearing the same shorts for days at a time
- unwashed hair
I realized the list of things I do not like about camping is a lot shorter that my “like” list. I think that means we’re going back next year.
Are you a camper? And do you agree with my lists?