Monday, August 7, 2017

Camping without the Baggage

Scrolling through Facebook, I saw photos of my cousin out camping.  I idly hit like thinking, "That looks like fun."  Then my cousin actually asked if I've ever camped before.  Have I?

I did go camping as a kid.  If I had to describe it in one word, it you would be, "tedious."  I remember days of cleaning tents and equipment.  At least one evening of detangling fishing lines; restringing when necessary.  And when it was all done, there was the task of carefully packing the boat so it would all fit.  Did I mention the hours spent making sure the boat and trailer were in working order?

Then there was the vast amount of time spent alone in a car with my family.  By the time we were ready to "get away" from it all, it was my family, and I was trapped with them for week.  But then I'd step out of the car, and breath in the fresh air.  All the tedium and annoyances that came up while we were out there were easy to overlook.  I remember asking myself so many times, "Is this worth it?"  I always came back with a definite, "maybe".

As an older child I remember trying to convey this, "What if we didn't bring the boat?"  Leading to, "Where would we store all the stuff?"  Completely missing the point of, "Wouldn't camping be better without all this stuff?"  As a kid, I didn't have the words.

Now that I'm an adult, I have the words, and know that "tedious" isn't one that should describe camping.  And there's no one to convince but myself.  Maybe it's time to walk into the woods with nothing but what I can carry on my back.  It should be a cheap vacation, at the very least.

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