The Best Part of Camping…

I think that in all the years of my youth, I’d been camping less than 3 times.  Maybe only 2.  Hell, I can’t actually remember ever camping, but I know I got my hand slammed in the camper door when I was three so we must have been going somewhere with that camper, so I’m going to go out on a limb and assume it was camping.  And then, I married a camper.  And not just any ole kind of camper, but a real, honest to goodness, pack it in, pack it out, hoist the bear bag, who needs a latrine anyway, kind of camper.

Now, I’m not exactly what you’d call a real fastidious kind of gal, nor much of a girly-girl, but my husband embraces camping with way more excitement than my childhood prepared me for.  Seriously.  Of course, every family jaunt of my childhood started with my mom running around like a crazed woman, trying to simultaneously put curlers in her hair while making a picnic lunch, while my dad stood in the doorway jingling his change and barking orders at her.  Mostly, “hurry up!”  Not exactly the kind of way to start a relaxing family get-away.  So my mom liked camping about as much as she liked barbeque.  Which is to say I have no memories of such things until my adult years.  Zip, zilch, nada.  My dad can instill that kind of reaction in a person.

But, back to camping.  I have found I actually like camping.  Other than my ridiculous paranoia about bears.  That’s right, I am terrified of bears.  It really doesn’t matter what color of bear we are talking about, in my book those cute little black bears are just as crazed as a polar bear.  I even feel my blood pressure raise when I see the Sun Bears at the zoo.

So, what does a completely paranoid non-camper do to embrace the camping fervor?  She plays with fire.

Ah, the fire pit.  Is there anything quite as fun as building a fire and then obsessively managing that same fire for the next few hours?  I think not.  Now, for those of you who don’t share my fire starter tendencies, don’t judge me.  You have your thing, I have mine.  I figure if I have to sleep in a pretzel shape to avoid 4 rocks and 8 tree roots, the least a person can do is let me maniacally play with the camp fire for a few hours.

The only down side is that my polar fleece still smells like a smoked ham after 3 trips through the washer and dryer.

Oh, and while the fire may be the best part of camping for me, camping also means eating food I never eat anyplace else.  Or perhaps with such wild abandonment.  Some other chart toppers are:  eating bacon, grilling rib eyes on the fire, foil dinners, coffee, gorp, and s’mores.

How ’bout you?  What tops your charts?

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3 thoughts on “The Best Part of Camping…

  1. I would LOVE to help you overcome your aversion to bears. Not that one should ever completely let her guard down. But they are awesome, a symbol that we can leave room for others in nature. I love the way a campfire looks–the movement, the colors, the light–and the sound and smell are associated with good things mostly. I was a wildland firefighter for one summer, but that was long ago. Now it is a smell of comfort. When I become a ranger again in a few years, I hope you come visit!

  2. I would LOVE to help you overcome your aversion to bears. Not that one should ever completely let her guard down. But they are awesome, a symbol that we can leave room for others in nature. I love the way a campfire looks–the movement, the colors, the light–and the sound and smell are associated with good things mostly. I was a wildland firefighter for one summer, but that was long ago. Now it is a smell of comfort. When I become a ranger again in a few years, I hope you come visit! High points for my childhood camping trips included swimming in rivers and lakes and making a little playhouse out of the space left in a hollow redwood.

  3. It’s been a long time since you’ve updated your blog. August 4? I know, I know – busy mom, budding stand up comic working on the next gig, yadda, yadda, yadda. Still waiting for the video of your routine.

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