A couple months ago, Nelson and I loaded up our camping gear and our doggies to head into the woods for a friend’s birthday celebration. This trip was a hybrid backpacking/car camping trip because the parking lot was about a quarter mile walk from the campsite – far enough to be inconvenient but close enough to bring “car camping appropriate stuff” like camp chairs and a cooler with wheels.
We hiked in at dusk Friday night with just our backpacks. We crossed two bridges, splashed through a small stream and over plenty of rocks and roots. Oh, and mud puddles – two epic, shoe-sucking mud puddles.
I’ve started hiking a lot in my Chaco sandals. They are lighter than full hiking books and surprisingly comfortable and sturdy. After the epic muddle puddles, my toes were filthy. The little stream crossings did nothing to help.
Despite the mud, I love hiking and camping – being outdoors, immersed in the weather, and hopefully sleeping creekside.
Nelson and I arrived at camp with the dogs and we greet by another pack of dogs (so many dogs!). As we introduced ourselves to a couple of folks we didn’t know, it started sprinkling. Just as the boys got the big tarp hung up, it started POURING. Goodbye campfire. Goodbye dry dogs. Goodbye dry ground.
Thankfully, the rain stopped after an hour or so and the stars made their appearance. We re-lit the campfire and enjoyed an evening of conversation greatly enhanced by the fireflies all around us. The rest of the weekend remained fairly dry and we slept soundly, lulled to sleep by the little creek beside our tent.
The next day was a completely lazy one – we all took chairs down to the creek, waded in and sat down, drank some adult beverages, told stories, and talked a lot of smack to each other while the dogs alternately ran around or stood beside us shaking the water off their coats.
It was a great weekend away, just camping and hanging out with friends.
What is “camping” anyway?
Knowing of our “tiny living” adventures in our camper, one of my friends on Facebook asked, “When you camp, are you in a tent or in your RV home?”
Nelson’s mom, when informed we were heading out camping for the weekend said, “Why? I mean, don’t you kind of camp everyday?” (Most people buy a camper to use while they are on vacation, not to live in full-time, right?)
One of my clients, after telling him about giving up a perfectly good bed indoors in order to sleep in our tent in a friend’s backyard, shook his head and remarked, “What is it with you and sleeping in your tent??”
Let’s clear up a few things
While our 5th wheel camper is fully functional for towing and travel, we don’t own a vehicle that is strong enough to pull all 13,000+ lbs. of it. Nor do we want to drag that gigantic thing around for adventures of the camping sort.
We love sleeping outside. We even love sleeping on the ground.
And a whole lot of people really don’t understand this.
It makes Nelson and I pause to think that most people think our life looks like one long camping adventure.
What does “camping” mean to you?
We sincerely want to know!
Is “roughing it” getting a room at hotel in a small town? Renting a cabin? Having an RV? Staying at campgrounds? Living only out of a backpack? Being in the back country with no one but the bears around?
Share what camping is for you!