There are so many reasons that campers camp. My first camping experiences were not the greatest. Nature was not my friend. Nobody said there would be bugs or that I would have to sweat. Veteran campers never brought up the whole “powder room” issue. It REALLY should have come up at some point, although I’m not sure when would be an appropriate time. In retrospect, I should’ve researched, bought a book, or read a blog. Oh yeah! There weren’t blogs when I started camping.
After my first camping trip with my Deerslayer (and a very small junior deerslayer) I was ready to throw in the proverbial towel. I’d had my brush with nature and was ready to call it a day. My very handsome Deerslayer was very persuasive, however, and I headed out for a second, and then a third trip. Each time, I learned a couple of things, wrote down things that I’d forgotten to bring (enough warm clothes, gloves), things that I didn’t know I needed until I was without them (eye drops, allergy meds, tissues, anti-itch spray), and determined which extras it would take to get a non-nature type back into the wilderness (a plastic stemmed wine glass and bottle of Prosecco). Each time I headed out with my tiny junior deerslayer in tow and the ever-increasing admiration of the Love of my Life, I was a bit better prepared, less cranky, and open to all that camping has to offer.
Over the years our camping trips have allowed us to have family time in beautiful laid-back settings. The ability to sit outside watching the stars, telling stories of camping trips of years past is priceless. Some of our trips have evolved into precious family reunions. One of my favorite camping moments now is early in the mornings when those who rise early show up at our camper with (or without) a coffee mug. After a while, the camper is full of the early-morning-coffee-drinkers talking in hushed voices (My Deerslayer is usually trying to sleep!) We all head to the community campsite and carry on the coffee drinking and story-telling until mid-morning. The teens start to stir, so appreciative when they realize that breakfast is underway on one of the propane cookstoves.
It’s magical when three generations share stories, coffee, food, and enjoy just being together. The senior members of the group look forward to the annual camping get-together as much as the teens. It’s what camping is all about for me. It’s a part of my life that I almost missed out on. If I hadn’t made the effort (and lists) I would’ve missed out!
My advice to non-campers who might be thrust into a “nature experience” is to have a sense of humor (I did not!), write down what you need for “next time” (It will give you a subconscious mind set that I didn’t have!) Following my advise will allow non-campers to skip the cranky phase of of the process.
Trust me,”it’s what it’s all about”.
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