August 15, 2011
The tone was set by an email entitled “C is for Camping.”
It was a challenge that I accepted.
At first I was nervous, then excited, then scared, and lastly accepting. It was going to happen: I was about to go camping.
People do it all the time. Skewers. Insect repellent. Body odor.
Embrace it. It’s normal. Americana. I can do this.
But I was worried about the endless amount of junk that I feel tethered to everyday that I would be without: hand soap, soft lighting, air conditioning, my electronic toothbrush, and 4 insulated walls.
I was about to be thrown out into the wilderness with no such luxuries. Only a thin piece of nylon was separating me from a possible encounter with a bear or a rattlesnake.
I have zero survival skills, well, that is if you don’t count screaming like a 8-year-old girl.
But bags were packed.
Lists were made.
“Pare down,” my friend Melinda kept reminding me. “You don’t need as much as you think, and it’s camping!” She’d say optimistically. “If you forget it, we’ll do without it.”
But two things I didn’t forget were my dog…
As the camping trip went underway, I found myself transforming into Laura Ingalls Wilder, I was a pioneer; comfortable with things like peeing behind a tree and capturing my own dinner. Capturing my own dinner was not required, but I was hitting my stride, and earning some extra credit seemed like the logical thing to do.
And Pat had become a mountain man, complete with hipster beard and axe.
We couldn’t be bothered with everyday nuisances such as taking a shower or brushing our hair. We were camping, and we earned that smell, there was no way we were washing it off!
We frolicked in the ocean and enjoyed each other’s company. Eye contact was made, comradery was created, and memories were burned into our minds, and most importantly no one died or got gangrene.
Camping was a sucess.