The fact that I love to camp is probably not immediately obvious to casual acquaintances. I’m not an athletic or outdoorsy person generally; I like my modern conveniences and my technological gadgets. Yet I love camping in a tent — though I like it best if there’s a flush toilet nearby!
I wasn’t raised to camp. Since my parents owned a cabin and liked to go on trips outside the province, camping was never a part of our summer activities. I didn’t go tent camping I was in college and a group of friends invited me on a camping trip. I remember lying outside in my sleeping bag — it was a warm night and at first we didn’t even move into the tent — looking up at the stars and thinking, “Why haven’t I been doing this all my life?”
In some ways I think I like camping because it’s so basic. Life is reduced to its simplest elements — food and shelter (well, I always bring a book, but that’s a necessity for survival!). Also, it probably doesn’t hurt that I have always been a bit of a lily of the field when it comes to seeking out and securing those simple elements. I’ve never actually been the one who puts up the tent, or starts the fire, or barbecues supper. For a busy working mom of two, a camping trip is a real break since so much of the work involved is Daddy Work. Jason does a masterful job of all those tasks, while I mainly keep track of the kids — which, of course, is a job in itself.
We are lucky that the kids like camping too, and consider it a treat. Emma does share my need for certain creature comforts, to an even greater degree than I. She is horrified if she has to use an outhouse, and always checks out the location of the flush toilets when we reach a campground. I don’t think we’ll ever get her into camping in the deep woods far from civilization, but at least she’s not demanding a motor home with a satellite dish on top!!
We usually only go on a couple of camping trips each summer, but it’s always a good time. Camping produces such great memories — I can remember the first camping trip Jason and I took together after we were married, the first trip we took with Chris to Terra Nova when he was about six months old, the trip that same summer when we got rained out and sought shelter in a motel room where my parents were staying nearby. We’ve camped in all four Maritime provinces with both kids, and later this summer we’ll get to camp in Washington State, which will be a whole new experience.
This weekend we went to LaManche Provincial Park, where we’d never been before. It’s only an hour from home, and we usually camp farther afield — I’ve never seen the point of camping when you’re within easy driving distance of home. But when our plans to go to Terra Nova and Eastport this weekend got a little foiled, we decided that camping-for-camping’s-sake was still worth the trip, so we took the opportunity to visit a place close to St. John’s that we’d never explored before. There are bunches more pics up at our our Flickr site if you’d like to check them out.
Also — because reading is basic to survival –I have a couple of new reviews up at Compulsive Overreader, so go there and check it out!