Camping is not pretty.
Could it be that I have reached a certain age? Perhaps, but I don’t remember camping ever being pretty. Especially after 48 hours. It seems my inbox is filled lately with pretty fellow adventurer/wanderlust nomads. This is good, I’m not complaining. It makes me positively giddy seeing people living a life outside. But the thing is, if you are putting on makeup to unzip your tent, frankly…you aren’t doing it right. (Note to self: Stop signing up for every “people doing cool shit on a mountain” newsletter, it’s just making you crazy in jealousy since you aren’t there right now.) My point is, the point of getting outside should be an effort at stripping down of stuff, removing distraction, and getting dirty because it’s fun. Remember when you were a kid and you didn’t give a shit about tying your shoes and all that mattered was how fast you could get out the door? I do. There are only a few ways you could ruin it for yourself. Here a a few:
- If you are waking up to put your make up on an hour before everyone else…you are doing it wrong.
- If you camp with your dog and don’t let it run off leash. You are doing it wrong.
- If you camp, and you let your dog run amuck and don’t clean up it’s poop, you are doing it wrong. (Don’t even get me started on cats on leashes.)
- If you went to your local camping supply store and bought a space heater because temps might dip below 50 degrees at night, you are doing it wrong. It’s camping, it’s supposed to be a tad uncomfortable. Physical discomfort wakes up the senses, therefore making you feel alive. You’re human…remember?
- If you bought hiking boots and you haven’t worn them to the office for at least three weeks, you’re doing it wrong. (Trust me, hurting feet will ruin it.)
- If you are posting every step you take on social media and doing it for the selfie, you are doing it wrong. You can wait until you get home to post that, don’t worry it will still be a cool pic.
You are doing it right if:
- You wake up and you’re tired and all you can think about is how you’re gonna make coffee. (e.g. this conversation should be happing in your head— 1: “I’m car camping and how many yards is it to my car? 2: I’m at a walk in camp and I know my car is far. I left all food smell in my car because bears don’t give a shit, they will eat you for coffee…but I need coffee like now so here goes! (Insert sound of tent unzipping here.) 3: I’m totally prepared to pack in and pack out and I found Folgers instant coffee at the gas station because I’m lucky like that.)
- You’re a little scared and you accepted the trail map at the Ranger’s station. (Take the map dummy.)
- You under packed your backpack by 30% compared to the last time you camped. Less IS more. (This bullet is for my friends out there that want to be prepared for anything. Trust me, all that extra is just weight. Bears aren’t chivalrous. They will chase your ass off that mountain without pausing for you to check your bag at the nearest coat check. Consider bear spray, and yes…a gun will work too.
- If you have kids….you are doing it to show them that they can try things out of the realm of their experience that they will survive . Also, this gives you leverage to feel confident yelling….”HEY KID, cry me a river…a BEAR tried to eat me last week so tie your own damn shoe!”
- If you don’t have kids, you are doing it because you can, like….indefinitely. I mean you can live on a shoestring and MRE’s for a LONG time. (Plus, unless you’re trekking third world gas stations are everywhere.)
Now get outside my friends! See you on the trail!