I went camping for the first time this past weekend. Yes, for the first time – some people are shocked by that, others not so much. I just didn’t grow up in a family that went camping, and neither did either of my parents. However, I’m dating someone who’s practically a professional camper, and therefore, I am going camping.
It was an enjoyable experience, even taking into account the injury I sustained (an embarrassing one that I achieved by losing balance while putting on my shoes in the tent which was on slightly uneven ground. Go me!) and the extra evening we lost due to unforeseen circumstances (memo to all my readers: never plan anything on a Friday night after traveling through Dulles airport on a Friday afternoon. You’re not getting home on time.). It was a fair amount of work doing this trip – we borrowed the basic camping equipment, but we had cobble together the rest and I was attempting to figure and learn what was needed along the way. It took me a few trips to each store to get it all right, but now that I know, next time it’ll be much easier.
One thing I have to say is that every couple should be forced to camp before committing to each other long-term. Especially if they have to put up a tent in the dark while trying to be quiet. Which is exactly what we did and we managed to survive and still be talking by the next morning, though I was probably pushing my luck with my over-zealous flashlight control. My attempts to keep the light in the right place led to a few blinding "right-in-the-eye" moments, which quickly got less funny after the fourth, fifth and sixth time. It really wasn’t my fault, I swear – I was just trying to do a good job!!
Anyway – we got the tent up and the basics of what we needed in the tent. Then at three in the morning a car alarm went off, and yours truly went into a panic trying to find my keys and shut it off. Turned out that it was the strange elderly woman next to us who was sleeping IN the car.
Anyway – after that first night’s worth of mis-adventures, we enjoyed a great day of playing Monopoly, reading, cooking, and relaxing by the camp fire. It was nice to be able to relax with just me and my woman – there’s usually always something going on with other people and it was nice to just spend time with just the two of us.
There is definitely a certain charm to camping – it is quiet (almost eerily so at our campground), elemental (basically sleeping on the ground and depending on fire to keep you warm and cook your food), and forces you to relax. I’m still a city boy at heart, but once in a while its nice to get away.