I don’t get camping. I get spending time outside in the beautiful world that God created. I understand why people enjoy hiking and being in nature. But I don’t get sleeping on the cold, hard ground when I have a soft, comfortable bed with fluffy pillows in my house that has a thermostat to keep the temperature set to “cozy” twenty-four hours a day.
So guess who’s going camping this weekend?
Not RV camping with beds and mini-kitchens. I’m talking old school camping. With tents. No kitchens. A community bathroom that’s a good hike away from our campsite. For two nights in a row I will sleep in a sleeping bag in a tent on the hard-packed earth. With a bunch of Cub Scouts. And temperatures in the 40s.
I love being a girl, but I’m no diva. I’m not afraid of dirt. I love to try new things. I’m excited about the daytime activities we have planned and I’m looking forward to s’mores and sing-a-longs around the campfire. But no one has been able to sufficiently explain to me what we will gain from sleeping outside. Why can’t we get there early and stay late? What will we gain from lying in the dark in the cold listening to each other snore?
I went to South Africa the summer before my senior year of college. We had planned to spend a few days at a feeding station in the middle of nowhere where there was no electricity or running water. Ultimately, we had to cancel that part of our trip because rebel fighting had moved to close to the border near where we were to be, and I was crushed. I had really been looking forward to the whole experience. I didn’t mind roughing it for a purpose.
But someone please explain to me what we are accomplishing by sleeping in the dirt when we have beds at home?!
I am excited about cooking over an open fire. (Yes, this might be an appropriate place to wonder why I struggle with sleeping outside because I have a bed yet I’m eager to cook outside when I have a stove. Don’t confuse me with logic.) I’ve been looking for good campfire recipes on the Internet. I’ve been re-reading some of Jana’s posts about cooking at camp. She’s a friend of my friend Meredith and apparently her family is into the whole camping thing. I’m going to drive over to Bass Pro Shop to see if I can find one of the pie irons that she uses in a lot of recipes. And a heated sleeping bag. And a temperature-controlled tent. Or a blow-up cabin.
Honestly, I’m looking forward to sharing this camping experience with my family, I really am. I’m sure laughs will be had and memories will be made. And sleep will be lost. And new blog fodder will probably be created. It’s a win-win for everyone.
So, friends, are any of you avid campers? Any tips for this novice? Recipes we could try? Ideas on how you get all the food out there and keep it from giving us all botulism? Any and all advice is welcome here.
I’m off to look for that blow-up cabin. Wish me luck!