When I was younger I was sure tenting was the way to camp. Using a cabin or an RV was cheating. How could someone actually call that camping. To me that was a vacation. A luxury vacation since you had all the comforts of home.
Then there came the day I crawled out of my tent and headed into the woods for a bathroom. It was an overcast, foggy, fall morning and for some reason my bones didn’t want to allow me to get up off my hands and knees. Using a fallen limb I was able to stand upright and make it in and out of the woods.
I reentered my tent and dressed as quickly as I could because it was time to start breakfast. I tried and tried to start the campfire, but my fingers felt stiff and didn’t want to work. I had to wait for my husband to come back from the river bank for him to start the fire.
My whole day went that way. No matter what I wanted to do, my body rebelled. We went for a hike but the hill I scampered up just a few days ago turned into a mountain and I couldn’t get half way up before I had to turn around and go back down.
Then it got worse. The rest of the camping season was a trial for me. What was wrong? What was happening to me? I no longer was enjoying my time in the woods. It was no longer restful. In fact by our last outing for that year I found myself dreading to go.
By the time the next spring rolled around I made up my mind I was done with camping. My husband tried and tried to get me to reconsider but I was standing firm. I was done with camping. This broke my husbands heart but I just could not put up with all the aches and pains the accompanied my camping trips.
I would catch myself daydreaming about my times spent in the woods. The beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The mother deer with her young fawn nibbling on bushes. The Blue Heron fishing along the river bank. The smell of coffee in the morning air. I missed it all.
My husband seemed to be tuned in to my melancholy and was determined to do something about it.
One afternoon he arrived home with a small tag-along trailer on the back of the truck. By himself he had set it up and was ready to roll so off we went to our favorite camping spot. I was sure this was going to be a big waste.
We pulled into our spot and set up to camp. The whole time I was complaining under my breath. Within fifteen minutes the trailer was leveled, the gas turned on and our chairs were in place under the awning. HMMM, maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.
At the end of the third day, snuggled in a nice soft bed, in the trailer, under the trees, I realized it wasn’t the tent that made the camping experience it was the woods themselves. It was watching the squirrels and chipmunks chasing up and down the tree, The birds chirping in the trees, The wind whistling through the branches, sunsets and sunrises. All this is what make up camping. Not what you are living in while in the woods.
I still love to camp. From spring to fall you will find us in the woods beside the river two to four days a week. Now that we are retired we can spend all the time we want there and because of my creature comforts I can enjoy camping once more.