Camping Report

So last week, we went camping. Car camping, which camping purists would dispute as real camping, and there were comfort stations (which Eve said was a really prissy term for a stone building with a toilet) and showers, BUT we slept in a tent instead of spending the day and then driving to a hotel, like this time and the time before. Of course, since this was the first time we booked a site (and were actually going to use it - we booked one last year, but something came up), we cursed the forecast, and I fully expected that our friends would yank us from our vehicle and sacrifice us to the weather gods the minute we got there. The weather wasn't great, but it threatened rain more than it rained, and we had a great time anyway.

Things I Didn't Hate That I Totally Thought I Would Hate:

1) Sleeping in a tent. The last time I slept in a tent was twenty or so years ago, on a canoe trip with Matt's lab group - he didn't actually come because he was writing his thesis. I was on a pitifully thin piece of foam in Matt's stupid compact sleeping bag that I could barely fit my boobs in, sunburned and sore from paddling all day, so it was basically seven or eight hours of misery. People have been telling me for years that the air mattresses they have now are more comfortable than you'd expect. I would nod and smile and think "you're tripping, but that's okay, I'll never have to find out for sure." Well, guess what? These air mattresses, at least, are WAY more comfortable than I expected (not sponsored). I love that you don't have to foot-pump them, I love that they blow up fast, and when I got into the tent and crawled onto it, it didn't make me feel like a whale flopping onto a waterbed, which is how I'd kind of envisioned it. We also had Roots sleeping bags, I don't know why, Matt went to Canadian Tire for everything last year and must have been drawn in by the fetching ochre shade of all the boxes. Anyway, they were really comfortable too. I didn't sleep all that well anyway, because I generally don't when I'm away from home, but even when I was lying awake I was perfectly comfortable and content, listening to the waves crashing all the way from the beach.

2) Using an outhouse. We were slightly far from the comfort station, so in the middle of the night or when you were hanging at someone's site, the outhouse was much closer. I had thought beforehand that I would walk any distance at any time of the day or night to avoid the outhouse, but enh - I'm lazy.

3) Not shaving anything for three and a half days. It might have actually been too cold for body hair to grow.

4) Not showering before bed. I'm neurotic. I'm a creature of habit. I get hot a lot. I thought it would be really uncomfortable to either hike to the comfort station before bed or go to bed without showering. We set up a basin on the end of our picnic table and I'd just wash my face and splash freezing cold water over a few other parts before bed, and it was all good. I know it's stupid, but this was huge for me.

Things I Kind of Did Hate:

1) Washing dishes in cold water. Matt did most all of the cooking, and I would try to help with the dishes, but only if he'd heat up water. All that slimy stuff in a tub of cold water? Barf.

2) Not being able to find things. We had to keep all the food in the van (more on this later) and our clothes too because our tent was only big enough for the beds and my CPAP and a watermelon, and Matt had packed the van and kept reorganizing things, so every time I was looking for chairs or towels or a can opener or ham,  I was digging through the van yelling at Matt "which cooler?" or "which bag?"

Things I Hated That I Didn't Think I Would Hate:

1) Getting drunk in the dark. I figured I would get over most of my bedtime concerns by just drinking excessively every night. But then, the first night especially, I realized that it would be dark, and it would be hard enough to get around and find stuff WITHOUT being additionally incapacitated. I did get over this somewhat by the time we left.

Things I Loved that I Always Love:

1) The campfire. There are very few times when I can just sit still without reading or folding laundry or straightening stuff or fiddling around on a computer. If I'm staring at water or fire, I'm good. Surrounded by people I like, trading silly stories, funny one-liners and idle thoughts? Even better. I even ate a toasted marshmallow, which I don't usually like, and it was really good.

2) The beach. Even in the cold.

3) The drive-in. We go every year (on Carload Thursday) and we were afraid it might be rained out this time, but the weather was perfect for it - no bugs. We wrapped up in sleeping bags and watched Guardians of the Galaxy which kicked tons of ass. Bonus - our plentiful nutritionally valueless camping snacks were within arm's reach in the back of the van (as long as Matt was there to tell us what they were beside or under).

The bus is the ticket booth!
4) Hanging with these clowns. It's always a kick.

I WENT CAMPING, you guys! This gets me out of trying new stuff for at least half a decade, right?


StephLove said…
Good for you. I'm the one who stays home when B takes the kids camping, mainly because of sleeping on the ground. It just doesn't seem like a good idea.

But I'm glad you had fun.
Julie Leclair said…
many levels of awesome. we haven't been out camping in two years and i don't think that is cool at all. i was hoping for a really warm fall so we go finally get out, but that isn't looking too promising either. boo.
Nicole said…
You are a much braver woman than I. Last time I camped was the year we got married (coincidence?). I agree, I do like a campfire. And maybe the occasional toasted marshmallow. But mostly I'm not a good camper. It sounds like you had so much fun! I'm totally not telling my husband this because then he'll be all "Your friend Allison camped, why can't you?" And...I think I'm with Steph, I'll stay home while everyone else camps. Hmmm but then I might miss out on some fun. I don't know. Conflicted.
Sasha said…
I've always loathed "comfort stations", and since having kids even public washrooms give me the heebie-jeebies. We do talk every once in a while about trying camping though (and I certainly consider 'car camping' as camping). One thing I've always eschewed but now want to try is one of those trailers or motor-homes. You know, with all the mod cons. Like your own toilet :).
Magpie said…
First, is that some kind of motorized spit on the fire pit?

Second: "only big enough for the beds and my CPAP and a watermelon" is the best string of words I've read in a long time. That's a short story RIGHT THERE.
Lynn said…
Just catching up after being away - I'm so proud of you! And impressed! And it was even fun and everything! Still totally not convincing me to go camping myself - although I ADORE the photobomb pictures in your latest post. Your husband is a gas :).

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