Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Is This Really Camping?

Is this really camping? This is a question that has arisen in my head recently. Again and Again. Is it really camping if you can make microwave popcorn? I tent camped for years, that's how I started. (Not including many a year at summer camps as a child.) Tents, sleeping bags, coolers, a coleman stove, lanterns and flashlights, cooking over a fire, and lots of insect repellant. We even did this as a vacation in the Florida Keys. Awesome!!!! When the boys were about 4 years and 1 year old, my late husband and I switched to a very small 15 ft. travel trailer. It was great to have that hard shell for protection from the elements with 2 little ones. Of course there was also heat, a tv and vcr, a refrigerator and a stove, not to mention water. Luxury when you have small children. Due to unforeseen circumstances that ended, and I didn't go camping for a few years and eventually sold the trailer.

When TM and I started camping together, we went back to the old standard roots, tent camping. It's pretty inexpensive, compact, quick(ish), and we could go to different places. Oh, and the kid's loved the whole tenting idea. We stuck to family-friendly campgrounds, as having 3 kids with us and packing in to a spot deep in the woods to set up camp for the night just sounded...for lack of a better word...exhausting. Both physically and mentally.

2011 Our Tent

The boys big tent. Great for when they bring friends camping. 

Fast forward 8 years and now we are camping with a travel trailer. A nice 33 ft, tiny cabin on wheels. Truly, that's what it is. A queen size bed, two bunks, a twin bed, and a full size bed. Heat, A/C, hot and cold running water, shower and tub, a refrigerator and freezer, range and oven, a place to hook up cable if the service is available, a microwave, audio system with speakers, and of course (drum roll please), a toilet or lou if you prefer. This is not what I had in mind.

Is this really camping? It's landscaped.

The lure of packing into a remote area and making camp for the night has always sounded intriguing. Getting away from it all and just relaxing. Over the past few years I have been down sizing our camping equipment, getting items that are more geared towards packing into the wilderness to camp. Nesting pots and pans, compact wash basins that squish down into a very small size, portable, low tech drip coffee makers. You get the idea. What we are doing now, is just not camping.

This summer we are leaving our trailer on a specific campsite at one of our favorite campgrounds. We've rented the site for the entire season and are now known as, what is called a "Seasonal". Hmmmm. Don't know if I like it. Sounds like an outdoorsy cult. There was even a special weekend, just for the "Seasonals". See what I mean?!!! Don't get me wrong, it's a nice place and the people are very friendly.

The trailer has it's advantages, that I must admit. Once you are set up, it's so much easier to get to the campground and enjoy yourself. Take a few items of clothing and anything that needs to be replenished and you're out the door. You get there, unlock your door and it's a home away from home. But, that's just it......it"s a home away from home, it's not camping. There are people that stay there for the entire season, not just on the weekend, but every day. For about 4 months. These places are nice that they stay in. Most of the travel trailers and fifth wheels make our little trailer look somewhat tacky and a bit, shall we say, not very refined. I actually spent part of weekend while we were "camping"...get this....doing yard work. If you have to do yard work while you are on a camping trip......YOUR"RE NOT REALLY CAMPING!!!

When it was cold outside, TM and I would climb into our tent, get under the blankets and snuggle up to stay warm. If it was pouring rain, we would take the kids and find the nearest bowling alley. Now when it's cold and wet, we'll head into the trailer, turn on the heat, make some microwave popcorn and turn on a movie. Eventually go to bed in a bed that is larger than the one we have at home. Is this really camping?

Go play in the dirt!!!

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