A Reader’s Perspective of the wonderful outdoors.
Who loves camping? I’m going to, at least for the next week I’m going to be loving it. More like a version of glam camping though because I won’t have to haul my gear in on a trail through the woods. I won’t have to go to the bathroom behind a tree. I won’t have to use a stream to take a sponge bath. No. This ride is awesome in having roadies trucking gear from site to site- leaving a walk across a field as the only hiking I have to do. There are port-a-potties galore (though I am sure after seven days I’ll be looking forward to a flushing toilet!). And there are showers with hot water at every camp! That’s pretty glamourous!
My family grew up camping similar to how Wynn Malone’s character of Blue Riley in Finding the Grain did with her aunt. I thought they were fun adventures, but it turns out it was more like cheap family vacations. I mean what was involved with having our family spend a week in the woods? It’s not a whole lot more than spending a night or two in the woods just more food. And with freeze dried food that’s not too much more weight in the backpacks. In California, especially in the summer, there isn’t a big chance of rain so a tent isn’t even needed. Just a tarp on the ground to limit the dirt in the sleeping bag factor. It was awesome! And it was contagious. I continued backpacking well through my 20’s similar to Blue Riley and used the outdoors sort of as a touchstone in a hectic life.
Kim and I still have a few backpacking trips planned in our future but we are also realizing the quality of sleep that can be found with an air mattress over a foam sleeping pad so the car camping/glam-camping is becoming more appealing. Even so far as buying an RV when we retire and setting off with our two cats (because cats love vehicles so much!) on a year long road trip throughout the US. I’m not sure it would have the security system that Cameron Ross’ had with the sound of a shotgun loading when someone approached. Though, when I was reading that in Gerri Hill’s Devil’s Rock, it made me laugh.
Luckily (yes I’m knocking on wood right now) I haven’t had any major emergencies while in the back country. Of course there was that one time when I was leading a group of young boys on a leadership trip and we sort of missed the mountain we were aiming for and ended up on the wrong side. But I blame the rain and low cloud cover that didn’t provide us any land marks as we were navigating. And then there was that one time I went hyperthermic when I was backpacking out of the Grand Canyon at 2:00 in the morning. But other than having this constant urge to stay warm all the time, it’s just an epic story now. Then that one time with Kim when the misty rain turned into a rain which turned into a downpour that eventually beat the seam sealer we had on our tent and soaked us. But it just made the trip more memorable!
No, if something like what happened to R.L. Johnson’s character of Robin in Take Time Out I would probably freak a bit. I mean I have taken wilderness first responder classes but the fact that just a mile down a trail can be an insurmountable distance if you are carrying a body. I absolutely would try but again I’m knocking on wood that I wouldn’t have to do what Jess did.
And if something like what happened to Chris and Merry in Catherine Ennis’ To The Lightening, I would flip! Well maybe for only a day or so if it was Kim I was with. She’s the level headed one and if I had to be stuck anywhere, I would want it to be with her. I think together we could pull off the Robinson Crusoe/MacGyver necessity to survive and be happy. Just being happy makes life better anyway right?
Dirt, campfires, sponge baths in rivers, going to the bathroom with a spade in your hand, the smell of bug spray permanently attached to your skin- all them wonderful camping experiences! What other lesfic camping experiences have you enjoyed? And if given the opportunity would you let one of the characters lead you into the wilderness? Who would you trust to keep you safe but show you a good time?