Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Camping Trip Observations

Campers are a different breed. For 5,000 years of recorded history, humanity has been seeking to escape a hand-to-mouth existence. But campers actually like foraging for food, roasting their meal over a fire, and skipping showers.

Pretension is one of the first things to go on a camping trip. People may start with a manicure, designer sandals and a latte from a name brand coffee company. After a day or two, though, the hair is wrapped in a towel and flip-flops are on the feet.

You should bring a towel every time you go to the community bathroom. You’ll need it to kill the mosquitoes.

Men, keep your hair short before going on a camping trip. You may need to comb it with your hand.

Yes, God really did make all those stars.

There is something profoundly Christian (or at least pre-modern) about camping. You voluntarily give up smaller things (convenience and privacy, for instance) in the service of a larger purpose (such as community and nature’s beauty).

There is little difference between the sound of thunder and the sound of distant fireworks. Experienced campers know the difference.

Embers really do burn. Avoid them.

You know you’re camping when after taking a refreshing shower you immediately cover every square inch of your body with bug spray.

The bugs were here long before you arrived and will be here long after you’ve left. So be humble.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of choosing to leave your watch off.

Camping is a lot like life. You have to improvise, improvise, improvise.

If you drop a marshmallow, pick it up. Better that you eat it than the raccoons.

In camping, “clean” is a relative term.

When camping, keep your use of laptops, PDAs, and cell phones to a minimum. Otherwise, why did you come?

Antonyms: camping and personal space.

One of the benefits of camping is simply the knowledge that you survived.

Don’t go camping just to save money on your vacation. You won’t.

If you go camping voluntarily, don’t complain about the singing of the birds in the morning.

There’s something primal about sighting a doe and her fawn in the woods.

Just as in modern, everyday life, there is a system of social stratification at the campground. At the top are those with RVs and the rare electric site. Next are those with trailers or pop-up campers. Holding up the rear are those who choose to camp (gasp!) using, of all things, a tent.

Platform sneakers and hiking don’t go together.

When camping, keep in mind that everything will take just a bit longer, and plan accordingly. Okay, a lot longer.

Next year, we’re thinking of staying in a motel.


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