Camping seems so cozy, in theory. The thing is, I just don’t really think it’s just as fun in practice. I really don’t like camping.
However, I am a hopeless tent romantic and really like the idea of camping. I dream and plan to pitch up a tent in a perfect place, sit at the campsite, watch the sun go down and look out over a magnificent view. Then I creep down into a warm and cuddly sleeping bag, sleep like a log and wake up to birds chirping and a burning sunrise. Wonderful!
Only, the problem is that my empirical studies in the field did not meet expectations. Instead, it takes a little too long to travel with a tent and the place turns out (later in the night of course) not to be as perfect as I might have thought at first. The mosquitoes then invade to the gentle extent that the imagined myth of dinner at sunset, instead becomes a fierce battle, where the small creeps stick to my spoon during the milliseconds it takes to bring it from bowl to mouth. Once I have tucked myself into the tent, which is a bit cold and damp, and come to rest, I need to wee. Though I ‘went’ a number of times beforehand for preventive purposes. The seat of my back is itching and I spend the night in the company of a few noisy mosquitoes. In the morning, everything is still a bit chilly and wet and the ‘placebo need to go’ is a thing of the past. Now it’s soon a real crisis. But I pull myself up to go out into the cold now that I finally got close to being warm. Still, I grit my teeth and wiggle out onto the frosty ground.
When I sit there squatting and feel the pressure ease, with some blueberries tickling against my ankles, I look up and realise what I have in front of me. The sun that is just struggling over the spruce tops, a sky bathing in pink, red and orange. The birds actually chirp far away if I make an effort and listen extra carefully. A thin mist lies over the ground and the mosquitoes seem to have given up for the moment. That’s how it is to camp, I think. The contrasts. Rollercoaster. All hours of frustration, irritation and anger that are then blown away by a few seconds of magic. Is that what makes us get out the tent time and again? Those little moments of gold?
I’m still not sold on camping. The theory is for me still strong. I keep the pink-shimmering dream of a perfect night. I am more than happy to go out in the countryside and along the trails, but will just as easily walk into a cabin when the evening comes. Maybe I am soft, but so be it. Then I am comfortable with pride, because the most important thing for me is that I am out in a way that works for me. And then I leave the tent at home.
What do you think about camping? Do you like it? What is it that attracts or discourages? Share with me!
PS. If you’re still being appealed by the tent tank, check out 9 tips for a better night in a tent. Maybe they can make the experience a little more pleasant.