Saturday, June 23, 2007


What is it that drives rational people to go camping anyway? Don’t get me wrong, I love camping, but that doesn’t make it any less irrational. Not irrational? Who would simulate moving just to spend a night sleeping on the ground? That’s right, you have to bring so much stuff that you have just done a simulation of moving; albeit on a smaller scale but nearly as painful because trying to squeeze every conceivable item you think you might need into your vehicle requires a PHD in calculus and geometry to work out the organization.

I’m no dummy though. I have an open trailer with sides that I can simply throw everything I own into without all that intricate packing. And I do. Why not take the patio furniture with the 5 inch thick cushions? One should be comfortable camping after all.

But seriously, I should do the math. I was there overnight and that amounts to basically 29 hours in the forest. Just how much can you possibly eat during that time? I had enough food and drinks to last an entire week. You would have had to prop us into a feeding bin with a conveyer belt round the clock to consume all of the food that is brought camping to cover “what if”. Ridiculous that I put myself through the purchase, loading, storing, hauling, preparing when rationally I should know that over half of it will just be brought back.

The same goes with entertainment. Yes, you can do a lot in 29 hours, but if you start to break that down:
Setting up camp: 1 hour
Cooking and eating: 5 hours
Sleeping: 8 hours
Cleaning up camp and taking it down: 3 hours

I’m basically down to 12 hours of actual activity time. And for those 12 hours, I’ve brought enough stuff that a decathlete would be tired.

One game that is a bit different is paddle golf. We take our paddle ball stuff and turn it into sort of a Frisbee golf variation. Hiking up the road or trail, we choose objects ahead of us and then keep track of how many hits it takes us to actually hit the object. You can go for miles like this.

Fortunately there is no poison oak, ivy, or sumac. This is a fairly high and dry altitude camp and there isn’t a lot of ground vegetation. I’ve already done the “use poison oak as toilet paper” thing years ago and I don’t really care to have 80% of my body covered in it again, thank you.

Oddly, I’ve given up the notion of doing a campfire at night. I really like them…until I bring everything home and it all smells like a campfire. Plus, a white man’s camp fire is about like this:
Ok, well, maybe not that big. But at least this big.
It has to be big enough that it actually has a virtual mote around it in that it’s so hot you have to back off from the fire about a foot or so. Why we do this is ridiculous. I did go green many years ago and simply abandoned the camp fire unless I was forced to go to one of those huge stalled city type campgrounds. I hate going to those kind. You might as well set up a tent in a mall, you’ll get about the same amount of foot traffic and noise as one of those!

All in all though, we mountain biked, played paddle golf, baseball, hiked, read, listened to old radio serials at night and had a good time. Well, except for my son who wiped out on his bike and got cut, slid down some rocks off a dirt hills he was trying to climb and got scrapes, and then got stung by a bee that had gone up his shorts without him noticing (not that far luckily).


Serena said...

I knew there was a reason why I prefer to camp in decent hotels with room service. LOL.

It does sound like you managed to have some fun, though.:-)

Kurt said...

I love camping.

Scary Monster said...

These days when me wants to go camping me just sets up the folding chairs in the living room, puts me Coleman burner on the coffee table and pops in a National Geograohic DVD into the deck. This way me don't have to worry about all the muss and fuss.

Camille Alexa said...

Bees up the shorts....Worse? or Better? than ants in the pants.

Gnomeself Be True said...

Hey, on our last trip, a large and loud group brought a foosball table.
I'm not kidding.

Jenny! said...

I hate camping! I always end up like your son!

robkroese said...

I always take along like 16 books to read "just in case."

ADW said...

Hate, hate, hate camping. The whys of that will come out later, but I don't "camp" - ever.

Ed said...

sj - Comfy hotel beds are a good thing!

kurt - Is that a trick statement?

sm - Good idea. And then you get the comfy bed without ruining your back for three weeks.

lbb - I guess it depends on whether those would be biting ants.

iamnot - Excellent! Now that is roughing it!

jenny - You obviously have bad camping karma. I'm sure there is a prescription for that syndrome, just consult your doctor.

diesel - I know why you have 16's all those comedy books you are researching. That should last you an hour.

adw - Ok, three hates in a single comment. Has to be a story there! I'll be looking for that one from you.

markjamesmurphy said...

You haven't lived until you've crapped in a hole in the ground.

I loves me some camping!

meet Camppy