Monday, May 26, 2008

Is there a way to make this work?

Camping, I mean.

I can already read my sisters' posts. Why sleep on the ground when there's a perfectly lovely bed at the Ramada Inn? A point not without merit, I have to say.

Should Dave read this blog, I can hear his comments. You never liked camping. Why would you do it now? True enough, I never did much care for camping the way we did it as a family. I stopped going on those trips as soon as I could get away with it.

But I have this thought that won't quite go away. I want to sleep outside on the solstice. I think I might want to figure out a way to camp alone-ish -like maybe go with my friends or the kids or something. Or maybe alone. But there must be a way that I can do this. (Think Bridget Jones Goes Camping.)

I am categorically ruling out sleeping on the hard ground without a pad. I am categorically ruling out a tent that takes an advanced degree in tent-making to set up. I categorically rule out hikes that resemble the Bataan death march. I categorically rule out gross coffee made over a campfire or any food wrapped in foil and tossed in the ashes to cook. What a vile idea.

But I could rule IN things like sleeping outside and feeling the breeze, a gentle stroll through the prairies, sitting in the woods somewhere and getting some writing done, yoga under the trees. I could wrap my brain around paddling around somewhere in a canoe. And when I get hot and uncomfortable, I'll either go swimming or go find some air conditioning. I could pack food and wine in my new (garage-sale find) picnic basket. I could drive somewhere for Starbucks in the morning. How hard can this be?

The thing is... I have to buy a tent and a sleeping bag and all that stuff. Dave took the stuff we had on his last jaunt to Argentina. Does it make sense to buy it (anew) if I'm not sure I'll use it again? Am I dithering about nothing?

Here's the tent I'm thinking about: Andrea's tent. I have no intention of camping in the winter, so it should be fine. I'll probably just borrow a sleeping bag and pad from the boy-child. Should I start like little kids do and camp in the backyard ;)


Renee said...

squash and salmon packets cooked on the grill = Yum. And there are awesome campfire espresso makers. Get thee to REI.

nomad said...

I LOVE tent camping!!
Sleeping in a tent is amazing, you are right, I'm sure that you will like it.

Buy an air mattress. Buy a pump that plugs into your car so it blows up nice and fast. Buy an airmat that is size "full" or "double", blows up to about 3 inches high, is plastic, but has a velour feel to the top of it. That is the kind I use.

When you get a sleeping bag, make sure it has that hood-type thing that you can tie loosely around your head and keep your ears warm in the cold nights. My feet usually get too hot, so I like the kind of sleeping bag that has zippers on both ends so that you can open up the bottom and let your feet poke out when they get too hot.

As long as your airmat is new enough to not leak, you might find it more comfortable than your own bed. I do.

As for buying the stuff to possibly only use it once...think about this: How much would a night in a spa/hotel cost? You can spend up to that amount on camping equipment instead, right? And every time you use the equipment again, you are fractioning the cost of your campout/spa escape.

Michael said...

I've got a good Coleman queen-sized air mattress with a rechargeable pump that you can borrow if you like. I bought it when I moved to my new apartment and had to wait for my new bed to be delivered. It sleeps very comfortably, though I've only ever used it on the floor inside.