My favourite memories as a child are from the many camping trips that we went on, and so of course I’d want to provide the same experience for my own children. I remember arriving at the various provincial campgrounds late in the day and setting up camp, which felt like playing house to life-sized scale. I loved playing house. At first, my mom had a VW van that we camped in. My brother got the pop-top (lucky!) and I got the canvas sling that made a bed out of the front seats. My mom got the closest thing to a real bed all to herself. Hey, wait a minute! There was plenty of room for me back there too! Or did the dog sleep with her? I can’t remember. Anyway, I quite loved my spot, but it got super hot super early with the sun beating down on the windshield. The plus side of that is that I could get back to reading my book as soon as the sun rose, which was usually only a few hours after I’d finally turned off my flashlight and put said book under my pillow.
At some point my mom got rid of the VW Van and we went camping in a VW Rabbit and Dodge Omni with a tent for a while. That did not rock anyone’s world. I remember us all crammed into the car playing cards while the rain pelted down onto our little dome tent. Then came the tent trailer, which was brilliant! I still love tent trailers and I drool over them on a regular basis. We’d love to have a tent trailer, but we don’t have anywhere to park it. As soon as we can come up with a parking spot and get a hitch put onto our car, we will be acquiring one. I love that you have a cozy bed and a dry place off the ground for when it rains, and a wee table that is perfect for Yahztee and cribbage for those downpour evenings. And yes, it rains when you are camping! Especially in British Columbia. There will be a post about my love of tarp art later in the week.
What do I love about camping? Filthy children, tinned beans, camp fires at night, lake swimming, star gazing, sleeping with a toque on in the middle of summer, camp fires in the morning, my trusty old Coleman stove, brushing your teeth and spitting into the bushes, listening to the forest rustling at night, crisp morning air tinged with smoke, meeting your campground neighbours, kids so tired from being outside and playing all day that they sleep like rocks, flashlights, fleece socks, plastic table cloths, chopping wood, washing your face and hands with hot water before you go to bed and those being the only clean parts of you, kids hanging out in pajamas around the campfire morning or night, my mom’s Camping Pasta Special, dogs splayed out too close to the fire, the odds and sods that small children collect in buckets and pockets, babies crawling in the forest, bear sightings, exploring streams and creeks, eating wild berries, poking sticks into the fire for no good reason, coffee in my 18-year-old thermos mug, store bought cookies, and the fact that no one is ever, ever bored.