I was starved from the ability and chance to camp for years as the person I was with at the time had no interest in “roughing it” whatsoever. (It is funny looking back at how many compromises a person makes to keep a relationship going until they aren’t doing a single thing they want to do at all.) When I left and came home for good I made a few promises to myself. One of them was that I would go camping as much as I wanted to! I had very little money at the time but I started saving and planning. All those years ago I grabbed a couple of big Rubbermaid totes (with good clip-on lids) bought myself a fabulous tent, a cast iron pan, a camping coffee pot, a bunch of fire tools, a hatchet, a decent cooler and a full size air mattress. (note: all of those links are affiliate links and they are the EXACT products I purchased and am still using camping so in other words: I totally endorse all of them! Sadly, the tent is no longer being sold…) It was the first time in many years that I didn’t have to ask for permission and didn’t have to share or compromise. Instead, it was my money: my gift to myself. It was so totally awesome and I’ll never forget packing up my car for the first time to go: honestly, up until that point it was truly one of the happiest days of my life! I almost sang FREEDOM the whole way to the camp ground! Knowing that, I guess now you understand why I love camping so much! 🙂
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not “roughing it” too hard lol I’m not back packing into the wilderness with nothing but a flint and a bottle of water to try and survive for a week. No, I actually have a very favorite camp ground that I’ve always gone to that’s private and well out in the middle of nothing and no one. But, there are still porta potties (if I feel like walking to them) and there are showers (even farther away then the porta potties) but it is still, most certainly “camping”. Back then I usually found someone to go with me but I’ve also camped alone. One of my big regrets is not taking my dog Diesel camping before he passed away. The summer of 2013 (right before Joe and I got together) I had planned to go (just Diesel and me) but something happened that stopped me though I can’t remember what it was now. That might have been for the best though: Diesel wasn’t really into “roughing it” he always got real upset if he got dirt between his toes… I miss him so much.
I had promised myself one trip camping a year, NO MATTER WHAT. Yeah, life got in the way: a 15 month renovation and your own wedding in your back yard will do that to you! But, this year, we reserved our camp site for this last weekend two months ahead of time and it was so incredible to go out in the garage and grab my two Rubbermade bins and bring them in the house. I felt the same rush of happy: all my camping gear all ready to go almost asking me, “Where ya been?” Can two Rubbermaid totes really carry around that much sentimental value? Absolutely! (I didn’t put it in the wedding vows but Joe knows full well that we’re going camping at least one night every summer for the rest of our lives but he enjoys it as much as I do.)
I’ve got camping down to a lovely little organized science, after a trip to the store I had my lists crossed off, my car packed and only my pillow to grab on our way out the door in the morning! It sure was silly (we both agreed as we OWN our own boat) but we rented a boat when we got there anyway and fished around a lake neither of us had fished on before. It is August and guess what I had to do? I wore long johns! UGH!!! It was actually cold enough that I had to wear long johns and that night (Saturday) it got down to 49 degrees! I love Minnesota most of the time but that seemed awfully cold I mean, seriously, it is still August! But, I dressed well enough (and Joe is his own little furnace who does not get cold easily) so I can’t say the cold interrupted our lovely time at all. After a few hours in the boat, we set up camp now, brace yourselves as I am about to tell you about my tent in a way that would make you think I was getting paid to tell you about it (I’m not – it is no longer being made).
I LOVE MY TENT. I spent HOURS on Amazon picking out my lovely little tent. I wanted something small but simple and this one I put up MYSELF in less then TWO MINUTES! Seriously! Joe didn’t even bother to help me because he knew just how awesome my tent is. I’m not kidding: TWO MINUTES. But, honestly, that’s not what totally sold me on this tent (though the ease of putting it up was certainly a selling feature) it was actually the giant opening in the front of the tent that I loved so much. I hate how hard some tents are to get in because the front flap is tiny. This one practically one whole SIDE opens up. I love my little tent 🙂 I SO wish I could give you guys a link to go see it but Amazon is no longer selling it 🙁
With camp set up Joe started a fire, I pulled the food out of the car and settled into my camping chair. He happied himself making a fabulous bon fire and I did exactly the one thing I love to do most while camping: I pulled out my kindle and I read 🙂 (my newest guilty pleasure is the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris) It was perfect. It was only one night but I am so glad we went before summer is truly gone gone gone. We talked about camping out there in the fall some time to see the colors of the trees turning etc. So, maybe next year we’ll go in the summer and in the autumn! It was only one night but, honestly, I came home feeling lighter and happier, it is truly amazing how good it is for us to disconnect for a little bit!