June 18, 2013

How to Camp

Because I grew up camping with my parents and siblings, and then continued the tradition with my own family, I'm always surprised when I run into someone who sheepishly confesses they have never tried it.  They don't like bugs, or sleeping on the ground, or a myriad of other reasons as to why the great outdoors is not for them.  So here, my friends, is a primer for the uninitiated in HOW TO CAMP.

Early on the first day:

Grocery shop for way more groceries than you could possibly consume in 2.5 days.  This includes several kinds of cookies, chips, sandwich makings, hot dog buns, brat buns, hamburger buns AND sandwich buns, plus all of the meat to go with said bread.  Don't forget the wine coolers and wine, and a corkscrew, and most important of all, INSTANT COFFEE.

Pack way more clothes than you could possibly wear in 2.5 days.  Bring two pair of jeans, two pair of tennis shoes, lots of socks, and short sleeved and long sleeved tops, plus sweatshirts, flannel pajamas and rain gear.  It's Wisconsin, so weather changes fast.

Pack all the fun stuff you plan to use while camping--cards, Sudoku puzzles, cross stitch, magazines, books, watercolor paints.  Most of these items will never make it out of your bag, but a good camper is always prepared.  A mystery book is a must-have, because what better time to read a mystery than when you are stuck in a tent late at night in a thunderstorm (see rain gear above...)

Then, pile all of this stuff in your kitchen for your husband to pack, plus the tent, coolers, chairs, golf clubs, etc. etc. etc.  This makes my husband very happy...he loves to pack the car.  He always mutters it won't all fit, but somehow it always does.  This makes me very happy, because goodness knows I only pack the necessities!
Then drive four hours.  Be sure to miss the bright orange detour signs that point out the bridge is out up ahead, because it's fun to backtrack and spend extra time driving through little towns. 
After arriving in Fish Creek, the most important thing is to stop at The Cookery to pick up the evening's dessert...fresh homemade Door County Cherry Pie.  This stop is non-negotiable.
Now comes the fun part!  It's time to create our weekend home-away-from-home.

Check out the site:
Hang the sign:
Erect the tent:
Our new tent--it's fantastic!
Carefully lay down the new mat (more on this later, referencing thunderstorms above...)
Is this cute or what?!
Finally, set up the intimate bug-free dining area, arrange the campfire seating, and enjoy a delicious outdoor meal followed by a roaring campfire and late night laughter with loved ones.  What more could a person ask for?
Emily Dickinson may not have ever camped, but she understood the call of Nature!

"Nature" is what we see --
The Hill -- the Afternoon --
Squirrel -- Eclipse -- the Bumble bee --
Nay -- Nature is Heaven --
Nature is what we hear --
The Bobolink -- the Sea --
Thunder -- the Cricket --
Nay -- Nature is Harmony --
Nature is what we know --
Yet have no art to say --
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.

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