Monday, June 18, 2012

I get by with a little (tent space) from my friends

The thing about camping - the thing nobody tells you - is that you will rely on a lot of other people for things you forgot.

These could be small things, like borrowing a head lamp for when you need to pee by a tree in the dark.

(Or, uh, borrowing toilet paper.)

It could be borrowing a big spoon from someone because how else are you going to stir your Zatarain’s gumbo on a burner??

Or...let’s see...it could be borrowing...a tent.

Yes, this is how my best friend Meredith and I traveled to a canoe/camping adventure over Memorial Day: very...light.

It’s not like we forgot to bring a tent.

It’s that someone said they had a 10-person tent and extra room and crashing in it sounded a lot easier than bringing our own tent and figuring out how to put all the poles through the top to set it up.

Anyway.

Have you ever been canoe camping? It's where you canoe to your camping spot. I had not been before this trip and took MUCH too lightly (no pun intended) the, “you will get water in your canoe so pack a dry bag” memo.

My, what compact bags you have!! Oh, nevermind. You don’t have any.

So, naturally, I had to borrow someone’s dry bag.

I’m normally not a dumbass who doesn’t know how to pack a camping bag.
Just ask my ex-boyfriend, who was an avid camper and, in turn, made me somewhat of an avid camper.

Really! Ask him! I NEVER forgot the wine.

The thing is, when you just start out camping, or haven’t been camping in a while, you forget the little things that make life easier in the great outdoors.

Like a hammock.
Or batteries for your flashlight.
Or...more than one towel.

OR WATERPROOF SHOES FOR WHEN YOU HAVE TO PUSH YOUR CANOE OFF ROCKS. (The pads of my feet hate me).

All these things (in addition to the tent) were things I personally forgot to bring, seeing as I hadn’t been camping in a year, but it turns out, it was totally fine.

Because the other thing you don’t realize about camping – the thing nobody tells you – is that your friends somehow transform into super effing capable outdoorsmen.

It’s true!!!

Even me!!! Yet, that only applied to my superb canoe skills. I still had to tent hop.

But I always love figuring out who the badass camping chefs are, or the ones who pick out awesome camping spots and set up tents and build fires and find sticks and climb cliffs.
And you always get to know someone a bit better than before, thanks to your shared experience of flipping a canoe.

Even the friends you would normally consider wimpy!!! They’re the ones thigh-deep in waiters, fly fishing!!!  WITH NO FISHING PERMIT (insert voice of third grade class: "ohhhhhhhhhhh")

On this particular canoe/camping trip, a group of guys actually hacked up a poisonous snake with an axe. They spotted it lurking on the bank of the river and eliminated it.

For real. I saw the whole thing.
It was mortifying.

You realize which of your friends know what food is the best to eat on a camping stove and which one of your friends packs nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for three days (Meredith).

You realize how generous and kind people are when they notice you don’t have a dry bag, or a tent, or any more beer.

Now that I think about it, unless you’re some sort of serial killer hiding out in the woods, going camping means you’re lucky.

It means that you have people who want to hang out with you while fighting nature’s elements for days at a time with no break.

People who trust that you don't accidentally kill yourself.

And people who you want to make memories with.


Like so.

Because camping is not something you do alone after all (OMG never camp alone. Bears.)

But who would want to camp alone anyway??

I mean, SOMEONE needs to bring the tent.

And wine.


-Jenny

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