My Town Monday: Camping

Any time one Inland Northwesterner — in a moment of guilt and shame — turns to another and admits, “I’ve never been camping,” a baby angel dies. Literally drops dead.

Not camping when God himself has slapped this much good camping land in our backyards is like a slap in His big anthropomorphic face. It’s smite-worthy.

People have a lot of excuses for never having gone camping, and they’re all lame. “Oh, I’m scared of bears.” “I’m agoraphobic.” “I’m worried my knickers will get huckleberry stains.” “My grandpappy was in the Donner party.” That all rings hollow, friend.

Probably the most reasonable excuse is the argument from ignorance. “I ain’t never did no campin’ on account of havin’ never did no campin’ afore.” 

written by Luke Baumgarten,
staff writer for the Inlander weekly magazine
as seen in the June 14th Summer Guide 

Well, then!

I’m proud to say that I’ve been camping since I was a baby. Not constantly, of course, but I feel kind of hollow inside if I don’t go camping on a regular basis. Something is missing in my life, I am left unsatisfied. I start itching to go sit in the woods and smell like a campfire. I forget how beloved and desirable I am to the entire mosquito population. I even forget how much I like a daily shower and a clean bed! Which is why I am heading out this afternoon with the rest of the family, six of us and all our gear crammed into the minivan, for a 5-day, 4-night adventure beyond the confines of my town.

I’ll probably smell more of bug repellent than wood smoke. It will probably rain at least a little bit. I will wonder why we thought this trip was a good idea, especially when I face the reality of no internet access. And when the welts from my mosquito bites fade and I catch up on the extra laundry, I’ll probably want to go camping again.


11 thoughts on “My Town Monday: Camping

  1. Ha! I love this. I could have written this. I always forget how much the mosquitos like me too! And I love camping, yet we rarely go any more 😦
    Have fun!!

  2. Have fun. I’ve sort of gone off camping after my lung operation… Too afraid to catch anything that might turn into pneumonia – and in my neck of the woods the nights can be miserably cold even in July.

  3. I’ive never camped much. Wanted to. I ‘ve selpt in my car ar rest stops many times–I know not smart. My first time really camping was in arizona in May on a mountain and it snowed and another time in October in Georgia -and is snowed. I’d rather be cold than hot. I’m notorious for peeding on myself or my pants rather. But I still want to camp more.

  4. My parents took my brother and me camping and while my Dad, brother and I enjoyed it, not so much my Mom LOL! Dave took me camping last year and it was utterly fantastic!

  5. Camping is torture. I don’t care what you think of me, but I have to represent for the camping wusses out there. I’m always caught up in the “romance” of the idea, the campfire cameraderie, the fresh air, the beauty of nature… but it never pans out to be Norman Rockwell painting-esque enough for me. I do hope you have a wonderful time, and I’m looking forward to reading your adventures!

  6. Mmmm kay. I agree to try camping – again. There are certainly things to recommend it. But there are some critical, conceptual problems, especially for women. I do not like peeing in the woods.(or the other thing.)

    If I were male, I’d love it.

  7. Just so you know where I’m coming from – we are vacationing now in Venice, Italy. I just went to a restaurant where they had a squat toilet. Not going there, sorry!

  8. I love camping, but I am so glad that my folks always had a trailer. I am also glad that my friends whom I go camping with now also have a trailer, albeit of the tent variety. I’ve been in tents on the ground twice and never again, thankyouverymuch! I will settle for just going out of the city for a few hours these days though.

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