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
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.