Friday, July 17, 2009

Question of the Day #254

When I was 12 years old, in an attempt to unite our stepfamily, my mother and my stepfather packed up my stepfather's camper, loaded us into my mother's station wagon and took us up to the Adirondacks for a week.

My mother, my brother and I had never been camping. We didn't really "get it." And on the shores of Lewey Lake, quite a few memorable moments occurred:

1. Continual rain. So much that we wore rain slickers. Somewhere, there's a picture of me looking like a miserable duck.

2. My stepfather bet my brother a dollar that he couldn't finish an entire pot of weirdly starchy spaghetti. (I think there wasn't enough water or a pot big enough or something to do with the camping stove.) My brother, not wanting to lose a bet, ate every bit and then puked everywhere.

3. My stepbrother chased a bear cub up a tree. Thank god mama bear didn't kill him.

4. Someone got a hold of fireworks, set them off and we were almost kicked out of the park. I may be revising what really happened, but I think there was a bribe involved.

5. I got 67 mosquito bites. (An actual number - not just a guess.)

Clearly, my parents weren't experts at uniting a stepfamily. But the point is that my first camping experience didn't exactly evoke a love for it.

Nonetheless, I'm going camping this weekend. I've gone a few times since the Step People incident and it's been fun and thankfully uneventful. I'm heading up to Big Bear with N and a bunch of his friends. Last year we went camping at the beach and had a blast, so I'm expecting more good times with this crew in the mountains.

How do you feel about camping? And why?



  1. I love camping. My first camping trip was to Sequoia NP when I was 2 months old. Been going ever since. We went through the tent phase, the pop-up phase, and are now on our 2nd travel trailer. It's 28' long and has all the luxuries of home, so it's far from roughing it. I miss the tent stuff, but it's hard to go back.

    Have fun in Big Bear, Suzanne -- and don't go chasing any bear cubs. The mamas get real pissed off when you do that. ;)

  2. I like camping although the luster wears off after like 2 days. So a weekend camping trip rules. This is why I have a HOUSE upstate NY, not a tent. :-)
    Have tons of fun Suzy!!

  3. I love camping with my family!! It's when I have to camp with other people that I get a bit out of sorts. I've quite the low self esteem and for some odd reason I refuse to be makeup-less even in the wild wilderness. I also hate that my hair gets dirty so quickly so I take provisions to wash it.

    So I'm a bit girly but I still love camp fires, sleeping in a tent, and hiking about the mountains as long as bug spray is provided. I'm going to go camping next weekend (local holidays are the best!) and am going with a bunch of my friend's friends which is slightly scary for me. Luckily there will be a lake and swimming!!

    Have fun and forget about your past experience and make new memories of camping!! Just take the bug spray this time.

  4. I love, love, love backwoods camping - the kind where you canoe for miles and miles, and carry everything you need on your back. It makes you realize that home is more about the people around you than a physical structure.

    I'm not really a fan of car camping so much - too close to people who insist on bringing electronic gadgets with them.

    ...and N hasn't changed his bear chasing ways. On one of our last camping trips he wanted to go "investigate" a very large black bear that had crossed our hiking trail. Dork! LOL! :D

  5. Some places fit well with camping, some don't. You can't really experience places like the Tetons any other way. On the other hand, campgrounds with lots of skunks......yep, been there, done that, once.

    Jim Danielson

  6. Camping is a wonderful experience-when you're young or at least feel that way. Now if I had my choice between a beautiful lodge and a tent...the lodge wins, hands down. Once we camped at Yosemite Valley, and it was a high point of my life. We did take the mattress off our bed and carried it with us. It was almost like sleeping at home but better. The next day we hiked to the top of Half Dome...exciting! I would love to return.

    I know I was growing up, my parents took us camping in Upper Michigan for a week. It was difficult because we would go to a place...set up camp, eat, sleep...then pack up to go to another place. We were five crabby kids and 7 exhausted people. Plus, my father wanted us to enjoy the view and to keep our faces out of the books. No escape!! <3

  7. I love camping, but I don't get to go often as many of my friends do not share this affection.

  8. Camping is pretty much out of the question, especially when you consider that "roughing it" to me is staying at a Motel 6 (they probably have the same amount of crawling critters).
    The love of my life on the other hand has decided we should sell everything and "live off the land" which makes camping sound like a walk in the park.
    I'm now willing to try it for a few hours.

  9. Bear wrastling. It's the Canadian way.

    You know I love camping so much I forgot any of the negative parts of that trip. What? You didn't have a good time? ;)

  10. Hope you're bringing a big hat! It's going to hot up in Big Bear this weekend.

    I love camping, but I have to say--part of that love comes from how something peculiar always happens when we camp. Sometimes good (discovering an empty hunting camp full of autumn-foliage aspens), sometimes bad (a tick on one of the kids' scalps or the trailer rolling into a ditch), but it's always a new experience, even if you've been to a place lots of times before.

  11. I love camping! Growing up, our parents took us camping in VT all the time. In fact, I learned to walk on a camping trip. I have some very special memories of camping at Lake Tahoe and the Grand Canyon (on Halloween under a full moon). There's something so nice about being "unplugged" for a few days.

  12. I like camping with my Girl Scout troop. No, really, I do. I guess part of it is that the trips are already set up and I have to go, so I do and have a good time. Where as I always mean to go camping with just my family, but it never happens.

  13. Love to camp! Miss camping! Introducing the kids by camping in the backyard tonight. Thanks for the camping inspiration, Suz!
    ...I can't believe I just wrote that! ; )

  14. I am so not camping kinda people! The only real memory I have of camping is being miserable at a Girl Scout camp one year when I was about ten. I was woefully ill-prepared, and uncomfortable the entire weekend. All I really remember is sitting beside the lake attempting to whittle a bar of Ivory soap, and thinking, "What the heck it the point of all this?" My sister thinks I'm a bit of a mom-failure for not taking my own kids camping.


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