I can think of no better definition or description of camping than this quote from Daniel J. Rice
“If you have not touched the rocky wall of a canyon. If you have not heard a rushing river pound over cobblestones. If you have not seen a native trout rise in a crystalline pool beneath a shattering riffle, or a golden eagle spread its wings and cover you in shadow. If you have not seen the tree line recede to the top of a bare crested mountain. If you have not looked into a pair of wild eyes and seen your own reflection. Please, for the good of your soul, travel west.”
― Daniel J. Rice, This Side of a Wilderness
For the good of your soul….
There is nothing that I know of that can melt away the stress and worries of city life and the daily grind as quickly and completely as spending some time in the wild. Getting your soul back.
No telephones, no radios, no newspaper and no television. Don’t even take your Walkman or CD player. There is enough music out there to sooth your soul. All you have to do is listen for it. Birds singing, a river rushing by or bubbling over rocks. A waterfall. The mating calls of a deer and on and on.
Cheryl Strayed, writing about her 1100 mile trek over Pacific Crest Trail, had this to say:
“Each evening, I ached for the shelter of my tent, for the smallest sense that something was shielding me from the entire rest of the world, keeping me safe not from danger, but from vastness itself. I loved the dim, clammy dark of my tent, the cosy familiarity of the way I arranged my few belongings all around me each night.” ― Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Camping is a great opportunity for getting to know your partner and/or your family better. Everybody is relaxed and there is no outside interference or influences. I know of quite a few marriages that were saved during a camping trip.
Camping folk are normally friendly extroverted people and I’ve met some of my best friends on camping trips. We still keep in contact and go camping together with some of them after all these years. One of the highlights of our camping calendar is our annual get together with old camping friends at a central camping site. We have great fun reminiscing about “the good old days” where you literally needed a truck to get all your camping gear to the camping site.
Today I can get everything I need for a week long camping trip into my backpack.
So to me camping is joy, camping is fun, camping is adventurous, camping is a new experience every day and camping is an experience to be cherished for as long as I live.
Camping gives everyone a relatively inexpensive opportunity to get outdoors and really enjoy nature and all the experiences that come with it.
For some people like me and my family, camping has become a way of life. We get away as often as we can manage it.
For those on a restricted budget, camping is a great choice and much cheaper than a traditional holiday at a resort or hotel.
You can drive just a few miles out of town and into the great outdoors where you will find yourself in a whole different world altogether!
Regardless of the reason you went camping or whether it’s an individual expedition or a fun family outing, safety naturally is the most important thing prior to stepping out into the wilderness.
Plan your camping trip before the time. Make a list of what you think you will need. If it is a family camping trip get them involved in drawing up the list as well. Don’t leave anything out, you can trim it later.
Also plan the activities you will be participating in beforehand and draw up a schedule of responsibilities for everyone.
Being prepared makes all the difference between an enjoyable camping experience and one that can turn miserable pretty fast.
I want to close this post with a quote from Pippa Middleton out of: Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends as well as one from Dave Barry
“Whatever form it takes, camping is earthy, soul enriching and character building, and there can be few such satisfying moments as having your tent pitched and the smoke rising from your campfire as the golden sun sets on the horizon–even if it’s just for a fleeting moment before the rain spoils everything.” – Pippa Middleton
“It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.” ― Dave Barry
In the old days rain was a problem, but with modern technology to ensure that everybody stays dry, rain has become of the experience. You can’t say that you are a camper until you have been caught in your tent in a rainstorm.