Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Definitely Not a Happy Camper

What is with all the camping talk lately?

It feels like everywhere I turn, people are talking about camping.  The weather turns warm and people decide to eschew their comfortable, bug-free houses and sleep outside.  Scratch that- they drive hours and hours away from their comfortable, bug-free houses and then they sleep outside.


Here's what springs to my mind anytime someone mentions the word "camping:"

Being excited about getting to sleep separately from the rest of my family in a two-person tent (my dad is a camping purist; no pop-ups or campers for us, oh no; if you're not in an uncomfortable, leaky tent with nary an air mattress in sight, then you're not really camping) with the friend I'd brought along (pretty sure the fact that I always got to bring a friend on our annual camping trips was my mom's way of keeping me from revolting; she's the polar opposite of my dad in that her favorite place to camp is the Holiday Inn).  We'd borrowed the special, just-Kim-and-me tent from our family friend Teresa.  I'm pretty sure I had visions of something like this:


[UPDATE:  Derek read this post the day after I published it, and wasted no time in texting to assure me that if I didn't remove the photo I originally had posted below- of the twins in a pup tent in the original The Parent Trap movie- we would be sued and burned on a pyre, probably at the same time.  I was scared to do a Google search for "girls in tent" for a stock photo, and besides, the Hayley Mills picture is really what's in my head.  So I decided to craft a near-exact duplicate via Microsoft Paint.  Behold, then click on this link so that you can compare how awesomely similar my version and the original photo are.  You're welcome.]



You should definitely click to embiggen.





But what I got instead was a tent that absolutely reeked of dog poop.  You seriously couldn't walk within ten feet of that thing, let alone crawl inside and cocoon yourself in the Plastic House of Crap.  So instead, we decided to sleep in an open-air cart-trailer-thing that a fellow crazy camping family had hauled behind their van.  The problem with the cart was that it was on two wheels, meaning it was always sharply canted one way or the other when unhitched.  Because we're brilliant, we first tried sleeping head down, but it turns out it's difficult to sleep when clouds of mosquitos are swarming your face because of all the blood rushing to your head.  We next tried feet down, but gravity decided to show us who was boss and our sleeping bags kept slipping out of the cart.  This all seemed vaguely funny to a couple high schoolers, but we stopped laughing when the severe storm- featuring pouring rain, lightning, and a tornado- ripped through the area.  By that night we'd decided to just sleep in the minivan, which was dry and way better at muffling the sounds of our impending doom than flimsy tent walls.



Know what else I think of?  Trying to canoe with a different friend on a different family camping trip, but being unable to because a boy in our party decided that it would be just hilarious to spend forever (read: probably about five minutes) trying to tip our canoe.  And it was all fun and games until someone decided to jab her canoe paddle into someone's else face to make him stop.  No means no, Brian.  (In his defense, Adolescent Me did this weird thing where she'd laugh and use a jocular tone of voice even while saying things like, "Stop it," and "Cut it out."  So going from thinking everyone was having fun to having his parents try to separate his lips from his braces was probably a little bewildering.  My bad.)



You can therefore understand why I find this article, Stuff White People Like: Camping, absolutely and unequivocally hilarious.  Like, can't-breathe-while-I'm-reading-it hilarious.



Please tell me none of you are going camping this summer.

10 comments:

  1. Visiting here from Cassi's blog and laughing hysterically. Camping is "a fine and pleasant misery" and I've got posts with home- (er, camp)-made videos to prove it. Feel free to click (this one is from my old blog):

    https://kcinnova.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/vacation-day-4-a-fine-and-pleasant-misery/

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  2. I absolutely LOVED camping when I was a kid - our family did tent camping in state parks, cooking on a camp stove, drive up to the campsite - that kind of camping. But it might be that the memory is more lovely than the actual camping was. About 10 years ago we tried camping, with my husband and I playing the part of the adults. I was miserable and exhausted.

    Going now to read the other links, because, who needs to work when there are camping stories to be told?

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    1. I've never been camping as an adult. I'd love to go canoeing again- I always enjoyed that part- but the rest of it seems like so much work, not to mention expensive.

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  3. The first time I ever camped was when, as an undergrad in a geology class, I was invited to go on the grad camping trip, where we drove from Michigan to Florida. I had an old cloth sleeping bag from when I'd gone to sleep-overs as a tween. It got so soaked by dew and rain that we left it somewhere in the Carolinas on the way home, the grad students laughing with (at?) me. I have some amazing stories about that trip, but they're not all family-friendly :-)

    I did a lot of camping in grad school, including camping out in Tanzania and listening to the hyenas and lions in the night. That was all fine, but the older I got, the less charm there was in camping.

    I never experienced camping as a kid, but I'm thinking that while it might be fun for the kid, it would be a heck of a lot of work for the mom.

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    Replies
    1. Holy cow, and I thought the wilds of Oklahoma and Missouri were... wild. How sheltered I was. Am.

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  4. I am so glad that I came back to look at this again (just to convince myself NOT to go on a camping vacation this year). Your art work made my day! And I'm glad to know you won't be burned on a pyre. Whew, that was close, eh?

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  5. No camping plans.

    Love your title! ;) (still noticing them)

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    1. You mean you don't want to go camping with five kids? Why ever not?

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  6. Kudos on your drawing skills (although I think Disney has bigger fish to fry, don't you?). I forgot to mention that I grew up camping with 6 of us shoved into a tent trailer on many rainy nights. Luckily, that tiny tent trailer also had a large porta-potty. Yeah, it was lovely. Ha!

    I'm no longer up to backpacking with my husband (I leave that to the boys now), but I still enjoy a good tent-camping trip, preferably to the beach or the mountains. Either way, I'd like my kids to have their own tents. I've also discovered that camping is So.Much.Nicer when adult beverages are involved -- not too many, just enough to make me really enjoy close quarters with the rest of the family. (It helps that the kids are now teenagers and beyond.)

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    1. I'm so shell-shocked by the notion that you can CAMP ON THE BEACH that I can't even respond to the rest of your comment.

      You can seriously camp on the beach? And just how much am I betraying my land-locked childhood?

      Delete

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