Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Good-bye summer

Well, there it goes. We enjoyed a couple of weekends of summer warmth, but despite the heavy smoke from B.C. and rainy days I'd say it was a pretty good camping season.

But with the Labour Day weekend done and past, camping season has about wrapped up for the year.
It makes me wonder why we do it.

Whoever came up with the thought, "I know! Let's abandon all sense of cleanliness, society, amenities we work each and every day of our lives to obtain, comfort, and a dry home so we can eat sub-par food in a questionable environment before we sleep on the ground, hoping animals, rain, and bugs leave us alone."
It's the only time you'd wash your hands in the river and be okay with a little dirt in your sandwiches. I can't think of another place you'd settle for dishes you're not sure are clean and wear the same jeans (complete with ash, sand, and mud on the bottom) so many days in a row.

And yet it's a choice vacation. I love doing it. Maybe it's because we can truly get away from the things that aren't important and focus on beauty, fun, and relaxation (though, unless you have an air mattress, relaxation is really kind of questionable too). But I can't say I caught up on my sleep. The sun shone through the smoky glaze covering Martha Creek (near Revelstoke) to awaken us early each morning. We were eager to do some hiking (11 km later I was wondering whose brilliant plan that was) and, with our legs still recovering, paddle-boating the next morning.

If you break it down, it sounds ridiculous. Bundle up to go to bed? Skip showering and hope you don't have to go to a public place? Regardless, I just can't fathom using a fancy trailer complete with a microwave, dishwasher, and heated water. It just takes away the point of camping.

Might be good for kids – we'll see... we don't have any yet. But really, I think abandoning all sense of established propriety, aside from letting us feel like we're really roughing it (air mattress and all), lets us truly escape. It feels so different from home that our thoughts don't have to linger on responsibilities. It takes work to make yourself look presentable each morning – but it really doesn't matter when you're camping.

In general, it's natural.

So what do you think – why do we camp? And is camping in a fancy trailer cheating?

1 comment:

  1. We camp for the reasons you mentioned, and the added sense of danger that comes with food management in bear country.