There is nothing easy about camping. First you have to go through the garage and various storage closets to gather all your equipment and supplies, taking inventory of what you have and what you need ("I found the flashlight but the batteries are dead. We have spoons but no forks. Where are the damn forks?? I know we bought bug-spray last summer. Have you seen the tent stakes??") sorting and arranging it all, stuffing it all in the car and then you drive to your destination. You find a camp-sight that is somewhat close (but not too close!!) to the foul-smelling toilets and far enough away from the neighboring camp-site that you won't be kept awake by the house-sized RV's generator. Find a spot for the tent that is flat and not too rocky, dig out aaaall the supplies, set up your tent and sleeping bags, light the citronella candle in a lame attempt to keep the bugs at bay. Cook dinner in several stages over an open flame, scrub pots and pans with sand to remove gunk. Next you must put everything back in the car so as not to attract wildlife. Then and only then do you get to collapse into your sleeping bag, feeling every stick and rock under your back and wishing like hell that you'd remembered your pillow. Sleep, thrash, repeat. Then you pack it all up, stuff it in the car, drive home and then spend another hour or two putting it AAAALLL away! Wheeee!!! I always come home from camping exhausted and in need of a vacation.
The truth is, camping is only relaxing for a few hours between your arrival and departure. I'd much rather spend my time actually hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, reading....or oh! I know: relaxing.
Ok, ok, there are SOME things I still enjoy about camping (or would, if I actually went, you know, camping). Falling asleep to the sounds of night-hawks and crickets. Waking to the sounds of the birds as the sun comes up. Taking a nap in the shade after a day playing in the lake or hiking. And....um...yeah, that's about it.
I have to admit that at this point in my life, my idea of "camping" involves a log cabin within walking distance to a lodge that serves bacon, fresh-squeezed orange juice and huckleberry crepes.
My husband David and my daughter, however, still like the idea of actual CAMPING. In fact, there is talk of a possible camping trip this summer in Glacier National Park. You may have heard of Glacier while reading the latest report of grizzly mauling.
Grizzlies consider a tent to be the dry, uninteresting tortilla that must be endured to get to the soft, pink meat-flavored filling.
In fact just a couple of days ago, some poor sap camping somewhere in Montana awoke to the unmistakable sensation that the side of his head was being eaten. Because IT WAS. An otherwise "harmless" black bear bit through his tent and made a snack of the guy's ear. Fun!
Call me crazy, but I just can't sleep when I'm afraid for my life.
And so, it seems to me that this is the perfect "camping compromise:
See, one of these little beauties would provide bear-proof shelter, a somewhat comfortable mattress and a place to keep your stuff. That's all you need. These babies are so light that they can be pulled behind a Volkswagen!
And think of how spontaneous you could be, which is the other thing that drives me crazy about camping: it is IMPOSSIBLE to say on a Friday afternoon "Hey, let's go up to Priest Lake for the weekend!" Even car-camping involves the above-mentioned excavation of the dark corners of the garage to find all the bits and pieces and supplies and equipment. This process literally takes hours. You can not spontaneously tent camp. Period.
With one of these little trailers, however, it's all in there: the plates, forks, coffee-maker, matches, flashlights, sleeping bags, bug repellent, stove! You simply grab your clothes, hook your little trailer to the car and you GO!! To Priest Lake! To the Oregon coast! To Canada! To Glacier!!
The fact that this is one orange has nothing to do with it. Swoon.