Friday, August 5, 2011

Camping for an Urbanite - Adventures in Camping Part 1

My husband is an outdoors sort of guy. He's not a lumberjack and he wouldn't live in a hermitage in the Yukon, but he likes doing things outside.  I like hiking. I like boats. I even like digging in the dirt when there's a garden to be maintained. I have never, however, gone real camping.

On the East Coast camping usually means you're going to a cabin retreat on a lake somewhere. Your friend has a little log place with all the regular amenities, and you visit on the weekend. Sometimes it means RVs - but I didn't know anyone with that kind of monstrosity. I can't imagine trying to manage such a thing in the weather...

My husband grew up with camping. Yes, his parents did (and do) own a large (by my estimation, which isn't well informed at all) camper. It has all the amenities a sizable camper could have, including a kitchen, shower, and toilet. Despite this, Christian would often have his own tent when his family camped. My husband has slept outside in a boat while his family slept in their camper. He's slept on the sand. He's slept on grass, building roofs, and dirt. I, on the other hand, have slept on mattresses.

It is true I have on occasion slept in the forest under the stars and sprays of green leaves, but I did it rarely and relished going back to a real bed and shower. I have slept on camping pads on church floors in developing countries and eaten meats that come from parts I don't want to discuss or imagine. But, I have always done this as part of some kind of missionary or existential life experience. I have never gone camping just to, well, camp.

This coming Monday is our three year anniversary. Because we're living on bare bones at the moment, our options for celebrating this year were limited. We could have gone to the movie theater and out to a single half way decent meal. Instead, we're going to Lake Isabella for two nights to sleep in a tent. The days are hot there, and the nights are cool. One of the nights will be at a location that is completely undeveloped. The other will be at a full amenity camp site. Christian is super excited and was bouncing off the walls last night as we planned our camping menu (which trust me, ours is not very exciting because we don't have a reasonable cooler), and packed our gear.

I, on the other hand, am most concerned about the fact that I won't be able to work on my book for an entire weekend and I may not get any sleep. I am trying to keep an open mind for his sake. I want it to be successful and I hope that we both enjoy our time there - but I am purposefully keeping my expectations low so I won't be disappointed. Christian can tell I'm a little wary of the experience and I think he has purposefully made it a little less grueling on my behalf, which I appreciation. Still, it will be an adventure one way or another, and I will definitely document the whole messy thing. Wish me luck!

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