Camping means different things to different people, doesn’t it? Tons of ways to camp exist, but people aren’t always in agreement about what “real” camping is. Tent campers scoff at RVers. “Pioneer” campers scoff at tent campers AND RVers. Backpackers are usually too tired to scoff, but most wouldn’t consider being able to hook up to electrical in a real campsite—or sleep inside a vehicle–as camping.
Of course, there’s also “glamping,” “urban camping, “and “tent-free.”
Us? We roll our eyes at “glamping,” admittedly. But really, we don’t judge. You like to get outside, look at and listen to and participate in nature, and aren’t opposed to spending several days and nights doing it? Then you are a camper, whether you sleep literally under the stars or inside an RV.
(We do draw the line at TV. We watch it at home, but there is no TV on our camper. I will happily sleep in my dry camper bed and enjoy a meal at the tiny dinette when the weather is foul, but watching TV seems a sacrilege. We read, knit, play games, write blog posts, and stare into each other’s eyes when we aren’t outside.)
When we met, we both had a decent amount of camping equipment, and lots of experience in tents as shelters. But after a few very rainy/stormy trips, the hassle of having multiple dogs in tents and no way to secure anything became too annoying. We started to do the unthinkable and look at RV’s. Some of our friends had motorhomes, and we liked the idea of exploring nature but being able to sleep dry and warm, as well as secure the dogs and valuables and go exploring or into town (when bringing the dogs wasn’t feasible).
Turns out that a pull-behind was our best option, and we finally, after an exhaustive search, settled on a 13-foot Camp Lite by Livin’ Lite, which was light enough to tow behind the cars we already owned. We liked the idea of being able to unhitch and drive about, too, without breaking down camp. (We’ll highlight our camper in a post very soon. We love it and love giving tours–it takes a whole 26 seconds to see the inside.) We bought it in October of 2012.
Camping is about being in nature. Regardless of weather, we spend most of the time outside, cooking, hiking, taking photos, relaxing, and hanging out with the dogs. It’s getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, leaving the mindlessness behind, putting down your phones and tablets and picking up neat pebbles by the river, or logs for a fire. It’s cooking that doesn’t always go as it would in your kitchen, but tastes delicious because it’s eaten outside. It’s fall breezes and blue skies and s’mores and a nip of Basil Hayden bourbon from a flask as the day wanes and the fire dances. It’s meeting old friends and making new ones, or just hanging with your loved ones without distractions. It’s getting your dogs to new places where they can smell new scents and explore beyond the borders of your yard, or ride in a rented canoe. It’s summer nights with the lullaby of cicadas and crickets, with breezes to help you sleep, mornings of coffee made the old-fashioned way, bacon in a pan and pancakes on the griddle. It’s taking off your watch when you get camp set up, and not looking at it again until it’s time to break down. It’s wearing the same clothes a few days in a row, minimal showers, smelling like smoke and bug spray, and sleeping in.
Camping is heaven.
It’s also occasionally hell, but a lot less frequently when you have a dry place to sleep, eat, and hang out that bears cannot get into. We aren’t dumb.
So scoff at us as “not really camping” if you like, but please keep 1.) camping in whatever way you prefer, and 2.) coming back for updates and product reviews, and some interesting photography, at least.