COM0011: Camping: How I love thee

I find myself lucky. Of all places to be born, this place (peaceful, polite and largely pleasant) is in my view about the best. The general tax rate, coming weather change and endless political attack ads are out of my mind. I see campsites.

An elective activity, camping makes summer days tougher to beat. To me this is one of Canada’s greatest gifts.

It is also at the point in the summer where I am used to the weather, riding a bike, and particularly taking for granted the opportunity to be outside for more than 24 hours and not freeze. This is a mistake. A grave one. No sooner will I turn around twice than be back to fleece and wool socks of a colourful but increasingly more chilly fall. Until then you can find me at a campsite, looking out over the land:

M3620002

I have never outgrown being outside or a tent. Though I have upped my game and level of comfort, the wonder of nature and opportunity to sleep one composite fabric from the outside has never dimmed in significance. It’s a small amount of effort and dirt under the nails to feel this good.

Some people camp with technological wonders, castles of comfort. Some people camp to hike. Others camp to swim. Others camp to relax and let their kids run wild.

I camp to camp – then hike, and swim, and bike … Being in the outdoors is the goal.

Rain? I have a tarp for that. Cold? Weather forecasting and planning. Heat to cook? A cherished Coleman stove that has been in my family since 1953 is my prized device. It’s not easy to use, but the rewards are, well, hot. The delicious suits me fine.

DCIM100GOPRO

I marvel at the great comfort and menu options springing from a vehicle, like a dry tent, site, hot meals, and morning decaf and regular coffee.

Some see camping as impossible to enjoy. Or maybe impossible to pull off. Others can’t bear bugs, bears (if only warnings on paper) or dirt. Those (extreme) less hardy who seek the outdoor experience stick to their condos on wheels, double A/C’s, pop outs, and of course Sportscentre.

I see camping as practical, inexpensive (though that is challenged by the premium sites in Ontario), and frankly a little slice of heaven, or what I hope is close. There is something uniquely special to making it work outside for multiple days that makes me feel more alive and grateful for sights, smells, sounds, silence and especially stars than any other activity in any type of season.

For as long as I can breathe and am able to move I will camp. Because through camping I am alive, breathe better and feel I move better through city life. The woods are a magnet.

Do you camp? How? Why? And is it just me, or is any campsite meal far better tasting?

6 thoughts on “COM0011: Camping: How I love thee

  1. For years we camped with a pop-up trailer. It was fun but A LOT of work when the kids were little. I did not like the extra work but I did enjoy the times spent around the campfire. I have many fond memories of my kids laughing, singing and telling stories while roasting marshmallows. I miss the vistas like in your top picture. We enjoyed exploring the trails of each park.

      • We transitioned to cottaging so we can enjoy different parts of Ontario but still have some of the amenities of home – like running water and our own washrooms 🙂

  2. Everyone has their own personal activity that they do to make them feel healthy, alive and stress free. I commend you and think its wonderful that you get so much out of camping. The most important thing we can do for ourselves is to detach once and a while and enjoy the sounds and sights of nature. I agree that we live in one of the finest places in the world. As for myself, I love our condo on wheels located in Southampton Ontario. I get the best of both worlds. I can enjoy beautiful Lake Huron, campfires canoe rides, long hikes and the beach. After seeing the most beautiful sunset in the world, I still sleep in a nice comfortable bed with heating or air conditioning and a nice fresh shower in the morning. That makes me feel healthy vibrant and alive, and there is no better feeling in the world than feeling healthy. Happy trails my friend!

  3. I used to camp all the time. My first experience in camping was when I was 6 months old. We had an old coleman camper. My family camped all through my adolescence to my 20’s, then I camped in a tent for most of my 20’s and 30’s. My kids have experienced camping and love it. We now have a pool and and I like the comfort but will never forget the feeling of being outside at a campsite.

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