When I was a kid, probably five or six years old, my father was big into fishing. We would pile into the truck camper and head off to Pulaski to go fishing in the Salmon River Reservoir. There were six of us total so we were pretty packed into that camper. It was an adventure to be sure, running around the woods, playing in the water and sometimes even fishing.
I remember an incident where there was a large turtle or tortoise of some kind walking along the beach. My father, at 225 pounds put his foot on this thing and it just kept moving! It was a very large turtle.
Another not so pleasant memory was the time I was carrying all of the hotdogs and hamburgers that had been cooked down to the picnic tables for lunch. I tripped and fell on a tree root that was in the path and the meat went everywhere. Strangely enough I don’t remember getting in trouble for that. Kind of weird since there was very little I didn’t get into trouble for.
My father was a logger and ran a sawmill so you could say that I grew up in the woods in the same way farmer’s son would grow up on the farm. We cut firewood, cleared trails, made roads, produced maple syrup and everything else you can imagine that might make work and money in the woods.
For most of my adult life my affinity with camping….well there just wasn’t any. That would be like a farmer’s son going to a farm for vacation. It didn’t make a lot of sense or appeal to me very much. My idea of camping was more like a nice hotel room where I could hear and see the ocean.
Last week I had an opportunity to sleep on the ground for a couple of nights. That is what I call camping now, sleeping on the ground. The funny thing is I liked it. I spent two days cooking on a camp fire, sitting in the dark at night playing guitar and sleeping on the ground in a little tent.
There was the little incident the first night where I found out my rain fly didn’t keep the rain out. Note to self: leave your bedding in the car until you’re ready for bed. My sleeping bag got wet. No biggie, it got dried out and the experience continued 🙂
It was romantic in a way, very simple living. There is little to be concerned about when you’re camping, pretty much just eating, sleeping and staying clean. I stopped stressing about work, money, family, and just about everything else to the point that even my blood pressure dropped.
I have even ordered a nice camping pad so the next time I go it will be a little more comfy.
Go spend $30 for a couple nights, sleep on the ground, play with a campfire and make coffee the old fashioned way. Leave your stress at home, exist simply. I recommend it highly and your blood pressure will thank you too!