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That's What She Said: Necessities for Country Camping

Published for Now Sale Lake on August 18th 2011

Last weekend was my first camping trip with FSB(f). We made a trip to the country where I’ve been camping since I was a kid. As we prepared to leave, I discovered we had very different ideas on how to camp. I’m a compulsive planner when it comes to weekend trips (and life for that matter). I create Google docs just to keep track of all items to be packed. I download directions and road trip music to my phone.

However, all planning skills are thrown out when it comes to trips to the country. Country life is simple; it’s the only place I can forget about organization and truly relax.

When FSB(f) came to pick me up he was amazed at my lack of planning. I looked at the items he had packed and was shocked at how well he planned, since he never does. Here’s what each of our bags contained.

FSB(f) • tent, tarp, sleeping bag, camping chairs, lantern, bug repellent coils, bug repellent spray, iPod and speakers, lighter, energy bars, water and beer.

Sarah • wine, yoga pants, a deck of playing cards and an issue of Newsweek.

“Sarah, where’s the rest of your stuff? Your sleeping bag, warm clothes, hiking shoes and, um, food…”

“Honey, we’ll pick up my sleeping bag at my mom’s house. You’re going to love it! It’s the same one I had in sixth grade for sleepovers. It’s a hot pink and made by my favorite ’80s brand ESPRIT. I’m only taking flip-flops and anything else I need I’ll grab at my mom’s house.”

He rolled his eyes, but didn’t argue the point with me.

We arrived at my parent’s house for supplies, where my mom made us sandwiches, gave us the necessary items to light a fire and sent us to meet my dad in the mountains where he had a trailer waiting for us.

As we drove up the dirt road to the campsite, FSB(f) commented that it was unlike any other camping grounds he’d been to. He’s never seen a campground with corrals for your horses and hitching posts at every campsite. I mocked his city boy demeanor the remainder of the trip — only stopping when he pointed out I have no room to talk since I didn’t bring my hiking shoes and therefore was stuck at the campsite all night.

It got worse. I was in charge of food and since my mom made me a PBJ I didn’t bother picking up marshmallows or hot dogs. Poor FSB(f) didn’t get to partake in any real camping activities. I usually camp with my brothers, who always bring the necessary items. Without them, I turned out to be a camping failure.

I felt so guilty about being such an awful camping girlfriend that I agreed to go camping again this weekend. This time I’ll bring the most important camping item: my brothers.

*See more pictures here.

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