Sometimes we do things for our family…even when we really don’t want to. I did that this weekend. Camping.
I understand that there are some people that truly enjoy camping. I am not one of those people.
You see my kiddo is in Cub Scouts and somehow I found myself in a leadership role. I say somehow because Cub Scouts was going to be a thing for my husband and son. They were going to bond together and I would catch up on books that I haven’t gotten the chance to finish. Then, the pack started to fall apart and being the leader that I am I stuck my hand out and said I would help. The rest is history.
Our first pack campout happened this last weekend. Before we could even head out I was already missing my cozy bed and bug free home. Then, the rain started. As we were packing the truck with what seemed like our entire house, it was pouring. But we were committed. We probably should have been actually committed. But we forged on.
The truck was packed to the gills with food, did I mention we had taken on the role of cooking for the 47 other people that would be joining us?
We arrived at the Boy Scout camp and I swear to you I heard the faint sounds of dueling banjo music and chainsaws as we passed these tents that were canvas, I believe that my husband called them wall tents.
Then we arrived at our campsite. There was mud everywhere. One fellow parent cheerfully said the mud will make the ground more comfortable to sleep on. Ummm. Ok.
The hubs picked out a spot to put out tent up for the evening, I am pretty sure that it was the muddiest spot in the campsite but I digress. The kids scampered off to play with their friends, running from tent to tent and kicking up mud along the way. My youngest shirt looked like it was nothing but mud caked on, his shoes had changed from black to brown, and he even got mud on his face somehow.
At one point I realized that I had left something in my tent that I needed to retrieve. Getting in and out of the tent is a process all on its own. You have to very carefully remove your shoes before entering the tent, being careful not to get mud on your socks or anywhere else. Then, once you are ready to get back out you have to scoot yourself up to the front of the tent and hold your feet up in the air while you are retrieving your shoes from the mud pit outside of the tent. Once you have done the equivalent of a 30-minute cardio workout just to put your shoes on, you must then ask yourself “how the hell do I get up from here?” I opted for flipping over on to my knees and pushing my way up, it worked, however, I am sure it wasn’t a pretty site.
My only saving grace was my brand spanking new camping equipment, and by new I mean I haven’t even taken the tags off of the packaging. I had a Mondoking 3D from Thermarest that someone would have had to pry from my cold dead hands to get away from me. It is reportedly the thickest self-inflating mattress that Thermarest makes. I thanked them for that all night long.
When it was time to gather around the campfire for skits and stories I got repeated questions about the self contained chair that I had. It is called Quadra chair and it fit nicely in the container that it came in, and is easily put together, fun fact the sides of the container are the legs of the chair. The seat is a bit small so be prepared to feel snug, which was kind of nice because I felt like the chair was cradling me, telling me that it was all going to be ok.
Here is what I found to be the worst part of camping, and why I don’t quite understand why people willingly do it.
When you get home your work isn’t done.
Granted when you arrive home from a vacation where you stay in a hotel you have laundry to do, but this is different.
You have to (or so I was told) put your tent back up, and let it air out. Pro tip: be sure to use the stakes in the tent while it dries out in your front yard or you may find yourself chasing it down your street, fully assembled.
Then, those sleeping bags that you fought with while rolling them up and putting them back in the bag, they need to come back out and be checked for rips, mud or other unpleasant things.
The cooking supplies? You guessed it, need to come back out, be scrubbed down and then repacked up.
When we got home I was so very tired, by the time we finished every bone in my body ached and I had blisters on my feet.
By the time I was finally about to crawl in bed for the evening, I promptly passed out.
In my opinion, life is too short to waste your weekends in the mud, no matter how many merit badges you’re rewarded with