26: Dear camping

12 Jun

Dear Camping,

You and I were not fast friends. In all fairness, I wouldn’t say that I am your target demographic- I don’t like bugs, dirt, cold weather or sleeping bags, not to mention that cooking chicken out of a cooler gives me anxiety. What’s that? Why did I put you on the list then? Good question. For two reasons, actually: the first being that Brian (the man I happen to love) is a huge fan of camping (It speaks to his soul or something like that) and I wanted to try something he loves. The second being that I always felt a tad left out when I would hear people talk about camping and they always seemed happy when sharing their stories about you! So I decided to stretch myself and put you on my list.

The highlights from my time in the wilderness include making s’mores (they really are a lost dessert) , cuddling by the campfire with Brian (can you say romantic) and the beautiful mountains of Big Sur (jaw dropping).

The other highlights include an 8 mile hike (complete with over-grown brush, poison oak, a supposedly “cute” snake and a bobcat sighting on the trial where I happened to be wearing a backpack filled with cured meats), having to shower in a communal shower (gross), sleeping on rocks (awe-some. If you haven’t tried it you must!) and having to walk through the dark woods in the middle of the night to pee (facing fears over here people!).

But, despite all my complaints about you, I still look back on our time together with fondness. You taught me to appreciate my bed. You gave me the opportunity to see  how cute Brian looks when building a fire. You made me feel connected to nature. You made me laugh. You  brought out a fun, brave and silly side of me and well, I appreciate you for that.

Will I be an avid camper? No. Will I camp once a year? Maybe.

Kind regards,


A trip down memory lane…

The tent.

“My first thought upon seeing the folded tent was “Now what?” I had no idea what to do with that heap of fabric lying in the dirt. I told Brian that I would do my best and to just give me a job. After 15 minutes we had a tent!! My first thoughts when I saw my new home was…I like its color scheme and “now what?”.

 ”Now what?” was a constant thought during my camping trip. The other refrain was “This is some backwoods shit.” No matter what was happening I would refer to it as “backwoods shit”. Brian hated it when I would say it. He informed me that nothing about my situation was “backwoods shit”  because we had  hot water to shower in and a flushing toilet house. He also didn’t think it was a very “PC” thing to say. In the attempt to not offend, I ended up whispering it to myself every five minutes. I couldn’t help it because I saw some crazy shit.”

The hike.

“Day 2, Brian and I decided to do a 8 mile hike. Well, actually Brian decided that we were going to do an 8 mile hike and I mumbled “yes…sounds great”. When starting 365 til 30, I made a promise to myself that I would simply say “yes” to things even if they didn’t fit into my idea of pleasurable. Reason being, I usually end up enjoying the things I think I won’t. So I happily agreed to an 8 mile hike AND to carrying a backpack full of cured meats for our lunch. Both of these were very hard for me to say “yes” to with a smile.”

The chicken.

“The Chicken consumed my thoughts prior to the trip. I simply did not trust Brian about the chicken situation. He attempted to assure me that it was ok to travel with raw chicken in an ice cooler and then…eat it. Even more disturbing…the plan was to cook the chicken on night two. This seemed wrong to me. Terribly wrong. But, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings considering he had already done so much to make my first camping adventure perfect. So after a few conversations I acted like I let it go. Cut to our drive up the coast when I slipped and asked “Hey Brian, where is the raw chicken in relation to the apples in the cooler?” He looked at me like he was worried about my mental health.”

“Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.”

George Carlin


24 Responses to “26: Dear camping”

  1. bhg June 12, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    nobody ever said that you HAD to shower while camping… smoke bath.

  2. beautiful life and style June 12, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    “I don’t like bugs, dirt, cold weather or sleeping bags” YUP that about sums me up too! Maybe I’ll have to give camping a try again….

    • katemcclafferty June 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

      Ha!!! Bugs, dirt, cold weather and sleeping bags are the worst! Good luck camping again! Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  3. Cassy June 12, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    I have yet to try camping either… but I definitely want to give a go sometime… I am also not a huge fan when it comes to bugs and such. :/ But I do appreciate the outdoors!

  4. Sarah June 12, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    I have a love hate relationship with camping. Loved it as a kid. Hated it as a college student. Love it now that the boyfriend and I have adopted it as our adventure of choice.
    One thing I haven’t adjusted to is the cooler and raw chicken thing. I totally understand what you mean. I quiz D about if he’s packed enough ice next to the food multiple times every camping trip!
    Very proud of you for saying “yes” to things that don’t sound appealing at first. I’m trying the same approach and it has created some wonderful memories!

    • katemcclafferty June 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

      Right?!!?!? The whole raw chicken thing is a bit disturbing! Oh and saying “yes” to life is the best:)

  5. becca3416 June 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    I have never been camping either, but I think it is a must. However, I decided not to attempt this until I have a boyfriend to cuddle and/or fend off wild backwoods creatures (haha). Sounds like you did it right!

    • katemcclafferty June 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

      hahah! Yes Becca, you may want to wait until you have somebody to do all the heavy lifting:) HA

  6. gregorychankins June 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    This was so much fun to read, Kate. I’m going camping this summer for the first time in 20 years. So I’ll be remembering your post when I’m setting up my tent and probably being laughed at by the unmerciful bunch of hooligans I’ll be going with.

    • katemcclafferty June 12, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

      The first time in 20 years! How cool! Where are you going?!

      • gregorychankins June 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

        The plan is to do some kayak camping both here in our Gulf Islands, then head across the border to the San Juans. We’ll camp around there a bit and eventually we want to spend some time at the Pacific Whale Institute on San Juan Island itself. I’ve never been to our southern neighboring island despite the fact that they are only a mile or two away. I think it will be a trip to remember.

  7. sophiaharcourt June 12, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    Oh my goodness you are hilarious with the chicken thing. Back in the day “fridges” were essentially coolers you didn’t carry around;). I think people are a little too fridge crazy. I leave my Irish butter from Whole Foods out in a butter dish…gasp!!!
    I love being outdoors but I have to say I like a bed so the last time I went camping I went
    “car” camping which involved an air mattress because I don’t think rocks or nails should be slept on;).

    • katemcclafferty June 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

      I know I am a bit crayyy-zay with this whole raw chicken thing!!! Don’t worry I am completely aware of my own insanity!
      The next time I go camping I am going to follow your lead…car camping! Brilliant. 🙂

  8. fuzzy bee June 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    I’m an avid camper, but I’d be nervous about the chicken thing too. I’ll stick with hot dogs!

  9. whitt88 June 12, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Brian is 100% right. If you’re as smart as you seem, you’ll begin to see his side of the issue. After all you’ve done,how can you possibly not catch the ‘bug’ of summertime fun sleeping and camping outdoors. Watch your man, he’s going to teach you plenty.

    • katemcclafferty June 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

      Brian enjoyed this comment VERY much:) Oh and yes summertime camping seems fun!

  10. Heather.B June 13, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Haha, funny ending quote and cute entry!

    I happen to be quite the fan of “camping” (ie. sleeping bags, tents, and a bathroom nearby) but have never been out in the wild without facilities. I’m kind of a KOA type of girl. However, after reading your entry, I took notice that I don’t make an effort to do it every weekend. There’s just something about the comfort of my couch with a cup of tea and my cat snuggled close.

    Hope it starts to grow on you some, and here’s a little tip – a yoga mat, as skinny as they are, helps ease the rocks and such under your sleep bag.


  11. Wendell A. Brown AKA The Brown One Poet June 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Your excitement, your joy, and the love you share is always intoxicatingly beautiful! I am always lifted by the serenity i feel from your heart in every word you deliver! You are a gem, thanks for always sharing!

  12. bumblelady June 14, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    I usually don’t shower when camping. :-p I hear you on the bathroom thing. Boys have it so easy. The last time I went camping a few years ago (camping and toddlers don’t mix) I had to pee at like 2 in the morning and the only bathroom area was like 1/4 mile away and I forgot a flashlight… durr. I ended up nearly getting run over by a rogue deer on the way back to our tent. My favorite way to camp was this nifty “pop-up” tent that resembled a sardine can on wheels when still folded up. There was NOTHING pop up about this baby. It was huge and made of steel and real canvas. (think 1940’s boy scout camp and you get the idea). It was still the most comfortable “primitive” way to camp. 🙂 Way better than a real tent.
    Can’t find a picture… I guess they weren’t very popular. :-/

    • katemcclafferty June 14, 2012 at 8:23 am #

      HAHA!! You seriously cracked me up with this comment!! Thank you for sharing your hysterical experience with me!

  13. Rebecca Koo June 20, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    FYI, I just went to a bridal shower where they offered gourmet s’mores cooked with beautiful skewers over sternos. Amazing and no dirt or communal showers involved. (just in case you want s’mores more than once a year) 🙂


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