Some call it ‘Rustic Camping.’
I call it ‘Stupid Camping.’
Yeah, way back in oldentimes, my husband and I used to fancy ourselves quite the Rustic Campers, (otherwise known as ‘dummies.’) To that end, we purchased one piece of camping gear together – a sleeping bag built for two.
We took our first stupid, er, rustic camping trip to a state park and threw our sleeping bag down on the site. Good to, um, go.
Tent? We don’t need no stinkin’ tent.
Right under the stars, campfire burning – we were the original John and Yoko granola hippies. Getting back to nature and whatnot.
And all was just lovely – until about 1:30 a.m.
I heard shuffling and crinkling – close by, around the picnic table. Visitors! With masks! Could they be packin’? I poked the husband.
“Hey! The raccoons are here!” I said.
“Just be still – they won’t bother you,” he said. “They’re looking for food. They’re afraid of humans.”
I listened to him – always a mistake. And my first adventure in Stupid Camping.
Because the shuffles and squeaks drew closer and closer to our ‘sleeping bag under the stars.’ I pulled the bag as high as I could. But it wasn’t enough to cover my left ear, which heard – and felt – this whiskery-wetness:
“AHHHHHHH!!!!” I screamed, shooting straight up.
Three raccoons ran into the woods, I ran for the non-flushing facilities and the sleeping-bagged husband doubled up in laughter.
“Yuck it up, cowboy,” I said. “You have no idea how much money you’ll spend now.”
And that? Was the end of Stupid Camping.
Since then, we’ve purchased tents, a pop-up camper and an entire pickup truck filled with equipment designed to make the great outdoors feel, well, less outdoorsy. (And much less like a sniffling raccoon…in my ear.)
But something was still missing from my camping experience. I couldn’t quite figure it out…until about 3 a.m. one morning.
Middle age, middle of the night. ‘Nuff said?
I stumbled from the pop-up camper, in the dark – again – to the restroom. Second time that night. The husband woke long enough to laugh at me as I tripped out the door.
“Yuck it up, He-Who-Can- Whiz-In-Jar,” I said. “You have no idea how much money you’ll spend now.”
Happy wife, happy life. And so it was.
This is how we roll these days: 27 feet of air-conditioned, heated RV luxury, yo. It’s nicer than any of my “single years” apartments. It has a refrigerator. It has a freezer. It has NO raccoons – sniffing my ears.
Best of all, it has a restroom… with a toilet…that flushes. Flushes especially well at 1 a.m., and again at 3 a.m.
Ah, flushing – you complete me. Literally.
Yep, we’ve come a long way from Stupid Camping. We still have the John-n-Yoko sleeping bag, though.
On top of our soft, warm, indoor RV bed. Right where it belongs.
Dawn Weber is a Brownsville
writer, wife and working mother
of two pre-teens. She now blogs