What better way to unwind from a stressful work-week than to go camping.
Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to be.
You pack up and head out of town, into the mountains for a relaxing, family-memory-filled weekend free of housework, buzzing cell phones and whiny, bored kids (whom you envision distracted by the beauty and wonder of nature while you sit back with that book you’ve been trying to finish for the past week).
Once Wednesday hits, you spend each day after work trying to pack up your entire household and then the grocery store (yet still manage to forget at least one necessity – like a coat or the coffee). Then when Friday’s work whistle blows, off you go – racing the throng of other camp-seekers to secure a spot.
Arriving on a Friday evening means there’s no way you’ll secure that prime lakeside spot, so the seven-by-five foot opening between the trees will have to do.
There’s a giant boulder right in the middle and the slope could very well make the camper fall off the truck – but it’s yours, so it’s a victory.
You stare depressingly at the half-a-dozen prime empty locations, reserved for those who were smart enough to plan ahead, but then never actually show up.
Nonetheless, you’ve escaped the hustle and bustle of town and are now frantic-free, ready to unwind. Ready to get back to your roots in the beautiful back country.
If you’re unfortunate enough to have a tent, the nights are filled with fearful noises, creepy crawlies and battling for that sweet spot between boulders and jagged rocks. Next time, you swear to yourself, I’ll pack another foamy, or we’re buying a trailer.
Those inside the comfort of a camper or trailer still battle the bugs – particularly that one mosquito that managed to squeeze in and buzzes about your head in between feasts on your forehead.
You spend the weekend trying to keep the trailer free of the outdoors – so realistically what was the point of coming here again?
Then when Sunday arrives, the frantic rush starts all over again. You scurry around trying to cram all the things you once packed so neatly back into the vehicle.
You dread the trip back home, where a household of neglected chores, inside and out, await – along with unpacking all the camp gear and supplies, again (when really all you want to do is slump on the couch with your favourite show).
As exhausting as it all can be, the trials and tribulations of camping are well worth it.
Yes, it can be a pain and almost more stressful getting ready for. But there’s something about escaping the frenzy of town into the serene outdoors that can melt away so much stress.
We are incredibly lucky in B.C., and particularly here in the Okanagan, to have an abundance of breath-taking sites to camp at – they don’t call it ‘Beautiful British Columbia’ for nothing.
For those with families, the memories made are priceless.
Some of my fondest memories as a child were going camping with my dad or grandparents (I’m sure my mom appreciated the break too).
I can only hope that as my daughter grows she will look back on her childhood and smile at all the memories at the lake.
We may not make it out camping every weekend (because as we all know life needs tending to once in a while and there’s housework, yardwork, birthdays, special events and sometimes even work). But we try to make it as often as we can.
And when we do, there’s an abundance of smiles and enough happy memories to last a lifetime.