It’s the first weekend families across the province will pack up the minivan, load up the tent, the sleeping bags, the supplies, the food, and leave the perfectly good confines of a warm, cozy home complete with the amenities, to brave the elements.
Otherwise known as camping.
Now why anyone would leave a perfectly good home with heat, cable, Internet and gas grill to fight bugs, fight with we logs, and fight with other family members in what some call fun is a mystery to me.
It’s like people who parachute.Why jump out of a perfectly good airplane?
Camping should be reserved for when the economy really goes south and the bank comes knocking at your door asking for all your mortgage money NOW.
You say you don’t have it?Bank takes your house.You grab your family and your camping junk and head into the bush. That’s what camping should be saved for.
Why do I hate camping? Two reasons:1) Too much work and 2) Too much stress.
It’s taking what is supposed to be a stress-free experience and introducing stress times 10.It’s like hitting a fried food buffet when you’re on a diet, drinking salt water when you’re thirsty, or trying to put out a fire with gasoline.
When someone tells me they’re going camping this weekend, I just have one question (which most often I just keep to myself so I don’t get my wife’s fist in my shoulder.)That question is: Why?
A tent needs to be set up, and like the map in my car, it’s never folded properly, and like everything I’ve ever put together, there are always pieces missing.In this case it’s pegs.
As for setting up a trailer, the stress is less, but you still have to set it up and if you know me personally, you know whatever can go wrong for me usually does.
Tent camper for Tyler? Tyler rips the canvas while pulling the roof up. Fifth wheel for Tyler? Tyler hits a tree denting the back of it while attempting to back up.Bohler for Tyler?Tyler flips the Bohler turning a corner driving too fast to the campsite.
Let’s face it, on Tuesday you can tell at work who went camping, and who took the safe route of family vacationing and either stayed in a cabin or a hotel — both of which I think are as close to the elements as I want to get.
But wait. Don’t get me wrong.
Invite me to your campsite to drink your beer?I’ll come.
Invite me to come to your campsite to BBQ some hot dogs or act like a clown around a campfire?I’ll do that too.
But don’t ask me to stay, or say "we have plenty of room", or "you guys need to camp", or "you guys should buy a camper."Thanks, but no thanks.
I need a bed off the ground, running water, and a bathroom that has lights, and toilet paper, and room to think.It really is an office for me, and I need an office.
So it’s a hotel or cabin for this cowboy.I don’t tell you "you should buy mirrors for your bedroom ceiling, it’s great," so please don’t tell me to buy camping stuff (for the record, no mirrors for us but you smell what I’m cookin’ right?).
Am I any less Canadian for being a "camping wimp?"Am I less of a "summer lover" since I don’t want to be "one with the wilderness?"
I’m not alone.Here’s what some Facebook Friends had to say when given the choice between tent, camper, or cabin/hotel:
Betty Reykdal — Tent for me but not sure for how much longer with old age creeping up on me and getting tough to sleep on the ground. May have to invest in an air mattress or airbed this year.
Kim Longstreet — When I was younger, a tent — it was the place we stored our beer! Today I’m cabin/camper...need a good bed for a good night’s sleep. In 20+ years I’m thinking a resort hotel...along with the rest of my cronies!
Jennifer Malcolm — Camper. The comfort of home I can bring with me wherever we choose to get away.
Marlo Boux — Five-star hotel please. I don’t like sleeping on the ground and I don’t like bugs. Cooking while camping is just like being at home...except, OH YAH, it’s WORSE because the amenities aren’t there. The kids whine all the same though :) ahhh camping. Not. Give mommy the five star with room service. And a spa.
Derek Blakely — Cabin/hotel. I’m all about the urban lifestyle. I don’t do camping.
Vanessa Bruzell — Tent trailer so I was off the ground. After 10 days of this then definitely number three for a week of pampering-dreaming. I love camping but I am O-L-D and can’t handle the cold ground anymore. Also I love to be pampered occasionally.
Teresa Everett Hume — I don’t like tents (too close to the ground, with spiders and other icky bugs), but I love tent campers. Probably because that’s what we had growing up, takes me back to my youth.
Tara Elliott — I can do the tent thing but I love my tent camper. Not roughing it but no luxury either. Like Teresa, it’s what I grew up with and I have lots of wonderful memories from my childhood. There’s nothing wrong with a luxury hotel thrown in every so often though.
Lori Crooks — Camper.Love it!That is what I can’t wait for in the summer...my mother is over 60 and she still uses a tent....I couldn’t wait to get off the ground....never going back to one.
Susanne Fayant — I love camping. We go out to the middle of a bush. No lake side for us. Our camper is tiny, barely fits my mom, dad and I. Their bed is a pullout sofa and mine is a fold-down table. We are out there for four days — no running water, cooking on an open flame with family and friends. We kick a soccer ball around, go on quad rides and just relax!
Sandra O’Neill — Camper = less bugs :) Have a great May Long, everyone!
Amy Cochrane-Hamilton — Tent or tent trailer for me. Yay — May Long can’t come soon enough.
Steffee Hunter — Old school all the way for this chick! Love tenting it and cooking over an open fire!
Jayline Melisa Jonas Bursey — I love to camp old school — it’s the best.
Brenda Yakimishen-Camper — No tent. But nothing beats cooking over an open fire...yummy. I’m too old for tents. Have to be able to get up in the morning; can’t do that if I’m too close to the ground — ha! But seriously, a few creature comforts are OK but don’t get me wrong, I don’t need electricity and running water and 200 TV channels.
Angela Ross Blaikie — It’s not camping unless it is in a tent.
Wendy Robertson — We use a camper, as the old bones on the ground thing again is no fun.
Maybe that’s it, Wendy — the "old bones".My 38-year-old bones can’t take it, my back can’t take the ground, and my ego can’t take messing up the setup. However, if you need someone to guide you back into the campsite and you’ve got beer, gimme a call. I can help you with that beer problem.
Have a great long weekend, campers. I’m reading this from a warm bed. @15.6.2 sat tab turn cont:Joke this Week
In case anyone is considering doing some camping this spring or summer, please note the following public service announcement: In some areas of Manitoba forest, tourists are warned to wear tiny bells on their clothing when hiking in bear country. The bells warn away MOST bears. Tourists are also cautioned to watch the ground on the trail, paying particular attention to bear droppings to be alert for the presence of Black Bears. One can tell a Black Bear dropping because it has tiny bells in it.
Pam Pachkowski Chetyrbuk
Tina Terence Brown
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 19, 2012