Even with a forecast calling for light snow showers and 30o temperatures for the rest of the week, I am already excited for the coming spring. Maybe it’s knowing that I can finally get outside and begin landscaping around the house, maybe it’s the seed packets sitting on the workbench longing to begin their journey toward harvest or maybe it’s because spring and summer offer a variety of things I can enjoy with my friends and family. Really…it’s combination of all these things. But more than anything, I cannot wait to go camping.
Whether in the backyard when I was a kid or in the backwoods as an adult, going camping has been one of my favorite experiences for as long as I can remember. Camping provides a much needed sense of freedom from our otherwise busy lives; the everyday hustle, an enormous workload or the beloved rush-hour traffic that the Steel City so generously provides. Me, I grew up on 50 acres outside of Erie so I’m slowly learning to adjust to a more condensed lifestyle. But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve really grown to love this town, its diverse culture and the wide range of attractions it affords both citizens and tourists alike. Not to mention I met my wife, a Monroeville native, here and for that I thank you Pittsburgh.
When you’re in the wilderness alone with nothing but your innermost thoughts, close friends and relatives the potential to have a great time is infinite. I say this because when you’re camping you have to be creative. You can’t seclude yourself in your tent and diddle your phone all day like you can in the civilized world. You have to dig deep and tap into something that a lot of adults tend to neglect or have simply allowed to get dusty from lack of use. Of course I am referring to your imagination.
Camping allows you to explore the world around you, especially if you have children at your campsite. Children bring a whole new level of awesome to the table as they scour the forest floor for things to put in their mouth. It gives you a renewed sense of appreciation for the simple things in life and before you know it, you too are looking around for new experiences.
Sit around a roaring campfire at the end of the day and feeling its natural warmth may just give you chills. You will appreciate it even more if you’re cooking your meals in the smoldering coals. Being with friends and family huddled around this campfire will bring you closer than you ever thought possible. You will sing, tell stories or just simply listen but that’s what life is about; the intimacy between friends and loved ones.
As with all things camping is not for everyone. Some folks just don’t enjoy the simple pleasures of bathing in a creek, pooping in the woods or swatting flies and mosquitoes for three days straight. And I’ve been camping with some of these people, dragged there by a boyfriend or girlfriend much to their dismay. To me, it served as added entertainment. To them, it was pure torture. But even these people often find solace in the experience by the time you pack up the tents and roll up your sleeping bag. There’s just something unique about camping that brings out the best in everyone.