Camped Out

I was cleaning out a closet today and came across this little list I wrote when I was camping with my son and his buddy in August of 2005. This was my last camping trip, as I reflect…which is not surprising!

Camp Observations:

1) Boys can use a “toilet bush” a couple metres away from the campsite. I had to use the “vault privy” several minutes’ walk away, and not nearly so pleasant.

2) There are few satisfactions in life that would surpass flattening wasps, horse-flies, deer-flies, blue-bottle flies, yellow jackets or any other buggish thing with a 99 cent flyswatter. Cheap entertainment. Note: Yellow-jackets get five swats, even though one does the job.

3) Falling asleep on a leaky air mattress the first night and waking up an hour later flat on the lumpy ground is a camping low. Sharing the leaky mattress the next night with your 17-year-old daughter makes you appreciate the luxury of the first night.

4) Discovering there are no showers makes a person resourceful. Note: You need to dive into Lake Erie four times to totally rinse the shampoo out of your hair. Conditioner? Never entertained the thought.

5) A woman can follow all the same instructions for lighting a camp stove as a man, but it will only work for the man.

6) Two boys can go through four “poky” sticks in two days. Poky Stick Definition: sturdy branch, just the right length with a good grip, used to poke at the campfire both endlessly and aimlessly.

7) Two boys will express keen interest in any experiment involving the testing of what materials will burn, and how, including: Pringles, bacon grease, entire candles, water bottles (half-full), Sprite cans, pine needles, banana skins, and ice cubes.

8) One boy’s ankles can be a mass of red insect bites and the other’s can be completely unmarked, in spite of the fact that the same repellant was used on both boys, and with the same frequency. (The bitten kid was mine).