I've decided to start a series of blogs chronicling my new endeavor: tent camping. Since my husband, Paul, died this past September I have been lying low, staying home much of the time, reading, praying, just getting used to not having him around. I am finally rested, almost a little bored, and ready for the next thing.
When we were raising our family we had a big blue bus in which our family of ten traveled and camped. Missing the camping experience, but wanting to try something new, I decided to try tenting. I have had lots of advice from friends who USED to tent camp and are now happily settled in their RV's, and who look at me skeptically, wondering why I would want to start that now. I am well past retirement age, and, while fairly fit, I'm not sure what the ground will do to my aging body. I'll let you know.
Since this is still the preparation stage, I bought a camping app for my phone that lists county and municipal campgrounds. I want to camp in or near towns. The wilderness doesn't interest me. Next I searched online for articles that coached new campers. One article suggested that it would be wise to practice setting up the tent before you go. I had bought one of those little pop-up tents, but had never opened the package. I had planned to just get to a campsite and figure it out there. After all, I would have plenty of time since I have no idea what I will do all day at a campsite anyway.
Still, practicing seemed a good idea. After retrieving my tent from the back of the car I made a space for it in the living room, unzipped the bag it was in, and POP, up jumped my tent. Imagine my surprise when it only had three sides. I just stared at it, trying to make sense of how that was going to work. After reading the directions I discovered that I had bought a beach tent. My first reaction was that I was really glad that I had not opened the tent for the first time at the campsite! My second thought was, since this happened in the privacy of my own home, no one needed to know how stupid I was to order such a thing.
As I tried, and failed to put the creation back into it's little round case I laughed even harder, realizing I might have had to drive home from the campground with that thing all popped up in my car which was an even funnier visual. I promptly went to Amazon and ordered a real tent along with the water repellent with which the online article told me to prep the tent.
My daughter, Sarah, stopped by with her kids today, and, after about a half hour of attempts, amid further hilarity, we have the thing back in its wrapping although it does bulge in some strange places.
Overall, so far, so good.