I remember my first camping trip. I was eleven years old. Several other neighborhood kids and I decided to sleep out on the flood-wall overnight. With mom's permission and dad's WW-II sleeping bag, I joined the others about sundown. Before laying out our beds, we had to make a last minute run to the local store for rations: Rainbo bread, bologna, and Pepsi. Now we were prepared to set up camp and venture through the night.
First task at hand was to find a smooth spot to lay our sleeping bags. One of the kids had a Coleman lantern, which we placed in the center of us since we had formed somewhat of a circle.
Now that we were ready to settle for the night, out came the cards, bologna sandwiches and the bottle opener. We would sit up playing cards until the munchies were gone, at which time we would lay back on our sleeping bags and contemplate the night skies. Back then the sky was full of stars, but they have since become obscured by smog. We would lay there pondering ideas about space until the Coleman lantern ran out of fuel.
One by one we all succumbed to the peace of the night air. And one by one we each awoke with aches and moans from sleeping on the hard ground. But we were different somehow having simply spent the night outdoors. We were now campers.
There you go! Basic camping: someplace outdoors to sleep, some eats and drinks, and someone to share the experience.
The following chapters will present you with lessons that address these three basic premises for enjoyable camping: comfortable sleep, delicious meals, and outdoor activities.
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Camping Basics Index
Updated by Camping Expert Monica Prelle