“We should go halfway today and halfway tomorrow since you’re a less experienced hiker, and you’re wearing Sunday school shoes.”
-Sam Shakusky, Moonrise Kingdom
Camping, a so-called time honored tradition, a right of passage, is not something in which I generally partake. While I’m not exactly against it, when given the choice, I prefer to sleep on a plush mattress instead of a lumpy hard ground. When asked whether I would rather use a portable plastic bathroom, or one that has flushing capabilities, I will always choose the latter. There’s also the added uneasiness of sleeping under a thin layer of vinyl that may or may not succumb to the elements. And a list of other reasons – most of which involve comfort.
Over the weekend, I threw out my former I-sleep-where-strangers-can’t-see-me mantra and headed to a weekend music festival. Featuring bluegrass as its main star, the event was filled with hippies, questionable hygiene, boozehounds, and mud … not necessarily in that order. Sure the music was great, and I was semi terrified that a long-term camper would ask to brush my hair – the apparent pastime of choice – but the event led to more people watching than I’d seen in the past half year.
There were sardined campers, most of which had decorated their areas elaborately with parachutes, tree houses, and real beach sand. (Considering the even was hundreds of miles inland, this is an impressive feat.) Babies teethed on cold cans of PBR; wanderers yelled haggles such as, “Everyone looks nice!” and “I love you!” Strangers chugged bagged wine – which was followed by a heavy and loud “bag slap.” And all of this took place while stringed instruments were being expertly played.
While wearing multiple layers and my 4-year-old, $11, polka dot galoshes, which have yet to let me down by way of comfort or practicality, I watched all of these glorious events take place.
Sure I slept on a concrete-like bed, was kept up at all hours of the night by drunkards, and sloshed through a swamp for consecutive days, but when weighing all the events on a scale that measures excitement, perhaps I misjudged. Camping, I won’t be opposed to trying you out again.