Camp out amongst library's camping collection—September 6, 2013
“My idea of camping is the Waldorf Astoria and Edward’s Steakhouse.” It’s not unusual to hear something like that when mentioning an upcoming campout. Some people seem mortified at the thought of joining insects, crawly things and argh! dirt.
My parents introduced us to camping as we were growing up. We’d load our small pick up camper and leave civilization for 2 or 3 days. My parents actually expected us to survive without a television or even a phone. Left with only our imaginations, we would become pioneers looking for game, lumberjacks gathering wood or any number of other characters. When mealtime came, we were ravenous. Our bodies slipped into slumber before we realized how tired we were. The sunrise would alert our olfactory senses to the aroma of breakfast followed by another day of scampering through nature. A whiny “But Mom, there’s nothing to do” was a phrase we never uttered during our adventures.
My own children grew up with the same experiences and, as adults, have purchased their own homes on wheels and the equipment necessary for enjoying regular mini vacations. We all look forward to sitting around a campfire, taking spontaneous naps, meeting other campers and just letting the concerns of our usual hectic lives escape.
Camping isn’t rocket science, but still it’s helpful to read the ideas of authors who offer suggestions for safe and successful “get-a-ways”. “Basic Essentials Camping” includes information about campsites, appropriate clothing and building fires. This book even includes a chapter about camping in an area inhabited by bears.
“The Parent’s Guide To Camping With Children” points out the educational aspects of living outdoors. A few activities are casting animal tracks and studying cloud formations. How about “Bug Bingo” or a nature scavenger hunt? Looking for constellations and trying to identify other celestial bodies might help excited young campers drift off to sleep.
The topic of bicycle camping fills a chapter in “Camping In Comfort”. This book describes unusual tent styles, cots and sleeping bags. There is even a small espresso machine available, perfect for a minimalist camper. What really caught my interest was the camping closet, a compact catchall for clothing, bedding and items like tissue and small gear which looks like the perfect organizational item.
My favorite book in the camping collection is called “Glamping With Mary Jane”. It is filled with colorful pictures and addresses topics like “Décor Ideas”, “Casual Cocktail Parties”, “Trailer Shopping and Restoration” and many more. Vintage camping trailers become colorful works of art in these pages. There are fish earrings to make, an outdoor chandelier and and all kinds of other camping items which are dressed up to suit the individual camper.
If you haven’t had the chance to experience camping, you’ve been missing too much. Try it, you’ll like it.