Tents, bon-fires, s’mores–what’s not to love about camping? I think camping is fun because you never know what will happen. Sometimes so much “craziness” is going on that I feel like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz saying, “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”
First let’s talk about my hair. I mean this big blonde hair can do amazing things after being in a tent all night. After no shower and one night in the “great out-doors” my hair is practically becoming one with nature. After tossing and turning on my pillow for the three hours I spent in the tent, I wake up and wonder if that orange leaf has been caught in my web of curls all night. As I pluck it out, I can’t help but gag because each lock is still permeated with bonfire smoke.
As I unzip my tent, I self-consciously clear my throat and hope that there are no people within a hundred miles of my hair. The combination of leaves, smoke, and static electricity from my sleeping bag, makes for some wild hair. As I emerge from my tent my hair comes out looking like a matted lion’s mane. It is incredible.
Not only is camping “interesting” because of my hairdo, but also because of camping activities. Have you ever seen a tiger pacing at the zoo? That is totally me while camping. I almost feel panicky because there is so much free time. There isn’t a lot to do, so before you know it I’m poking a stick in the fire moving the hot coals around. Soon I’m bored with that so I frantically start throwing all the paper trash in the fire just to watch it burn. When I’m tempted to start jumping over the fire I decide it might be a good time to roast a marshmallow.
After I’ve successfully burned three marshmallows, I notice the fire needs more wood. This is when I see camping bring out personalities. People do things they would normally never do. I’ve seen girls act like professional lumber jacks as they try their hand at chopping wood. I’ve seen men build fires so large that the county could be up in flame within minutes. From putting up tents, to roasting a marshmallow, everybody is acting like a pro. That is except me. I’m just along for the ride.
By eleven at night all my friends are practically being hypnotized by the fire, while their hot chocolate is making them punch drunk. Soon people are laughing at everything. The conversation plummets until we are talking about things like wallet chains or how gripe water doesn’t work for babies with colic. We are like tigers pacing at the zoo.
Not only is camping fun because of wild hair and lots of free time, but also because of the reality of bears. I remember one time I was laying in my tent fast asleep when all of a sudden my six-foot-three husband sits straight up, unzips the tent, and let’s out a “man” scream. My eyes instantly popped open and I lay frozen. You see I freeze when I get really scared. I only scream if I’m startled. I was so scared I couldn’t scream or even move in the slightest. Think about it: if my husband is afraid of something, I am too. If he thinks something is worthy of a scream, so do I. If he thinks exiting the tent is a good idea, I am so out of there.
After a few moments of trying to breathe, I finally whisper “whaaaaaaat’s wrong?” His head snaps to look at me. My eyes grow big as he stares at me. Then as calmly as he can, he says, “Oh nothing. Just a dream about a bear” He then rolls over and goes to bed.
I am laying there thinking, “What in the world? You just screamed, nearly karate chopped your way out of the tent and all you are going to say is ‘oh nothing it was a dream’?” I was so freaked out I couldn’t sleep and I was nearly burying myself under his arm at this point. As he began to breathe heavier letting me know that he had drifted off to sleep, I began to think:
I am in the middle of the forest. There are probably bears in this forest. (A twig snaps outside of my tent.) Oh great the bear is here, right now. I am in a plastic tent. This is not protection. This is crazy. Why am I camping? I mean all a bear would have to do is belly flop our tent and we would be done for. Let’s just say I had a really hard time sleeping that night.
Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Yes, every camping trip has an “oh my” moment. Once upon a time, while camping, I happened to notice a friend’s marshmallow start on fire. Surprising her, she screamed and violently waved her flaming marshmallow around. All was going according to plan, until the black marshmallow flew off her stick. The flaming goop soared through the air while another friend sat unaware that she was in harm’s way. The rip in her jeans that exposed her knee seemed to draw the flaming marshmallow like a magnet. The flaming marshmallow landed right on her poor knee. Oh my! How can I not love camping?