Why is it that every person in this world thinks that they just automatically know HOW to go camping?
Myself included in this wondering.
For example. We obviously brought WAY too much stuff for the one evening we were staying. So we looked like absolute idiots lugging coolers and an air mattress up a steep hill, or mountain really, to a backpack camp site. When we finally get up to our site (keep in mind it took almost 2 hours to walk 3/4 of a mile) we unroll the tents and realize that not only do NONE of us have any clue about setting up a tent, but after some ponderance we realize that these tents we have rented from St. Thomas are all either missing poles, stakes, broken zippers, you name it, it's probably wrong with one of the two tents. The poles on Jared and Eileen's tent were broken so it looked like spider legs and in all was about 3 feet off the ground. It also lost some height progressively over the evening. Ben and I's tent was a little smaller, and one of the bendable poles was fine, but of course the other was broken in half so we had to break off the tie from the bag that HOLDS the tent, to try and tie those two together at the top. I've never seen anything like it in my life. It was really a mess.
At this point we decide that there is no way we want to or would even be able to make it back to the car for the SECOND trip. So this leaves us with zero pillows, zero sleeping bags, zero pads to lie on, and one blanket between the four of us.
Then we decide that we are famished. The food should be the easiest part of the trip because all you have to do is roast your damn hot dog right? Well no, because first of all you must start a fire. There is a woodpile down the road. We proceed to head down to said woodpile only to find that you have to SAW YOUR OWN WOOD. Luckily there are scraps and pieces laying around. And also luckily Jared brought newspaper. After quite a few failed attempts Eileen came through for us and was able to start the flame that cooked our food and warmed our bodies. (Have I mentioned yet that this was also our only form of lighting? Myself brought a flashlight but *stupidly* no batteries. We had to take our cell phones to light our way to go to the bathroom.)After the fire started, however, I do have to say that we did make a very good dinner of hot dogs, burgers, and smores. A few drinks and we were in good spirits.
Finally we decided it was time for bed. So Ben and I proceed to roll up our clothes as pillows and try to curl up in our ONE small blanket, while our tent sags and comes this close to hitting our face. Oh yes and kill all the huge spiders crawling around inside with us.
I swear to God this was the worse night of sleep ever. My trusty cellular I kept next to me as my clock. I laid awake for about 3 hours until like 4 AM, then proceeded to check the time twice every hour until 7 AM. Have you ever slept on the cold ground with no pillow and one blanket for two, and your pants tucked into your shoes and socks because the spiders might get in there? And, sorry Ben, but your boyfriend breathing all over you because he has some allergies and can't breathe out of his nose? Jared's voice could not come too soon at 7:50 and we were out of there by 8:15.
The walk out out of there took considerably less time, probably because we burned all the food and beer so we wouldn't have to carry it back. The first view of my car brought joy that I cannot explain. We were home by 9 AM and Ben even threw up in my car, very nice. I have also never been so sore in my life, not only from carrying all that shit up a mountain but from sleeping on the hardest ground ever with roots sticking into me. I can't even raise my hands over my head. I do want to say here, though, that we really did have a fun time. Has anyone seen that episode of Newlyweds where they go camping? It was a lot like that.
OK. The moral of this story is, seriously, camping is really hard and you should just never think so highly of yourself to assume that you can do it, if you've never done it before. It is seriously a talent for the selective few who can do it. It seemed like such a good idea and everyone said how much fun we would have, how they wished they were going with us, yadda yadda yadda. What the hell. For some reason everyone thinks they can just go and set up their tent and be okay! This is an untrue assumption and I advise everyone to seriously think about what they are getting themselves into if they do so choose to make the trek inexperienced and unprepared.