Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

Ah...the dog days of summer!

Splashing in pools, vacations, picnics, reading in the shade, watermelon.

And hints that fall is right around the corner, at least here in Wisconsin - shorter daylight hours, a bit of a nip in the evening air, school supplies front and center in retail stores.

And what is this woman doing to celebrate in August? She's been invited to go camping with a family of outdoor enthusiasts. I'll be 'tenting it' for the first time in...geez...twenty some years. And as the date approaches, I'm getting nervous. What about mosquitoes? Rumor has it they are awful this year. Plus, last time (my memory hasn't failed me yet), a skunk rooted around in the campsite while I cowered inside my tent, not more than four feet away. Is there such a thing as skunk repellent?

Which makes me think now about bears. No food in my tent, that's for sure.  And I need to cut a back exit into the canvas just in case.

Then there's the aging body I'm forced to take along. It doesn't enjoy sleeping on the ground. So should I bring my bed? I'm pretty sure I could strap it onto the roof of the car.

One thing is for certain in this upcoming sea of uncertainty, the trip is going to be an adventure.  

What's going to be your last hurrah of the summer?  Do you camp? Any tips?

15 comments:

Aurian said...

O Deb, camping? The most horrible experience I can imagine. I am a luxury product, I need my bathtub, my toilet I don't have to share with hundreds of others, and a nice soft bed and airconditioning. You can't get me camping if you paid me a thousand dollars.
Is there not a cozy inn or good hotel around the corner where you can stay during the night, and spend the daytime with your friends?

Deb said...

There will be showers though. Hopefully with warm water:)

D. L. Marriott said...

I used to camp, and although I love the idea of being one with nature, my old bones can't handle sleeping on the ground anymore. If I ever did go again, I'd definitely invest in a quality camp cot with mattress!

Brittney said...

I love camping :) I know weird but I do. My husband hates it so we only do it when I can get him convinced. He says if we are going to camp we need an RV. I will say I always bring an air mattress. I may still be in my 20's but even I can not handle sleeping on the hard ground. I bring a fan as well. I have a battery operated one. Have a blast!!

Jeannie D. said...

Lol! I'm sorry that is funny! But, seriously, definately invest in an air mattress. My old bones can't handle the hard ground with a sleeping bag anymore either. If you have a campfire in the evenings, the smoke will keep the mosquitoes at bay. Your on your own with the skunk thing though. Enjoy the sights and sound of nature and have fun!

Nancy said...

My one experience with camping, sleeping on the ground was awful. Sore, bruised back and hips! I say, take two air mattresses. Three. Pile them up.

Deb said...

Can you believe I really used to sleep right on the ground - as a kid of course - and wasn't bothered one bit. On my way to find an air mattress.

Vicki said...

Air mattress for sure! The other thing, if you are camping in a campground with electricity, you can take an extension cord to power your fan. Take your favorite portable chair. It makes a big difference if you have something comfortable to sit in.

As well...fans keep mosquitoes off you. So have the fan blowing ON you when you sit outside before you go hide in your tent from them.

If bears really are an issue where you are going, not only do you not want any food in your tent, you aren't supposed to have anything scented in there either (toothpaste, chapstick, etc). I do cheat on the chapstick issue though.

The other thing I do when we camp is have a nice big beach bag to carry my stuff to the shower, etc. Then I can hang everything up/off the bag so it doesn't unexpectedly get wet. I also have a very small backpack (it was kind of a purse like thing) that I can use to take things up there. It isn't big enough for a bath towel but it works for everything else.

Lastly...don't forget the flip flops for the shower and plastic bags for anything wet (like your wash cloth) so you don't end up getting everything ELSE wet!

I hope you have tons of fun...

Deb said...

A fan, that's brilliant! Flip flops, yes! You are obviously an expert on this!

Dru said...

The only place I camp is a four or five star hotel.

Deb said...

You are a wise woman, Dru!!

ladyvyvian said...

Last time I camped I took a army cot. I cannot get up off of the ground so I need the height of a cot to sleep.

Shirley said...

Last time I camped, I was in the Army! So, if I went now, I'd sleep in my SUV.

Deb said...

A cot - I like that idea!

Deb said...

Years ago I dated a Vietnam vet - he did NOT camp. Too many bad memories.