Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Whole Lotta Camping for This City Girl

Dating a Nature Boy has its perks.

We definitely fuel each others sense of adventure.  While I like being in nature, especially the ocean, there's still the bit of uncertainty about being in the middle of the woods.

My family is not a camping family.  Whenever we went to other places, we would always stay at a hotel.  Perhaps it was coming from a different culture where having a bed was more of a luxury.  My mom would even question why I would want to sleep over a friend's house.  "You have your own bed already. Why would you want to sleep in a different bed?" she would question.  It was a similar line of questioning when it came to camping - "You have your own bed already.  Why would you want to sleep outside?"

When they finally allowed me to go on a camping trip with a mentoring program in middle school, I realized I was definitely afraid of the unknowns in the dark of nature.  I felt safer when we were carrying large, bright flashlights.  I had to walk in the middle of the group - because if something or someone attacked from the front we would be able to see it and run away, and if something or someone attacked from the back then people in the group might not realize it right away.  Being in the middle was the safer option for me.

With the Annual All Night Costume Dance Party in Vermont, I've been more comfortable with camping, mainly because it's not at all far from the rest of civilization.  Though I had invited Nature Boy last year, I didn't really pursue it because at the time we were both dating other people.  But this year he received the official invitation - Facebook invite and all.
campfire cuddling
This year, the theme of the All Night Costume Dance Party was the Apocalypse/End of the World.  I decided to go for a silly costume, as though I was ready for the impending flood.  Nature Boy went as, well, a Nature Boy, complete with fur loincloth.
ready for the end of the world
He grew up with a camping family.  They would often go on trips that involved setting up tents and pop-ups and things like that.  So, I made sure to rely on him for his tent construction skills as well as making sure we had the right kind of gear.  But his experience also made him aware enough to invest in better camping gear - like an inflatable mattress and a larger tent.
another dresser on fire...
destructive beauty
Dating a Nature Boy also means possibly going on more than one camping trip.

His brother and brother's friends were going on their annual camping trip together and invited us.  This time, we were in Saco, Maine at a KOA site.  Nature Boy and I couldn't figure out what KOA actually stood for, so we made up things like "Karaoke Outlawed Area" and "Kangaroos of America."  But apparently, it's as simple as "Kampgrounds of America."

These campgrounds are pretty awesome, actually.  I had never been in such a luxe campground, with all the amenities like clean showers and toilets.  It was also nice to have access to a power source so that we could have lights, fancy meals, and charging stations for our phones.  But it was also nice to get back to basics around the campfire.
We were there for Labor Day weekend, so 3 nights of camping.  Three whole nights of camping.  At this point, 2 was my max.  But, in such a cushy situation at the KOA, it wasn't to difficult to feel comfortable.  We had a tent that was large enough for us both to stand in and fit a queen-size inflatable mattress, and it even felt like we had a little entryway area.  I basically had nothing but mosquitoes to complain about.

So, for a City Girl like me, nature is much more manageable with a Nature Boy around.

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