This Isn’t Camping

I love tent camping, but this isn’t that.

Camping Is Roughing It

Camping is hauling your food and water and shelter deep into the woods and roasting marshmallows over the fire. Camping is suffering through a rainstorm shielded only by a tent and rain-fly, knowing that when the deluge subsides you’ll still have to slog through mud to get to the pit toilet.

Camping is equal parts Davy Crockett adventure and Opie Taylor idealism. Camping is embracing all the authenticity and savagery of eking out an existence among the trees and owls and bears, while still telling yourself that the roasted weenies are worth all the trouble.

From inside our new playhouse, with classical music playing on the speakers and steaming coffee on the stove top and hot showers on demand, this doesn’t seem at all like roughing it.

Camping Is Temporary

Rachel and I aren’t camping; we’re living. This isn’t a temporary jaunt for us. It’s not our two-week getaway. It’s not a summer escape to see the sights and skip the rat race for a little while.

This is where we live.

Of course we are seeing the sights and skipping the rat race, but the difference is that we have no place to return to once “a little while” is over. Instead, there are others sites to see, and other sights to see.

And instead of going back to work, we’re off to find out what seeing those will teach us.

(Which is, of course, amazing and delightful. Of course. And we do so appreciate each new day in paradise as we awaken to it.)

Camping Is Communing

To be honest, tent camping is closer to nature than living in our mobile tiny house is, with its TV and plumbing and refrigerator. We can already tell that it would be a little too easy to retreat into our travel trailer by default, instead of living outside of it.

But living outside is what we’ve never done, and why we’re here. Which is why our goal is to spend as much time as we can in the adjacent outdoors, to be closer to nature more than we’ve ever been before, and see what we discover living with fewer walls. 

Admittedly, we expect things to be considerably different once we launch into more off-grid boondocking, where the absence of piped-in electricity and water (and piped-out sewer) will force a closer connection to nature. But whether boondocking or staying in the soft-launch-with-training-wheels that is Mountaindale RV Resort, living without walls means setting up our “dining room” in the Clam gazebo, marking our “office” (where I’m writing this) with comfy chairs and an outdoor rug, and staking our “den” at the fire pit.

Why the fire pit? C’mon. Even when you’re not “camping,” roasted marshmallows are still tasty.

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