This concept of “home” just got a little more interesting. Perhaps the word dynamic is better. Yeah, dynamic! Considering camp is now my home, I am much more interested in what other people are doing. How are they camping, what equipment or gear can I see, how are they doing meals, handling inclement weather, all of those things are not just speculation, these are my day to day. I pay way more attention than I used to.
I think my greatest challenge, with how I have decided to move about the country, is that I cannot have all the gear I may need or want for all the weather for all the terrain or all conditions. It is just not possible with the space limitations I have. Today is a good example. It is raining outside. The rain may get less or more, but it will rain all day and probably into the night. It is also a little colder than it has been, more like mid to high 40’s in the day. I never did buy that heater… may want to rethink that.
I knew rain would prohibit cooking for me as I will not cook in my tent and there is no cover at most campgrounds. I see folks around me who have strung up tarps for cover. I could do that, as I think I have a tarp somewhere. Although, I can already see one is starting to pool in the middle and it will not be long until that deluge hits whatever it was supposed to protect. The campsite I am currently in would not have a place to put a tarp over the table, unless I used the Jeep. If I was to use the Jeep as a pole, then I would have issues getting in and out of it, let alone the ability to drive. I also see folks with those cabana sort of covers that are usually at the beach. There is one couple who actually had what looked like a tent made of mesh completely over their picnic table. Clearly, there is no bottom and it is just designed as a cover. I am sure that would be great for bug protection as well as the rain. The cabana covers are of interest and I even saw one where they hung tarp for the sides. That screen thing that went over the whole table, that was also pretty neato. Again, space is an issue. I would feel better about the screen tent cover thing as I am pretty sure one can stake it down. Those cabana things are more tricky when it comes to securing it to the earth. Future research – screen tent to cover the table.
Then I get to thinking…. about all the situations I may be in and what gear or equipment I may want or need or what would help me out the most. Then, I over think it as usual, and wonder how many times will I actually use that thing? I will haul it all over the United States, pack and unpack and repack it. Will the space I give it when not in use justify the space it takes up while it IS in use? How does one weigh space Vs utility Vs utilization Vs convenience? I do not have the answer for these questions. Not yet, anyway.
The other part of this post is about camping NOT in home environment and camping IN a home environment. Honest, I am not some creeper trying to get all up in people’s business. I mean, you are living out of doors to begin with. You do have all your things either in your vehicle or strewn about your campsite. We are sharing a bathroom for goodness sake. This is really no different than a stroll around the neighborhood to check out houses. This camp scene just has a little more vulnerability and exposure to it. Anyway, what I am noticing is that you can camp or RV or whatever in such a way as to NOT resemble “home”, or you can camp in such a way as you make it as much like “home” as humanly possible. Visualize along…
I am camping in my tent. I have my sleeping bag, my mattress pad, my camp chair, camp table, lantern, cookstove and cookware. Even my towels and soap are for camping. None of these things were used at my house. My stick house, to be specific. Well, towards the end when I was only days away from leaving, but that was different. I mean, on a day to day basis, when I was actually living in my home, none of these things were part of my life. They were all safely and neatly tucked away in my storage room ready to be of use when I was camping. The food is a lot the same, but not completely, as I do not have an oven to bake in and, in inclement weather, I do not even have access to a stove of any sort. I can eat cold food and be just fine, but there is really no choice. I cannot stroll into the kitchen and review the offerings, making my decision more on how I feel or what I am hungry for. Here, at my camp, I eat what is available, like it or not.
Take a 180 degree turn and meander into the RV camping area. These folks have awnings deployed, carpets laid out, dog beds, cook stoves, lounge chairs, tables, hell, even plants and twinkle lights. This crowd seems bound and determined to make their camping experience as much like stick house living as humanly possible. Plants? Really?? It looks like there are even photos hanging off the walls inside. Which, BTW, I can only see while passing by at night and only if the owners are home. There are dog houses, even extra vehicles at the ready. This crowd has access to their own bathroom, shower, some even a small bathtub. There are fully stocked kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms. Satellite TV and electricity abound in these mobile houses. A few steps and one can make a meal, sit down and eat it. As I wrote about before, you can equip these units with as many accouterment as your pocketbook and towing vehicle will allow. Capacity is key here. Unlike a camper such as myself, these folks can even insure their belongings. Oh yes, they have a policy for that. Me? Nope, no policy will cover those items in my vehicle or at camp or even in may storage unit. Fuckers. But, I digress…
What struck me as I looked around is just what I was saying… one can camp for the camp experience, unlike home, unlike being in a house, OR, one can camp and do so in such a way as to make it as home-like as possible and take as many home-like amenities as space and budget will allow. Truly your home on wheels. I suppose my home is just IN my wheels. Well, not literally IN the actual wheel, but in the vehicle on the wheels. It can’t fit in the wheel itself. Sorry, took a little dive into the ding-weeds. Geeze, too much caffeine anyone???
Anyhoo, back to the point. Two vastly different approaches to exactly the same activity – camping. I suppose it makes a difference for what one is able to do, given any physical or other inherent limitations. I suppose it also matters who is with you, as in pets or kids or whomever and any limitations they may have or bring with them. If there are health needs that demand heat or warmth or regular access to water and so on, that can be a factor. But, for the sake of comparison, let’s say all things are equal and there are no issues or limitations. Which would YOU choose? Which camper are YOU? What would be YOUR tolerance for cold? Rain? The ability to cook? Bathe on a regular basis?
I am pretty sure I know which one I am! At least right now in this moment for the near future. I can see that changing at some point and will avail myself to camping style modifications as needed or required. However, right here and right now, I am the ANTI-HOME camper with all of her HOME stuff in storage. Not much house going on around here, as I sit wrapped in a blanket with several layers on for warmth sitting in my camping chair listening to the rain fall as I type. My nose is still cold. Always the nose. Then again, I kept my stick house at 61 degrees and my nose got cold then, too. Still, with the nose.
Whatever your choice, I wish you Happy Homes and Happy Camping!