I had already started writing this post when Eileen put up her list this morning. I was going to bag out on it, but I realized I was having fun writing it, so I decided to keep on with it. And so, dear readers, you get a bonus 10 on Tuesday. Don’t you feel lucky?
I’ll admit, my initial impulse was to skip today’s 10 on Tuesday prompt. I’m not much of a camper, having been raised by a dad who always joked, “My idea of roughing it is hotels without cable.” I did, however, camp some with the Girl Scouts, and still go every now and then, though none of it has been any more rigorous than car-camping, so I decided to persevere and write the post. I’m not entirely sure my camping know-how will even make it all the way to 10, but let’s see…
1. Sleeping bag – I have a really nice one for someone who isn’t much of a camper. It’s a woman size/shape mummy bag that’s rated to -40 or something similarly uncomfortable. I bought it for a trip that never happened with a guy that is no longer around. (Not literally, of course. According to Facebook, he’s married, has a son, and lives in Illinois.)
2. Little inflatable sleeping cushion – I know there is a brand name for it, but I can’t remember it. I picked up this tip from my former roommate Heidi, who was shocked that my sleeping bag went straight onto the tent floor without anything to cushion it.
3. Tent – This is one thing I will replace the next time I go camping, for two reasons. First, it’s been all rolled up in my closet for years and is probably ruined; second – and more importantly – it is absurdly tiny. I’ve gotten mocked for how little it is every time I’ve used it. It’s time for me to have a big-girl tent.
4. Fixings for s’mores – Really, these are critically important any time there is a campfire, whether or not outdoor sleeping is in the plan. Toasted marshmallows are sugary perfection in and of themselves, and adding in chocolate and graham crackers only serve to make a good thing better.
5. Hiking shoes – Is it even possible to take a camping trip without going on a hike or two?
6. Swimsuit – I don’t think I’ve ever come across a mountain stream, river, or lake I wouldn’t take a dip in, so swimwear is essential.
7. Sunscreen – I’m slathered in it most of the time, despite being indoors at work most days. Spending time outside, however, means an upgrade from my workaday 15 to the serious stuff – SPF 80.
8. Toilet paper – Most campgrounds have it, but, well… it’s not something I want to take a chance on.
9. Extra socks – As far as I can remember, my mom only ever chaperoned one of my Girl Scout camping trips, and it was a rainy one. One of my fellow campers did not pack spare socks, and I recall her being whiny and miserable. Mom must have thought the same, because I always had lots and lots of socks in my pack after that. And really, given that it’s hard to be cheerful when your feet are cold or wet, it’s a lesson I’ve carried forward.
10. Beer – This requires no explanation, methinks. I mean, you need something to wash down the s’mores, right?
OK, experienced campers… What did I forget?