Sunday, June 2, 2013

Twin Lakes State Park, VA - 10 Things I had Forgotten About Camping

I took the kids to Twin Lakes State Park this weekend. It has been ages since I had last camped and I had vague memories of inconveniences, like that time I forgot a foam mat and almost froze to death in Scotland. How hard could I be, I thought. I picked up a tent, some sleeping bags and two air mattresses in Wal-Mart. As we say in Britain, to the complete befuddlement of people in the US. Bob's your uncle.



I won't say it went completely to plan.

10 Things I had forgotten About Camping

1 Tents don't put themselves up and the process can be stressful at midday when the temperatures are nudging 90 degrees and you don't realize a certain plug goes in a certain hole. Still only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the Midday Sun. Thank God for the useful bloke on Plot 12.

2 No matter how good or top of the line your air mattress is it always seems to deflate. On the positive side the nozzle on the battery operated pump worked. On the not so positive side you pay for what you get. These mattresses cost $19 each at Wal-Mart. The nice felt covered top was an insignificant bonus when it ended up like a pancake on the floor.



3 Camp barbecues sound like a nice idea but they need a spark. The one match the sneering park warden gave me did not a fire make. Thank God for the people with a lighter on Plot 14. Even if they were drunken rednecks.

4 The need to have a pee at 4 a.m. Yes who can forgot that sensation of tottering around in your walking boots with your feet half way in them and balancing like a woman on over high heels after two bottles of Merlot as you stagger towards the undergrowth hoping a snake doesn't jump out.

5 The need for kids to have a pee at 4 a.m. Do you accompany the kid who wants a pee to the toilet block and leave another kid alone in the tent to act as a decoy for bears or do you tell the kids to go and pee in the bushes?

6 The lack of air conditioning in a tent. But at least there's a flappy thing you can pull open to let in some breeze and vampire bats

7 The fact the shower blocks on camp sites aren't regularly filled with designer bottles of body lotion and conditioner. You had an old bar of soap and it's in the back of the car somewhere.

8 The fact there are no fridges in tents. Yes you felt like a cool, street smart American camper when you tipped the ice into the cooler earlier in the day. But now the box of burgers is saturated and they become a pulpy mass when you realize there's no knife to open the plastic covering and you are trying to break the seal with a car key.

9 Night crawler displacement. A disorientated child climbs all over you in the middle of the night and you wake blabbering about dreams involving giant spiders.

10 Evil looking flying bugs the size of rabbits with wings that turn the kids into screaming maniacs every time they see them.

It wasn't all bad. The lake had a pleasant beach that the kids liked to hang out on. It's always good to drive almost three hours for an inland beach when you have so many half an hour away.

25 comments:

  1. I have never done 3 things in my life and aim to keep it that way, and camping is one of them. My idea of camping is no minifridge in the hotel. I need a/c, indoor plumbing and a real bed. I'd go in an RV, but never tent camping. lol Oh and the other 2 things I've never done are eat at KFC and change a diaper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh blimey JoJo - most hotels don't have minifridges now lol - also never changed a diaper - one's in the mail..

      Delete
  2. All those reasons are why I do not camp and have no plans.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hahaha! Sounds like you had a great time, sort of. These are all excellent reasons why going camping is NOT on my list of things I want to do. If nothing else, your camping trip made for some very amusing content for your blog. I bet you made some great memories for your kids too. Thanks for making me laugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh yeah Daisy I have great childhood memories of my camping horror stories..

      Delete
  4. I have that same Walmart air mattress and mine did the pancake act on a camping trip two weeks ago. Darn thing. It's well worth the money to get the deluxe one because that one (which I hadn't grabbed this time) doesn't leak.

    The pics make it look like a lovely camping spot and it sounds like you were fortunate enough to have helpful neighbors. It's nice to get outside now and then, and hey, you gathered good fodder for an amusing blog post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha - I know Jean. And that matress looks so good on the box :)

      Delete
  5. Hilarious, as always. I really wanted to camp too until I realized that the ground was too hard to sleep on and there were mosquitoes and no electricity, etc. good you survived. Lol at the sarcastic last line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh yes there is all this Dee - good fun tho thanks :)

      Delete
  6. You made me laugh! For all those reasons I think camping is fun, but once in a blue moon. I'm game for going just for the day on a regular basis! The kids however, will have great memories! All in all, it's good to really get away like that and live!

    Enjoy life my friend, for it is fleeting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know Jacqeline and it was good to experience something I hadn't done for a while, feel it stressed me more than it should have.

      Delete
  7. THANK YOU for reminding me why I hate camping. I grew up with comical disasters but at least I had my parents to take over the mess. A few years ago, Rian and I double dated camped with his sister and the guy she was cheating on her boyfriend with at the time and THAT ended up being a complete disaster. Well, I was thinking about going camping with some friends this summer and after reading this post, I'm going to drop that idea. Camping is never fun. Not even glamping. Everything you mentioned. Yes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG Jen - too funny. Nope you are too girly for camping...

      Delete
  8. And that's why Travelodge makes for the perfect camp setting.

    xoRobyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh and that was sorta rough for me Robyn lol

      Delete
  9. After my childhood misadventures with the annual family disastertrips, the closest I get to camping (in any form) is the hotel I choose to stay at. Thanks for the reminder that I make wise decisions as an adult!

    ReplyDelete
  10. The only time in my life I've ever camped is when I was in the Girl Scouts, and I vowed then to never do it again. I've stuck to that and this post is a good reminder why LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wow impressive resolve there Julie...

      Delete
  11. Camping definitely falls in the "tried it once, didn't like it" category and a hangover under canvas (or nylon or whatever it is) is a real bastard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha ha Mark - more beer would have helped me cope, I think

      Delete
  12. #10 woulda made me scream as well. (Though I'm already a maniac.) (Which, of course, you already knew.)
    Some Dark Romantic

    ReplyDelete
  13. OMG - I love Glamping. In my camper. So I can have a real mattress and pee indoors! And make coffee in the morning. Love Glamping.

    ReplyDelete