I started camping as a Cub Scout when I was about 9 years old. I remember only a few things from that trip. It was a trip we went on with the older Boy Scouts, so there were quite a lot of us on the trip. We hiked in carrying our gear, which was bad news for someone who probably was sporting a small suit case. The Scoutmaster told the scariest campfire ghost story I had ever heard. We ate stew for dinner, and played capture the flag. I can’t really say that particular camping trip sparked my love of camping, but it was the beginning.
For the rest of my childhood and teen years, I was a Scout. We camped on several weekends each year and had one week-long trip in the summer. I estimate that during that time I camped upwards of 150 nights in various conditions.
As an adult, I camped as both a Scout Leader and also did family camping. Today, camping is in my blood, and I cannot imagine a summer that isn’t packed with trips. A very conservative count would put my total nights of camping well above 500 for my lifetime.
Two years ago my wife and I bought a pop-up camper. Until then we were still rugged, sleep-on-the-ground, tent campers. For years we looked down our noses at those in the rigs, saying that wasn’t really camping. As we advanced through our 40s to our early 50s, it became evident that those people in the rolling palaces weren’t so far off.
Last summer we spent 31 nights sleeping in the camper on a variety of trips. This year we have 24 nights planned, with more coming. I expect we will eclipse last year’s total.
What we love so much about camping is that it is a pause from the everyday drudge of life. We pull up, pop our camper, and instantly become more relaxed. We like to use our camper as a base of operation to visit local sites, take some hikes, enjoy sunsets on the beach, and many other activities.
Because we live in Michigan, and we share a love of visiting lighthouses and waterfalls, many of our trips are in the Great Lakes State. We have a preference for the State Park system in Michigan, and have also stayed at a few KOA sites, as well as some other private campgrounds.
Over the course of this spring, summer and fall, I will be detailing our trips. I will tell you which campgrounds we are using, and what interesting sites we visit. I plan to mix in a few funny stories from the road as well. I will also be writing articles on tips for successful camping, which will include our most useful camp gadgets, favorite recipes, and activities for all seasons. So, stay tuned for what promises to be a great year of camping with Bobby-C.