Thursday, September 01, 2005


My friends and I are going camping this weekend. I’m looking forward to the beach. I’m looking forward to spending time with my friends. I’m looking forward to getting away from work for more than a 20 minute block of time.

I’m not so much looking forward to the actual camping part of the trip.

Can someone please explain the allure of camping? Anyone. Explain to me why I would ever want to leave my home and go sleep outside on the ground for two days. Some people call that “poverty”. We call it a “vacation”. Hmmm.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about nature’s beauty and all that crap. But why can’t I be all about the beauty and then go back to my hotel room? Is my question. What is so beautiful about nature at night? And I’m not sure, but I seriously doubt any of that beauty can be found by sleeping on dirt. Or maybe I’m too busy cracking my back and pulling rocks out of my ribcage to fully appreciate all the wonder.

Last year this camping trip was a little less nature and a little more highway. We got a Kabin at KOA Kampgrounds. We called it “Camping with a ‘K’”. I’m not sure if that’s cause that’s the slogan of the campground, or because we needed to make a very clear distinction between camping and what we were doing at KOA.

Is KOA a nationwide thing? Is the need to camp 5 feet from the freeway a nationwide thing? Or is that strictly a Californian thing? I don’t know. Californians spend about 90% of our time on the freeway, so maybe that is why we figure we might as well vacation there as well. What I know for sure is that if you are ever trying to find a KOA Kampground and you can’t see it from the freeway, then keep going, cause you aren’t there yet.

These campgrounds baffle me even more than camping itself. If you’re going to go camping, going to voluntarily leave your shelter and brave the outdoors, why not go ahead and go to the REAL wilderness, not just the closest thing with the word “kampground” on it.

When we pulled up to the kampground we noticed quite a few features that you don’t find at most campgrounds. First, the general store. Isn’t camping all about roughing it? Is it really roughing it if you can go get a slurpee at any given time? (Coincidently my version of “roughing it” tends to kick in exactly when slurpees become unavailable.) Second, laundry facilities. At a campground. Third, a swimming pool. Aren’t you supposed to swim in lakes and streams and waterfalls while camping? Literally immersing yourself in nature’s beauty? Not a lot a beauty to be found in an uncleaned public pool. Forth, little cabins. Oh, sorry, Kabins. To me camping really has to involve a tent to be considered camping. If there’s no tent then you are no longer “camping”, you are “on a getaway”.

Not that there is anything wrong with getaways. We had a fine time in our little Kabin. It even had a swing on the front porch. Where we sat all weekend and took in all the beauty of nature. We had to sit there all weekend to finally be able to notice the beauty of nature beyond the kids splashing in the pool, the cars speeding by on the freeway and the wash machine on a violent spin cycle.

Aaaaaahhhhh. Nature.


afp763389 said...

... :)

Anonymous said...

K O A = Kamping On Asphalt. This is the best way to "camp". They were invented for a reason.

Anonymous said...

There is no reason to ever leave your microwave and TV to sleep on the ground. I'm sure God did not mean us to do that. If you want nature, drive out to a tree, take a picture and move on. --bl

dawn said...

you might begin to understand my point of view if you understand that "bl" is my mom.

not a lot of camping happening in my youth.

a lot of trips to the casinos that's people in a natural state.

Anonymous said...

That's the first time what your mom said sounds like something you'd say. Awesome! Camping is an unnatural thing to do. People only did it out of necessity, when they were trekking the country in search of land and precious metals. Doing it voluntarily instead of sleeping in a cozy bed with A/C, cable and computer access is just wrong.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I was never a fan of camping. Not since that bear attack I sustained back in 1991.

Patricia said...

camping is just a socially acceptably form of public intoxication. i love camping :)

hey i was gonna spam the hell outta yer comments and now i can't 'cause i gotta type in the word "djrkeu" first. thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

There use to be KOA all across the nation and it was a great was to see the country. Over the years some have fallen to the criminal element and a lot of people strung out on drugs looking for a cheap place to stay.

I don't know how things are now, but a lot of people do enjoy themselves there. The are many different types of KOA campgrounds. I would call up and ask them. The better you reaseach and plan, the less surprises, you will have. There is no better way to get accurate information than contacting them directly.