Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Roughing it

Everyone has a slightly different definition of "roughing it." From those who consider being without a hair dryer as quite possibly the worst possible outcome in life to those who say "bah, at least you don't have to bag and carry your own poop out of the canyon!"

To me, "roughing it" is determined by the distance between your warm bed and the toilet at midnight. If I have to put several layers of clothing on and SHOES in order to pee in the middle of the night, I am roughing it. After that, it's only a matter of degrees of rougherness. ('s totally a word, damn it!)

Thankfully, my parents decided when we kids were fairly young that we should all partake in family camping. What could be more fun than sitting around a campfire, burning your face and freezing your butt as you argue over who gets the last marshmallow and your mother worries that you've grabbed the wrong stick for your s'mores and you'll end up dead like those boy scouts?! Our Family Camping was often a trial by fire. Sometimes literally. Where to this very day we discover new and interesting ways in which we can improve our camping vacation (did you know that now some campers and trailers come with Indoor Plumbing??) or if nothing else, fuel family get-together story times. You can ask my mother about the green folding chair insident or ask my dad how many sermons we ended up being the butt of (note: do not go camping with your minister unless you can handle the ensuing fall out. Doubtless, my family is going to a Happy Place after the many years of ribbing we've endured.)

Yet somehow camping has become emblazoned in my psyche as "fun" and I dare you to argue with me. Because there will be no logic or reasoning with me. It's fun, damn it. I know it is!

Which is how my husband decided that this was a good alternative to living in the dorms and I ended up here with him.
Yes, that is our home.

The front half is tent, the back half is camper/trailer/caravan, the noun of which depends on what part of the world you are from.

And it does work. And it is way more fun than living in a dorm. Didn't I just tell you this?

Yeah, the thunderstorm Saturday night sucked. Scooping up water from the lake formed in the front tent part of our home with cups and rags is not part of the Joys of Camping. Neither was last nights Oh Darn Was That The Last of The Gas I Hope The Chicken Is Completely Cooked episode.

But the air is SO clean and we live in the Freakin' Woods Yo!

Um, I'm trying to think of the other positives here. Having a hard time. You try explaining to vanilla people why you love chocolate even though it makes you fat, gives you pimples, and rots your teeth!

Okay, let me put it this way. Despite:

having to walk a few minutes to the unheated bathroom,
Keep walking, it's around the bend, then the first left, across the patio, first door on your right in the left wing of the building

having to walk a few minutes to the coin operated shower that is in an unheated room,

having to fill up the water tank every day from the nearby faucet,
Electric hook up and CABLE TV and water faucet, oh my!
running out of gas requiring serious MacGyvering of the camper since Denmark and NL do not use the same gas canisters or ever freaking hose size,
The white tank is the water tank, the yellow is our now empty Danish gas can
not having enough space to prep and cook food comfortably,

barely having enough room for two people to sleep in the bed,
That's the whole kitchen and pretty much the whole "bedroom"
carrying dishes to the shower room because it's the only place you can get hot water unless you want to try to heat a pot on the stove, wasting precious water and gas and it's not like you have enough space to wash dishes anyway,

living side by side in a 5x5 meter space with STUFF....
And this would be the office for two

I am still enjoying myself!

It's pretty stupid, I know. But we sit around at our table in the tent, heaters blazing away while we eat and tell each other "dude, this is freakin' AWESOME!"

We now want to get a land rover and a tent-trailer and go to Africa! My husband wants to buy a regular camper and use it as a mobile office. We are all kinds of excited about where else we can go and camp. I, for example, feel a French wine camping trip tour in the future.


  1. Anonymous6:17 PM

    Oh wow. You are a superwoman. Would never able to do it myself, I am sure I'd whine 24/7 about the toilet. I was already whining when we celebrated Sankt Hans on Amager Beach and it was too far to walk to the toilet (especially when you're not sober!)

  2. After that great description, I'd call ya lucky.

  3. Ooh, French wine camping trip. Yes please!

    Another fun way to rough it, or so I've heard, is to rent a canal barge.

  4. I'll never learn to enjoy the stumble through the dark, trying to find the toilet and at the same time not trip over someone's tent poles or walk straight into a caravan.

    Hotels with toilets for me, please, and room service isn't bad either. :p

  5. @ the Writer: when you are drinking it is ALWAYS too far to the toilet. Sometimes I wonder if catheter bags are really as uncomfortable as everyone makes out, cause that would be handy.

    @ Fuzzy: Barging would be fun! It's wicked expensive though.

  6. Aww. I want to live in a tiny trailer now!

  7. I hate walking long distances to showers or toilets. I don't think my husband would survive being crammed with me in a little trailer...because I'd whack him to get more space, probably. *shrug* Is that callous?

    Hey, more power to you guys! Your setup certainly has teh awesome!

  8. More power to you! I'll continue camping in Marriotts and Ritz-Carltons, thankyouverymuch! :-)

    But hey, you arrange a French wine tour and I'm there! Right after my sister graduated high school she went with our grandma on a two-week cruise down the Rhone River, starting in Paris and ending in Monte Carlo. She had a great time.

  9. We did the camping thing as kids - my parents couldn't afford to take us all to a hotel somewhere. We gradually went from tents, to larger tents, to pop-up trailer, to full size trailer. Once all the kids were gone, my parents went for the big-ass motor home!

  10. It's all in the mind... You make it sound like fun - in spite of all the drawbacks!


Keep it clean, don't be mean....