Remember the Meme on Pinterest that I talked about in the first chapter? It showed a Prius at the top of the image, and at the bottom a Jeep in the desert sitting on the crest of a hill, in front of a sunset. A guy and his kids are in the Jeep enjoying the sun setting in this majestic place. The closing message of the meme said, “Your kids will never, ever remember you getting fifty-five miles per gallon. However, they will remember the night you watched the sun set over the mountains.” Let’s talk about some camping basics today.
Check out my books on camping
Why go camping today?
Because there will never be another today. In the Prius Meme, the point is that things don’t matter, experiences matter. Perhaps you can make a daily drive fun with some singing or frivolity. Or perhaps ride to the top of a mountain to watch a sunset. Those are the priceless moments to chase after. I encourage you to get out and enjoy life. Not everything has to be constrained, and I think in many ways that’s what camping is all about.
Don’t allow challenges to get in the way.
When you consider camping, there can be challenges: you might get rained on, it could be extremely hot or cold, the bugs might be extra annoying, dry kindling may be hard to find, etc. But, at the end of the day, the goal is to build memories. There are only so many opportunities to go camping with your children or your spouse or even take a solo trip. Right now it seems as though you have all the time in the world, but you really don’t. Your kids will be in college or active in other things before you know it. So grab those moments while you can.
The experience matters, not the stuff.
Someone who had a very nice late-model sedan asked about my Jeep. He indicated that if only he had an off-road vehicle, he would try camping. Why go camping if you can’t go trail-riding, he said. That’s the wrong attitude. True, driving on thirty-five inch tires with a four inch lift and a bunch of modified stuff is great. It’s nice when you’re riding around on a spring day with no top and you’ve got no doors. But you can still create those priceless memories by rolling down your windows and opening your moon roof.
The trick with camping is that you can find yourself in a rugged situation, for example it might rain the whole weekend leaving you nothing to do but play cards in the tent, or after rain from the first night all the kindling is wet and you can’t start a fire, maybe an animal got into your food supply and now you have nothing to eat. It doesn’t matter what happens, the secret is in how you handle the situation.
Don’t give up, persevere. Sometimes camping makes no apologies. Your skills might be tested, but I am going to promise you that you will still have opportunities, even on those off weekends, of making solid memories. You might be sitting around the campfire or hiking or hearing the coyotes howl or watching the sun set or building a fire with your child—those priceless moments can’t be bought so grab a hold of them.
Keep a look-out for memories of a lifetime.
Keep your outlook fun and positive because you can’t predict when memories will be created. But trust me, your kids will remember and they’ll tell their children about these special times one day. Just put yourself in a good situation to have those moments. They may occur in your Prius getting forty-five miles per gallon because of the song you sang. Or perhaps when you’re sitting on top of the mountain and out of your element as you watch in fear as a bear ambles by. Be available and put yourself in situations to achieve those priceless moments.
Coming up, we’re going to look at convenient, low-cost, low-pain, and low-suffering ways to be in a good situation to discover joy. By attaining that joy, you get those memories that will live on because you taught the next generation skills. And one day, your kids will not only pass along the skills to their children but will share their childhood priceless moments around a roaring campfire.