The last time I went tent camping was on the beach in Mexico in the middle of July about six years ago. Our supplies included a truck, a flatbed trailer, two matches and a white bathing suit. It was my first trip with Justin and his sister, Jenny. Lots of fun, but MAN ALIVE, we were so ill prepared. I am now wiser, and know how to prevent mornings like the infamous wake-up-in-120-degree-tent-no-shade-dirty-thirsty-hateful-crawl-from-tent-into-only-shade-under-trailer-morning.
Although the beginning of that day may go down in my personal history as the most unpleasant outdoor experience ever, the shower following the trip was nothing short of heaven. My poor white bathing suit went directly into the garbage, and I was the proud new owner of not a tan line, but a DIRT line. Yep.
Last weekend, we decided to brave tent camping once again. This time, we brought hummus and an airbed. Not a fan of hummus? Try the gourmet salsa or spicy black bean dip. The breakfast burritos are amazing, and the chili hits the spot. We had a large cooler for every 1.5 people. There was bug spray, blankets, tablecloths, and ample firewood. We had chairs, games, drinks, and my favorite: WATER.
The best necessity that came along on the trip was probably Amber’s cowboy boots:
So yes, we had two campsites. The first was at a really nice private campground outside of the Indiana Dunes State Park. Just as everyone had arrived, and air-beds had been inflated, the park ranger shows up. When does this ever happen? We were not a bunch of high school kids in the woods with a keg. Some of us hadn’t even opened a beer yet!! Yes, there have been many times when park rangers probably should have shown up—about ten years ago wherever Justin and his friends were at during the months of June–August.
But COME ON. We brought hummus. AND BREAKFAST BURRITOS. The average age was 28, not 18. And a family dog was on site. We are not troublemakers here. Just look at this face:
So when the rangers showed up, they lectured us like a bunch of teenagers for having alcohol at a campsite. Then they forced us to dump it all in the woods. THEN, the ranger holds up a box of wine, and STABS IT with a KNIFE, and 20 bucks of perfectly good Black Box waters the Indiana Woods. Brilliant.
Camping got a whole lot better in the morning when we packed up and relocated to a place where we were allowed to have beer with our beanbag and euchre. How daring of us.