I just arrived home from camping for a few days last evening. CAMPING??? Yep…this old fart loves to go camping. Unfortunately camping does not like old farts…so we have learned to modify a few things.
I can no longer pack a backpack with freeze dried foods and a change of socks and go off into the wilderness for a week.
That’s what camping used to be…back in the days of great legs, a strong heart and back, and too little sense to understand I could make things easier on myself.
Now, in my “golden” years, with a crap heart, crap legs, bad back, (etc etc etc…) we have a rather large list of items that have become absolutely necessary in order to spend time outside. My son jokingly said I take the entire house minus the kitchen sink…and no, I DO take a kitchen sink along.
Last weekend Angie and I spent a day shopping for the foods we needed, then Sunday precooking a few, prepping others and packing most into her freezer. We have a system for packing so a week’s worth of meals fit into one cooler. Everything else gets packed into large plastic bins with locking tops. Clothes go into a gym bag…..Gunnar seems to want me to hurry up and finish packing…
Amazingly, most of our stuff fits into the back of our truck. Of course, 1/3 of it fits when I let George pack it….and not much more than 1/4 if we allow Garry to pack it. So the guys schlep stuff while I tell them where to put it. ( that is a “fun” part of my camping experience!
So, early Tuesday morning we drove to Osage Hills State Park, just past Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
It was about a 2 1/2 hour trip as we had to stop once for a puppy potty break. We first unloaded dogs, and Angie took them all over…walking them and then settling them down so the three humans could now unpack.
We got the truck mostly unpacked, the tents laid out in the corner of the site we were assigned, the kitchen stuff up near the drive and the assorted bins laid out near where they would eventually go.
The men then put up the cabin tents.
After that, we had a lunch break while Angie and I got the kitchen stuff together…the men simply stared at the shower/bathroom tent as if it were made of snakes, so Angie and I put it together in less than five minutes. The tents (all three of them) are modifications for old fartiness……both cabin tents are “instant”..you simply unfold them then extend the braces. Done.
The shower tent is not as easily installed, but it is a necessity for Angie and I. We are both disabled. We use it as a bathroom. We have a collapsible “potty” chair, and we use it instead of making an attempt to walk to the park facilities. We usually place it within 3 feet of our sleeping tents.
Our kitchen setup is also a necessity for fartiness…we can no longer get down to the level of a campfire on which to cook…
The bins are filled with kitchen utensils, pots, pans, spices, towels, etc etc etc…….one bin is simply items with which to start fires/and a few tools for putting them out…or bonking zombies over the head. I generally have two mallets in that box.
Mallets also come in very handy when husbands are acting like Neanderthals……just be sure and bonk them after the park rangers drive through.
After the entire camp was set up, we wandered off in different directions..the men taking dogs for walks and finding firewood, ….and Angie and I simply sat and enjoyed the great outdoors.
We get a kick out of watching other campers too and seeing what they bring with them into the woods.
One campsite had these two homemade campers on them. Turned out the guys had found the directions on the internet and created their own campers. the backs were storage and a cooking spot, while beds were in the fronts. Looking inside one could easily see how it would feel to lie down in a coffin. Others had multi-person tents…like this orange four room tent.
It was shaped like a cross and had room for four people in each section. It took six young men to take it down when they left…and over an hour of folding to get it back into its carry case. Made me thankful for my five minute tent.
Good grief, this post is turning into a novel! Time to say “more to come” and leave…..