Friday, May 31, 2013

Camping

I think in many ways I am a walking contradiction. Perhaps everyone thinks that about themselves, and I know we all have our illogical and random quirks. For me, one of the biggest is my love of camping. I love urban life (and urban eating) and I am openly and desperately addicted to the internet. And yet, despite that, I love camping.

I love wilderness in general really; I'm happy doing day trips to go hiking, swimming, or cycling, but camping gives you the opportunity to really experience a place on another level. I love everything about it, even the parts other people find less appealing, like the long drives, sleeping on the ground, and the general high level of work associated with the experience. I am rarely more content and at peace than when staring into the embers of a dying fire, as the night winds down.

A couple of years ago, when I went out west with my family, we drove through the Rockies. I stayed in hotels and lodges that time, but I would give just about anything to go back and camp there; it was probably the most spectacular place I've been in my life. That said, there are a ton of great places in Ontario to go, including Algonquin park, which is probably my favourite place in Ontario not just for camping, but in general.

Every year around this time I really start to get the itch to go camping again. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen this year. My friends are not campers. They don't want to drive that far, they don't want to sleep on the ground, and they don't want to do all the work. They don't get it. When I try and convince them to go, they insist they'd rather rent a cottage or stay in a hotel somewhere. We've done that before, and it was a lot of fun, but it wasn't the same as camping. Not even close.

It's times like this that I really, really hate being single. I used to go a few times each year with my family, but they haven't been camping in about a decade, since my parents decided that they were too old to sleep on the ground anymore. The only times I've been since are when I've had a girlfriend who has been willing to tolerate it. I don't have a lot of set requirements for relationships, but in order to be my girlfriend, you definitely need to be willing to go camping (and not be miserable).

Oh well, there's always next year, I suppose.

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