A Brutally Honest Memoir of My First Camping Trip

A Brutally Honest Memoir of My First Camping Trip

The joys and sorrows of camping

A Brutally Honest Memoir of My First Camping Trip
Chloe Granger

Saturday, June 25, marks an exciting day for me. It was the first time I had ever been camping. I went with a group of friends after a float trip, and we spent the night in a campground. Some of us were in tents, some of us were in hammocks. We made a campfire and sat and talked in lawn chairs. This new experience was certainly fun, but some of it was definitely a departure from the regular comforts suburbanites like myself are used to. The following are pros and cons of my camping experience.

Get in touch with nature

On a camping trip, you get to explore the freedom of the natural world and the outdoors. The beautiful scenery, lakes, rivers, mountains, or forests, plus local wildlife if you're really far out. Stepping away from our desks and into some backpacks are a unique way to end a busy week. I love to look at photos of nature and natural phenomenons and landscapes, but to actually be in it is a whole 'nother thing. Seeing the play of sunlight on leaves or the flash of dragonfly wings on water is a touching and refreshing experience. It reminds you of the simple parts of life and lets you immerse yourself in the journey so you don't worry about anything other than where you are in the moment.

But also get in touch with bugs

Yikes. These things are everywhere and all the bug spray in the world sometimes cannot keep them away. During my stay in the campground I saw ants, wasps, flies, and spiders. Sure, these things theoretically should not be that scary, but once you've been bitten by one, then you are left itching for days. Not pleasant in the slightest.

Pitch your own tent

It feels like a proud accomplishment when you succeed in pitching a tent that you intend to actually use. It was our own enclosed space in the wide world, that we worked for. Getting all the poles and stakes straightened out and hammered in the ground is not a breeze, I can tell you that. Some are too long or too short for where you first put them and you have to end up switching them around so they fit in the lengths provided. But once you have that tent up and zipped, you have a refuge from the unwanted critters. We had a pretty big light gray tent with a mesh opening in the top for light and on the sides for windows to let in a cross breeze. The zip front ensured no flying bugs would assail us in here.

But that tent is no home

It's a great shelter, yes, but it can be super uncomfortable, especially when you have it on ground littered with little rocks. When laying down you may have a couple of blankets or a sleeping bag between you and the rocky ground. Tiny pebbles pricking you in the back while trying to sleep does not make for a restful night.

Sun and Vitamin D

You get some sunny Vitamin D and a nice tan in the great outdoors. After spending more than a couple hours out on the river in a raft, we reapplied sunscreen many times and got more than a little tan.

But it is hot

With the sun comes the heat. Soaring temperatures abounded that weekend and we were victims. Over 90% of us on that trip got sunburns. Laying in the tent at night was pretty hot too. It can be difficult to try to fall asleep in such stifling conditions and no need for covers! When camping, don't be surprised to be exposed to some extreme temperatures, without it being moderated by air conditioning or heating. It makes you thankful for your modern comforts.

Build some muscle

Paddling on the raft to navigate the river probably built some muscle in my arms and back, but it is sore the next day. I'm not complaining, I could use some buffing; but this is why I don't work out.

Campfire Food

We got some wood for a campfire and cooked food for dinner and breakfast. Waking up to some home cooked food on an iron skillet with the rich delicious flavors is not something you can get every day. Plus, making s'mores just isn't the same in a microwave versus a campfire!

So yes, camping is pretty cool. It just isn't for me. I enjoyed the new experience, but I probably wouldn't do it again, unless I came a little better prepared. My favorite part of the expedition was probably doing the float trip on the river for 7 miles on a raft. It was a little more relaxing and I even got to get in the water a couple of times! I recommend everyone try camping at least once, and props to you if you love it and do it all the time!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

-Having struggled with acne prone skin for years, I was cautious to try a new serum on top of the other products I've come to trust.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Your Social Activism May Actually Benefit From A Cleansing Social Media Detox

In the craziest year of our lives, sometimes there's value in taking a break.

We are living through, unequivocally, one of the most dangerous, unstable, chaotic periods of any of our lives. From COVID-19 to crises of police brutality to the mass exploitation of the poor by mega-corporations, the world outside seems to be looking more dystopic every day. What can be done about it? For many, activism involves heavily posting on social media to keep others aware. However, this comes with a net negative cost — increased levels of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness about the state of the world. Why might this be? After all, in past eras activists have endured comparable and greater levels of abuse and relentless torment from oppressors. Why, now, are people getting so easily burnt out?

Keep Reading... Show less

Reading is a relaxing activity that provides many benefits. Everybody reads books (when they are not watching Netflix, chatting on social media, or making Tik Tok videos) to distract themselves from reality for a while. Many do not realize the positive impact that books have like reducing stress, assisting with sleep, improving cognitively, and strengthening the mind. In honor of National Book Day, there are many great novels that you can read to mark this special holiday. Here are the best ones to check out.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Things You Need To Know Before You Watch 'Arrested Development' On Netflix

"Her?" Yes, she's an amazing show! (You'll get this joke after you watch the show).


"Arrested Development" is an award-winning sitcom that aired for three seasons on Fox beginning in 2003, and then was picked up by Netflix for a fourth season in 2013, and then again for a final season in 2018.

However, it seems to remain one of the world's most underrated and under-appreciated shows of all time. Although this article alone won't be enough to skyrocket the show to Netflix's top 10, I hope that it will open people's eyes to the value and quality of the show.

Keep Reading... Show less

I have always felt left out because of how I look and who I am. I have always felt like the elephant in the room, literally. I have always been shamed for my size. For the longest time, I cared so much about what I wear and who I wore certain things in front of. I never wanted to wear shirts that would show a lot of my arm, located above my elbow. I wouldn't wear shorts that didn't go to the tip of my knees, at least. I never wore anything remotely tight, where you could see every curve, roll, or imperfection. I was so insecure about myself, and not many of my friends knew.

Keep Reading... Show less

Being a pharmacy technician never held as many risks as it does now. Exposure too hazardous conditions were little to none, and garbing up was only conducted in IV compounding. But, now, in order to give nurses the medications they need to help their patients, they need us, pharmacy technicians.

Keep Reading... Show less

I Asked My Boyfriend His Opinion On Liking Other Girls’ Pictures, And, Spoiler Alert, It's Cheating

"When you get into a relationship and you're in love, you have to realize that liking photos is for the single lifestyle."

Ladies, listen up. If you are in a relationship with a guy and he is liking other girls' pictures on social media, then it's a red flag. A man who can look at someone else and show interest by liking it means he doesn't care about your feelings AT ALL.

Keep Reading... Show less

Celebrities Stealing Designs From Small Fashion Labels Is NOT A Good Look, And They Need To Pay Up

When larger, more established figures or brands steal from lesser-known independent creators, they are taking opportunities away from these creators while also profiting from someone else's work and claiming it as their own.

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B recently collaborated on their new single "WAP," with the music video also being released on Friday. Both Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B posted photos of themselves on Instagram to celebrate the premiere of "WAP." An independent designer quickly noticed that the rappers' matching tops were copies of a top she had designed last year.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

When You Have A Disability, Finding A Job Is Twice As Hard, Believe Me, I Know

We have got to create a safer work environment for people with disabilities.

"My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you from doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with. Don't be disabled in spirit as well as physically." – Stephen Hawking

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Books That Are NOT In The Young Adult Genre That Will Change Your Life

Young Adult isn't the only genre that exists, so here are seven books that any book lover wanting to try something new will love.

One of the most popular genres in literature that everyone has read at least one book from is Young Adult fiction. Now, I personally can say that, in the past, I have been one of those people that only read from the YA section of the bookstore.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with just reading one genre, it's good sometimes to venture out of your reading comfort zone into the other book genres of the literary world.

In a previous article, I discussed the importance and power of words. The perfect example of this is literature and its impact on the world. Books have always played a crucial part in human lives, from how we are able to expand our knowledge to how we pass our time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments