With T-minus 6 days until we launch our first family camping adventure, I spent the afternoon digging through the garage hunting for our camping gear. This gear has been hidden away for seven years and I didn’t know what condition it would be in when I found it, if I found it.
I finally located half of the gear in a rubbermaid container (this is good), and the other half stuffed in an open trash can with water in the bottom (this is not good). It felt a bit like greeting an old friend and being so happy to say hello, but feeling guilty for not having written enough. I was glad to see my gear, but felt badly about not storing it properly.
The lantern and camp stove did not survive, and the fate of the smallest of my two tents is yet to be determined. But our large tent, my sleeping bag and backpack seem fine. Better than fine – it’s like we were never apart!
Inspecting the gear brought a surge of fondness I didn’t expect. I purchased these things toward the end of my time in college and right after graduation, a time when dropping more than $20 on a sleeping bag required serious deliberation and savings on my part. I remember being in the camping store, reading all of the descriptions of the various bags, hemming and hawing and finally settling on a great North Face bag that weighs less than 2 pounds and stuffs into a tiny sack perfect for hiking. I had the same experience buying my backpack and the same thrill of ownership.
Then not too long after I began investing in the gear, we moved to Savannah. While I love this city, it’s not known for camping. We have a State Park with a campground, but I find the heat and bugs discouraging. Mountain camping is more my thing.
For our first anniversary, Lee and I took a camping trip to Virginia and had a great time. But then we got busy with work and life, had a child, and the gear stayed packed away. It’s been great to see it again, and I’m even more excited than before about our trip. Now if only the weather forecast would stop calling for rain, we’d be all set…