Sunday, July 5, 2009
I love camping! Oh, how I really love camping. Justin and I took a two-day camping trip up to Arcadia, in the Jefferson National Forest in VA. It is really a great place to go camping.
We camp from our tents, with no electricty or water hook-ups. This past camping trip we camped at a spot on top of the mountain. It was really wonderful as it was very secluded and quiet. The first night I couldn't help but be amazed at the constant sounds of wildlife in the woods. There were whippoorwills like crazy as well as woodpeckers and owls that were hooting up a storm. We could hear deer in the woods as well, something I always here, if not see, when we're camping up there.
This year we've been able to take the kids on a two-day camping trip as well. We spend the days (with kids or without) fishing and creek-wading, playing ball & frisbee, reading, and wandering about.
I've realized that, like so many aspects in our lives & culture, there is a lot of common-knowledge that has been lost within the span of the last generation or two when it comes to camping. Neither Justin nor I grew up camping. I don't think I tent-camped until I was almost in college, if not already there.
When I began tent-camping the food I brought along was junk food. And booze. Mainly booze. Sometimes no food. A tent, a backpack of warm clothes, a lighter, boots, a sleeping bag and pillow, my dog (when applicable), and booze. Yea, that sounds familiar. Oh yea, and tp - always a must there when you're a chick!!!
While there isn't anything wrong with hot dogs and chips (and booze) while camping, now I'm looking for something a little better. I'm looking for real food. We try to eat as little crap-food as possible day-to-day and would like to keep that when we go camping.
One new thing that we've gotten just this year: an air mattress. I was reluctant to get this, but after having two kids, I just can't sleep on the ground anymore. The first night on it was definitely worth some sort of "crunchy-guilt" I was having over not roughing it enough. And, as much as I love camping, I don't sleep well. I wake up at the crack of dawn, even after a lot of drinking and/or sleeping pills. The air mattress and any extra sleep is now welcome!
We also have really devoted a lot more time and thought to food and eating. It really isn't that much harder and doesn't take a lot more effort. We're able to eat locally and organically, and feel happily fullfilled.
Like I stated above, "roughing it in the woods" is something new to a lot of people and how to do it while being healthy and not abandoning all your at-home ideals can be even trickier. To help with this, I've begun a section called "Camping & Cooking" on my kitchen blog - www.mamataneyskitchen.blogspot.com. To make it even easier, I've included a direct link on this page for it. The first recipe is for "Bacon Hash" a wonderful morning food, whether you've been drinking the night before or not. Check it out and let me know what you think. I look forward to your feedback!