Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Steve and I had a conversation after we got back from his family reunion "camp-out" about what we thought the definition of camping is. Since camping is on my list of favorite things to do right between watching Country Music Television and having a cavity drilled, my definition was quite different from his. (By the way, I've had a cavity drilled while watching CMT and let me tell you . . . between that and the dentist humming as he drilled, I couldn't bring myself to go back.)

Our conversation went a little like this . . .

Me: "That place was a lot nicer than I thought it was going to be. It made camping not so awful."

Steve: "That wasn't camping."

Me: "Yes, it was."

Steve: "There was a pool there. And showers. And we even had our own room with real beds."

Me: "So? It was still camping."

Steve: "What made it camping?"

Me: "Um . . . being out in the middle of nowhere."

Steve: "So is staying in a nice cabin considered camping if it's out in the middle of nowhere?"

Me: "No."

Steve: "Why?"

Me: "Because . . . it's nicer. And the bathrooms are right next to you."

Steve: "What about staying in a motorhome? The bathrooms are pretty close in there."

Me: "That's camping."

Steve: "Why?"

Me: "Um . . . because you're cramped. And . . . you have to bring all your food with you."

Steve: "So what about a hotel? You have a bathroom, but no food."

Me: "That's not camping because you're in a huge, nice building in the middle of civilization."

and on and on it went....

Basically it came down to this:

Nat's definition of camping: out in the middle of nowhere, distant proximity to a bathroom/shower (farther from down the hall), and having to bring all your food with you. If you're staying at a "campground", it's camping no matter where you sleep and what facilities you have, even if it has a pool. Cabins are not found at campgrounds.

Steve's definition of camping: not sure because he backed me into a corner the whole time, making me defend myself. I have a feeling it's something like, . . . no pool, sleeping in a tent, no bathrooms, middle of nowhere, hunting your own food, making fires without matches and growing a beard.

**FYI, I went to girls camp with my stake six years in a row. Five of those years was in a tent. Two or three were without sinks, showers, and flushable toilets. I've been camping. I've paid my dues. As far as I'm concerned, why on earth would you sleep on the ground in the freezing cold with all the bugs when you have a nice warm bed at home?


Rebecca said...

So, the bottom line is that anything that bears even a slight resemblance to spending time far away from showers and flush toilets should be avoided. I like the way you think. And I think that we should go un-camping together sometime, if that's even a concrete concept. :)

Anonymous said...

Personally, I like staying in a cabin somewhere in the mountains or by a lake or something. The benefit of modern conveniences (especially if there's wi-fi) plus being able to step out the door and go on a hike is about as "roughin-it" as I like.

Team Chilton said...

I am totally with you on this one Natalie. I LOVE nature and I appreciate all of God's creations, but bugs eat me alive and I just like the comforts of home. Even when there's a "comfortable" air matress involved in the camping, somehow it ends up deflated by morning, and I am sleeping on the ground, so what's the point.

Danica said...

Ok, even if there are toilets or showers, it's camping. Not hard core, rugged camping, but camping. And I want to know who would use those public showers -- ew! (me gagging)

Cassia said...

Hmmm.... yeah. I'm not much into "traditional" camping, either. I'm very much with you on this one. :)

Bryan said...

To answer your question . . .

So that when the prophet tells us to abandon our homes and boats and SUVs and walk across the plains to Jackson County, we'll be able to rough it with big cheery smiles on our faces and bear testimony about what a glorious faith-building experience it is, all because our youth leaders gave us camping experience when we were teenagers. Oh, and also so we can continue pumping out Eagle Scouts at a ridiculously high rate.


Marsh Mayhem said...

I'm with you, Nattie. There's a reason they refer to camping as ROUGH-ing it ... and we shouldn't go looking for things to make our lives more rough. Or is it rougher? Man, two kids really kill your brain!

Emily said...

What a funny conversation! I side with your hubby... minus the beard of course. I'm not quite to the old-lady-who-can-grow-her-own-beard phase of my life yet. Our kids actually don't mind tent camping either, but it has the disadvantage of EARLY sulight.;)

Tagen and Eric said...

I agree with Steve. Sorry Natalie.