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Sunday, 6 June 2010

Why Camping?



I have several friends who are mystified by my love of camping.

It was a source of particular confusion when my husband and I decided to camp outside in our own garden one night. Why would you choose to go and sleep in a tent, I was asked, when you have a perfectly good bed right there?

Now, as it happened the reasons were mundane and boring (testing out equipment ready for Greenland) but the experience was incredible and we'll definitely do it again. I was woken up by an owl coming in to hunt something very close to the tent... you simply can't buy that kind of experience. And the dawn chorus was loud and clear and beautiful.

But the main reason I love to go camping is because it gives me chance to stay in places where there simply is no other accommodation. I love isolation; in a tent, I can spend time in the kind of silent and beautiful place where I would choose to live, if it weren't so impractical. I suppose this is why we spend so much more time wild camping than on campsites. It gives us the chance to 'live' - however briefly - in the world's untouched places, whilst leaving them fundamentally untouched. By the time we've packed our tent up in the morning, our temporary campsite is returned to its natural state, with only a small patch of flattened grass to show that we were ever there.

By the time you read this, we will (ash clouds permitting) be on our way to Greenland. One happy couple and one slightly-leaky tent. You may very well think we're mad, but we're happy-mad, and that's what matters.

Posts will be scheduled in my absence and I promise to catch up on comments, and come round and visit you all, just as soon as I get home. I'll also try to text updates to my Twitter account and my Facebook page to keep in touch.

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Camping by the glacier in Iceland (2007)


27 comments:

blueviolet said...

I hope you have a most wonderful time!

Emma said...

I too love camping and a lot of my friends don't get it but that's fine!! Hope you have an amazing time in Greenland!

lakeviewer said...

Yes, the isolation, the abandon, the return to a time of communion with nature. Plus, it helps you see things, such as material comforts in a different light. Enjoy. Thanks for sharing.

Midwestern Mama Holly said...

I have a love/hate relationship with camping.

Hope you have a wonderful time.

Tabor said...

I think you have it golden!

M @ Betty Crapper said...

We love backpacking. I totally get it. Have a wonderful trip.

I can't wait to introduce our nine month old to our Big Agnes tent. The baby has already been day hiking, but I draw the line at backpacking while she's in diapers.

Elizabeth Braun said...

I would LOVE to do that, but sadly, Sir won't have it.=(

smilla4blogs said...

I'm looking forward to your posts from Greenland, very much, and I appreciate your philosophy of leaving no trace behind. When we visit islands in Maine, I find way too many.
Safe and happy travels!

Bibliomama said...

I love camping in theory -- my old, broken body doesn't love it so much in practice. But I love sleeping outside -- in residence we used to sleep on the balconies when the weather was nice. Greenland sounds amazing -- can't wait to see the pictures. Love your new profile pic.

Bells said...

i don't think you're mad at all. I carry on about not being a camper but have a sneaking suspicion I'd love it, if I learned how. And to sleep somewhere amazing like in the lceland photo? I'd sign up for that in a heartbeat!

Writing Without Periods! said...

What a great place to camp. I can appreciate campers...but I'm not a camper...wish I were. Might be something I'd try.
Mary

Chris said...

I just might have to sleep with my husband in a tent in our backyard this summer. I'm sincerely inspired. I hope you have a safe and wonderful journey. xx

Louiz said...

I hope have a great time, and enjoy the silences.

Expats Again said...

You have it right. Nature is to be experienced to be appreciated. Safe journey and I'll be watching to hear about your trip.

Heather @ Gerber Days said...

Wow, you seriously rock! I love your free spirit! Hope you're having fun girly!

Xx

Melissa B. said...

I've enjoyed camping before, but I can't get the rest of the Scribes interested. What a neat thing to do-I'd like to camp out on a glacier!

Kazzy said...

That Iceland camping photo is so cool! But I am one who likes to be outside, but NOT live outside. Sorry:(

Jacqueline said...

I am afraid I am in the mystified camp, but I will enjoy it through your photos :)

ScoMan said...

I loved camping because it was a nice peaceful place to read my books.

Since moving out of home though I haven't been. Maybe I should get a tent and get away from all this technology for a few days.

Deirdre said...

I love it!

You are so right in your reasons of why you love camping. I hope you have a fantastic time!

The Good Cook said...

I too love camping. I especially love cooking in the outdoors. There is just something so basic, so simple and yet so beautiful to all of it. Have a wonderful time in Greenland, can't wait to see pictures and hear about your adventures.

Christine said...

My favourite activity is camping at far away places deep in the Australian bush... waking in the night to find a kangaroo visiting or a goanna creeping through the site. The mornings are glorious. Camping means we have been to some fabulous places. Enjoy Iceland.

Kel said...

I wish I loved camping. My husband loves it and I love the outdoors, especially the sounds. What I don't like is not having indoor plumbing. I need a bathroom and a shower. :) But I'm glad you like it because I can't wait to hear about Greenland!

mangocheeks said...

Be happy Mad.

Elle said...

I loooooove camping! I'm so sad that my summer classes, and resultant abundance of homework, have limited the amount of camping we'll be able to do this summer.

Your picture of camping by the Iceland glacier is amazing! Must've been a beautiful and wonderful experience.

I hope you're having a fabulous time in Greenland!

Mimi said...

I love camping too, but on campsites. I've a favourite campsite here in Ireland, in West Cork, and it's amazing- you're almost in the wild, but with lovely hot showers. The Atlantic Ocean is one metre from our tent!
Hope you've a ball in Greenland!
Also, I want to let you know that I’ve moved my blog, so to visit, just click on the link with this comment. Sorry for the bother.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Chris and I went to Iceland Spring before we got married (or the year after...can't remember). Anyway I loved it - but we went in March so no camping. Not that we would have camped though. We're not campers. Although I thought our little guest house was a bit rustic...

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