I’ve been camping many, many times. Probably the going rate for a child of middle-class suburban Midwestern parents to whom the smell of burning wood is quite the novelty. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, high school weekend getaways with smuggled swill hidden underneath towels in gym bags, they all offered ample opportunities to prove to my primitive instincts that all the DNA-encoded survival talents hadn’t been completely driven from my marrow.
I enjoy the simplistic undertones of camping; this is all we need to live…for a couple of days anyway. Going to the sporting goods store and walking out while staring in wonder at spoon/knife/fork/can opener/firestarter keychain that would undoubtedly save myself and my unendingly grateful friends, family and co-workers from the untold dangers of The Wild is a part of the pre-camping ritual for me. I simply HAVE to find something I’ll need. It’s impossible for me to NOT purchase a waterproof matchbox/compass/reading light once I’ve laid my eyes upon it for the first time.
So I thought to myself, as this Fourth of July weekend approached and friends extended invitations to backyard barbecues and sidewalk fireworks jubilees, “I think I’d rather be in the woods, camping. I’m a free spirit goddammit and I’ve got the telescoping hot dog skewer to prove it!“