I have tons to write about our trip, and a lot of pictures to post that could alienate my friends forever, but right now it's time for this week's edition of five things...
Five Things You Need on Any Camping Trip1. Good Friends Now, this may seem self explanatory, since who really wants to head off into the wilderness with people they hate, but I have heard of it happening more than once. Someone gets talked into a trip by a sort of friend, and then ends up sharing a campfire with ten of his former frat brothers who just got out of AA, or prison. So, I think it is important that before packing up your sleeping bag you make sure you can stand every person heading out with you, and ask yourself "if we were the last two people left on earth, would death seem like a good alternative?" If the answer is yes, stay home. Luckily, Ryan and I went with some of our favorite people in the world -- Chris and Jacqueline joined us from Vegas and Kent, Tara and Sam hauled their cookies all the way from LA. We also had some wonderful new people joined us in the form of Heather and Art. All of us together led to an evening around the fire that can only be described as riotous, and probably illegal in Tennessee.
2. Wet Wipes I hate being dirty, which is, unfortunately, one of the key parts of camping. I can last until about the first morning before feeling like I need to be dipped in Lysol, and would likely go screaming into the closest RV park or Motel 6 if it weren't for the wonder of Wet Wipes. I have gotten to the part where I can give myself a full bath with just six of them -- not counting the special ones I use to clean my face. After all, just because I'm on vacation doesn't mean I have time to neglect my pores. Once I'm done with my little outdoor bath I feel fresh as a daisy -- as long as I am wearing a hat.
3. A Camera There is really no way to take a bad picture of red rocks and blue sky. There are a million photo opportunities around every corner, and even more if your friends haven't washed their hair in a couple of days.
4. Wine and Firewood This may seem like an odd pairing, but you really shouldn't bring one and not the other. After all, burning stuff is fun, and drinking stuff is fun, so put them together and it's the perfect combination. The only thing better would be bottle rockets, which most recreation areas frown upon -- except in West Virginia, where that is the only acceptable way to fish.
5. Sunscreen Again, this would seem pretty obvious, but right now I am sitting here looking at a very (not very, he says) burnt red headed husband. And he has known for years that he bursts into flame at the mere sight of the sun. If you are going to be outside for hours, put on sunscreen, and then put it on a gain. Actually, every time you think "hey, there's the sun," reapply. It will save you from feeling like your skin is falling off in the short run, and reduce your chances of looking like luggage later.
My parents still can't believe I went camping this weekend. My Dad called Sunday when we were in a rare spot of cell phone reception to tell me they wanted to have my DNA tested, because to them camping is a hotel without room service. I bet they wouldn't feel that way though with a big supply of wet wipes in their backpacks...