First, let’s just say I’m not an outdoorsy kind of girl. Hotels are my specialty and when I was younger my mom never allowed me to get dirty, this might’ve been the start to my fear of camping. There’s dirt, there’s bugs and there’s the unexpected. I’ve probably gone camping three times in my entire life because my cousins are hard-core outdoor explorers and I’ve been dragged along unwillingly a few times. My memories and ideas of camping have been large bugs buzzing around your ears as you try to fall asleep at night swatting vigorously and keeping one eye open incase there’s a fox sighting in the woods. Oh, and campers, those I don’t mind, they’re like hotels on wheels except you have to make your own food.
Now, the first idea I was definitely not going for was backpack camping. Let’s just say that topic was put to an end very quickly after the thoughts of sleeping in a very wooded area with no one around us but the animals that feel the need to keep us company at night (not my cup of tea).
This weekend I found myself smack dab in the middle of Prospect Mountain Campground.
I’m very happy to tell you I survived my first real camping experience. Actually, my opinion of camping changed immensely. We didn’t book our site (yes, very daring) and just went there on the day we wanted to camp and it actually worked out better. Instead of being plopped in a field of 10 tenters we got our own private campsite area that usually houses campers. Our site was right on the pond and had a little wooded area around us for privacy which was definitely a plus because as we all know sometimes we don’t like our nosey neighbors so much.
Our camp ground wasn’t just in the middle of the woods either, it was actually pretty nice, at least for me this was a large plus. Aside from the cheesy Pirate Weekend activities there was a clean pool to swim in (definitely a step up from a slimy pond), two fishing/boating ponds and mini golf. I was a little confused to the RC car track with no RC cars and the “mining for gold” area that had no water and looked like it hadn’t been used in years. The mini golf and paddle boats were also closed on a Friday which was surprising because there was a ton of people around to be using them which was pretty disappointing. I settled with a nice toasted almond ice cream from the shack (looked like the most promising thing, packaged goods were a must) and took a little hike around the campsites instead.
So with so much closed this left us with a question of what to do. Only thing left to do was to put up the campsite or we’d literally be sleeping under the stars in the dirt. Apparently they don’t have manuals for putting up a tent, well the tent was put on backwards. I never knew you could put a tent on backwards but if anyone were to do it, it would be me. Now, I had an “eagle scout” with me so this probably shouldn’t have happened, I think someone needs to brush up on their skills a bit or there’s a serious problem to fix in the boy scout area.
Food was the second stage to tackle. I left the fire in more capable hands or we might of had a few burned eyebrows down at the campsite that night. I did learn one thing that night, sometimes campsites only give you fire pits and no grills. Thankfully, we did come prepared. (which is the most important thing in camping I’ve learned, bring extra and things you might not think you may need, unless you’re some expert camper) We had brought a 3 dollar throw away charcoal grill which came in sooo handy when it came time to making our foil packet dinners which I may say came out deliciously. You can cook anything in those things. We were able to make salmon, zucchini, potato, brats and anything you can think of. How gourmet of us. It was a lot of work though, pizzas and sandwiches may be our diet next time. Now on the topic of food preparation our breakfast did not work out so well in the morning. Since we were out of a charcoal grill we were left with a good ole fashioned campfire to cook over. Well, cooking eggs over a campfire is much more difficult than expected. I tried the whole boy scout scrambled eggs in a baggy let’s just say it became baggy gone rogue and all our delicious egg scramble seeped out of a hole and into the fire. Mmm charcoal eggs what a treat! (this is why i say be prepared for anything) Our preparation? go out to breakfast and leave the breakfast making to the seasoned campers.
Camping is an experience in itself. I’ve really learned that you have to be prepared for anything, especially when your fire goes out and you’re left without any kindle (fire starter logs really are awesome). The people at campsites are really nice and always willing to help. ( side note: a lot of people look like they’ve hunkered down to stay for a very long time with decks off of their campers and a whole shindig of plants and gardens even. If anyone knows anything about this please tell me. do they stay for the entire summer? live there? im so confused, some looked like houses!) I definitely am not a seasoned camper but I remembered the bug spray this time and am ready to do it again, backpacking may be in my future…way way far away future. In the mean time, I’ll probably stick with hotels and maybe invest in a bigger tent and an air mattress. Who says you can’t camp in style?