Planning My 1stCamping Experience
Facing My Fears
Being a city girl growing up, I never really had the opportunity to go out and discover what camping was all about. You know, the whole experience where you become one with nature, no technology, no phone, no full functioning bathroom. Just you and the wilderness at its fineness. Now me being the dork that I am, I thought I was a bad ass for facing my fears with hiking, so I felt that maybe it’s time to try a new adventure, camping. So, my boyfriend and I started our research, figured out what we needed, where we could go, what types of camping there is, eventually leading us to officially starting to plan my 1stcamping experience.
Now, I’ll be honest, I’m the kind of person who overthinks everything. How much should I pack, is that going to be enough food; because lord knows my fat ass needs to eat, and on top of that, where am I going to go to the bathroom? Am I going to pull my pants down and my ass get bit by something? Or maybe, when I‘m squatting, something may crawl up my leg without me feeling it, go inside my hole, if you know what I mean. So yes, I am a little dramatic, and yes maybe take things a little out of proportion. But I watch movies, I see what happens in the wild, and I’m NOT trying to lose any piece of my body. Like I said, I’m trying to come home in one piece.
Finding Camping Gear on A Budget
Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to do this the right way, but at the same time, not killing the bank. Now I’m not no trust fund baby. I’m living in the real-world paycheck to paycheck, just trying to make one dollar out of fifteen cents. But at the same time, you live life once, so why not enjoy it and experience new things in life. So, I realized what I had to do. Hello offer Up and Craigslist. Now if you’ve used these sites you know, sometimes it’s a waiting game. Especially, if you’re looking for something specific. And of course, with my luck, nothing caught my eye for the 1stfew weeks.
Finally, one day when I was just about to throw in the towel and just give up, I finally found a tent. Like I said before, I’m cheap, but I’m a cheap ass that does her research. Now I’m not one of those girls who buys name brand anything; materialistic things don’t really matter to me; but I do know when I’m getting a good sale when I see it. And over the years I’ve learned that quality is more important if you want that to last. After a couple days, trying to negotiate a price and a location to meet the seller, I ended up with a Kelty tent for twenty (20) dollars. Barely used, never been outdoors, was just bought for her daughter to play camping in her bedroom.
If it’s not clicking in yet, obviously these folks were well off. This little girl is “camping” in her room and her momma bought her a brand name tent. Yeah, no. Do you know how much that tent goes for full retail? $170. My ass would have been using spare sheets, pillows, boxes, etc. You get what I’m saying? If I would have asked for a tent, to use in the house, to play camping, I would have either got smacked or laughed at and told, “your crazy girl.” But then again, we are in a new day and age. Times have extremely changed since when I was young.
Once the sell was final, we decided to take it to the closest park to inspect it and make sure it was all in one piece and working properly. You definitely do not want to be figuring this out once you’re at your final destination, because this may decide if you can even going to be able to camp or not. Mind you, this was a name brand Kelty 4-person tent. After setting it up, and looking it over, everything checks out perfect. It honestly still looked brand new to me. Would have never thought that, from the way it looked, because the tent bag was broken. Tip though: tent bags usually don’t last long and are usually the 1stthing to go, so if this happens to you there are plenty of bag options out there you can use. I went with a dry bag that protects the belongings inside from getting wet. However, I recommend doing your research first and see what will work best for and your style, since everyone is different.
Be Prepared & Pack Accordingly
Now depending on the type of year, where you are, how long will you be gone for, all this has to be put into consideration while packing your cloths. Will you need a bathing suit, rain gear, extra cloths, socks in case you get wet, extra shoes, etc. Remember, when you’re in the middle of the boonies there is no store down the street that you can just quickly get to. If you forgot something, the closest store you will find, will be miles away (depending on where you’re camping). So, your best bet is to be more prepared than not. Because lord knows you don’t want to be wearing your dirty underwear for a few days or end up free balling it.
Food and Water Essentials
Most importantly you cannot forget about your food and water to survive. This is where you need to get down to the nitty and gritty. If you’re camping in the woods, you have to make sure you either have a bear safe container with you or you will have to hang your food from a tree. Yeah, you heard that right, you have to hang your food from a tree. Otherwise you might meet a new friend, and this Smokey the bear is not friendly. If you’re in the desert, you will experience little creepy critters appearing, so for my protection and security all food must be left in a safe place at all times. Until I’m ready to eat, that way no critters will attack the camp site or myself.
While packing food, consider the following:
- You have enough food/meals for time you will be gone
- Have cookware/ utensils, if need for what you brought
- Have enough water not just to drink but to cook and clean with as well.
Now depending on the time of year, you may need water to drown out your camp fire. This is especially is important to do. One thing you will see constantly in our national forests are signs that say “Pack in, pack out,” “Drown and Stir Fires” and “Leave No Trace”. Like I said it’s better to be more prepared than not, because there will not always be water available to drink. And on top of that, if you didn’t have a water filter, whatever you do “DO NOT DRINK WATER” before filtering it in some way. Because your ass will get the shits and probably much more, since you have no idea what is in that water and if it’s good to drink.
How Will You Use A Restroom?
What are we going to do about a bathroom? You all know I’m scared something is going to bite my fat ass, so of course I did my research. There was no way I was digging a hole, no 10 inches deep, squatting in the middle of nowhere with my pants around my ankles. You get to be all kinds of fucked up if you thought that’s what was going to happen. Nope, no way am I exposing my ass to the free world. So luckily, I found out a few things. So, there’s a couple of different ways you can do this.
If your car camping, like me on a budget, I needed to find something where my booty was protected. Where I could wipe my ass and there be no surprises. See in my mind, I’m thinking there’s little critters out there just roaming the grounds, they get attracted to the smell of your potty. (If you know what I mean) So, when you finally sit down, its dark, and you can’t really see anything and something comes up and bites your booty. See I’m not having that either. So, you must protect the booty at all costs.
Well thank you Pinterest, because you saved my ass. I found a post where someone bought a 5-gallon bucket, trash bag and this thing called a lug-a-loo. Now, this is a plastic lid that attaches to the bucket and opens to a toilet seat. Perfect for car camping, its light, easy to store, and great just to have for emergencies. But best part of all, is that with the lug-a-loo it holds a trash back and is sealed all around. No bag falling in and having to dig after it. Because we all know, none of us what to put our hands in a bucket covered in poop and pee just to fix a bag that fell in. Let’s be real here, I Sayed poop cause when you got to go, you gots to go. And I for sure will not be holding in my shit for days.
Now with the handle on the bucket, it makes it easy to carry. Neat trick, is if you pop out one side of the handle from the bucket, slide on a roll of toilet paper, and put the handle back. You now have a toilet and the TP ready to go at any given time. Also, you’re ready to keep away critters. Therefore, insuring your ass will be intact when you go home.
The Journey Begins
Well folks, here goes nothing wish me luck. Few more things to pack., little odds and ends but almost ready to go. I’m finally taking a chance, opening up my horizons and exploring what this wonderful state of AZ has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m scared shitless. As I finish packing for this trip, I think of all the things that could happen. You know, all those, “what if” situations. When I find myself in my own head, creating fear, a possibility that may not even happen. So, I remember a quote I once read. And honestly, I will never forget:
“FEAR has two meanings”
THE CHOICE IS YOURS!