My Camping Experience

Some people that I talk to say that camping is just not their thing.  I want to share just one of my camping experiences and maybe change someone’s mind.  I was in the eighth grade and my dad was getting ready to go hunting.  I wanted to go and finally talked him into letting me skip school for the ten days which was the amount of time that  they would be gone.  I realize that some of the experiences may seem a bit trying when they are occurring, but when it becomes a story that you are telling in the future, that trying time actually begins to sound exciting.   After driving almost all night to get from East New Mexico to the western border of New Mexico in the Gila Wilderness we arrived at the camping site, and the temperature was eighteen degrees F.  That sounds pretty cold and it is especially if you wake up in the morning and find that you forgot to put your pants inside your sleeping bag.  They are lying frozen stiff on the ground beside your sleeping bag.  That is a mistake you make only one time.  Fortunately inside our tent we had a small propane heater that would warm the tent up in just a few minutes.  You don’t want to use it more than just a few minutes because of the problem with carbon monoxide.  At the time that experience happened, it was a bit uncomfortable.  However looking back and remembering it now, it is one that I would not change a bit.  It was different, challenging and thinking about it now, it was fun.

There were several people in this camping party so we had a cook tent and someone was already up making breakfast over a wood fire and that tent was warm.  We still had to break the ice on top of the water tank to get water for washing our hands.  After breakfast and the usual clean up we took vehicles and went to the area where we were going to hunt for the day.  My dad and I stayed fairly close while we were climbing the mountains and looking for a place to use as an observation post.  There were no feeders that would attract the deer.  We just sat on the side of a mountain with a clearing so we could see some openings in hope that a deer would come into view.  Sometimes they did, and a lot of times they did not.

One of the most memorable times was in the middle of the day.  Earlier that morning when we left the camp site we took with us what we wanted to have for lunch.  There wasn’t a McDonald’s around the corner.  We were about 10 miles off of a small road in the middle of the Gila Wilderness.  We carried some cheese, maybe an apple, and some canned meat with water in a canteen.  We had decided that we wanted to eat, so we sat on a log and ate what we had brought for lunch.  Sitting with my dad on the side of a mountain with all the quietness you can imagine, the opportunity to be out in the clean air, cool breeze blowing through the pine trees, watching the clouds overhead and the chipmunks and squirrels running around on the ground was worth everything it took to get there.  That has become one of the very best times of my life that I will never forget.

If you are looking for a way to unwind, to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, going camping can be one of the best ways to do that.  You will find yourself where there are no phones, no TV, and plenty of time to just relax and forget about the demands of the job at home.




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