Love the Little Things Last summer, I made the mistake of letting my friends, Tyler and Calvin, talk me into going camping for the weekend! While I did feel a tinge of excitement, the overwhelming feeling I had in the pit of my gut what that of anxiousness. I had never been camping before in my life! So many thoughts such as, “What if it rains? ” “What if an animal attacks our site? ” just kept racing through my mind. However, when they guys came to get me that morning and I saw all of the supplies and food they had brought with them, for our three day camping extravaganza, I knew everything was going to be okay.
Boy, how wrong I was! Even with the best planning, camping can be an extremely frustrating experience do to uncontrolled factors such as poor weather, encounters with wildlife, and equipment failures. When envisioning the perfect camping trip, it is likely that good, sunny, weather outweighs a vision of a cold, rainy, forecast. However, not every camper is so lucky. They may begin their journey with clear blue skies, but the closer they come to their destination, the more gray and cloudy the skies become.
Once arriving at their campsite, they may be forced to set up their shelter in the pouring down rain! This may not seem like a very hard task to accomplish, but when you have to focus on not only getting the tent set up, but not tracking any mud inside, and getting the sleeping bags set-up without getting them soaking wet, it can become quite a challenge! If the sleeping bags do become wet from the rain, the cold also becomes a major factor. This is because when camping, there are two sources of heat available. One is fire, and the other is a campers sleeping bag.
However, if it is already raining and windy outside, the chances of being able to use the first source of heat is highly unlikely. In this case, campers turn to their sleeping bags for warmth. If these are also wet, like the logs a camper would use to start a fire, then the sleeping bag is unfortunately, no source of heat either. While it is advised that campers check the weekend forecast before embarking on their trip, it isn’t always guaranteed to be accurate, and campers should still try to plan ahead for these kind of situations.
Another problem campers are likely to be faced with is wildlife. Although not all wildlife the campers may encounter will cause a nuisance. Such as birds, rabbits, or squirrels. Some of the wildlife may be a different story. Wildlife like this may include mosquitoes, raccoons, and snakes. Mosquitoes cause many problems for campers if the proper bug repellent is not used. They bite human flesh, and leave behind an unruly urge to scratch at oneself all night. Only causing the itching sensation to increase even more!
While Raccoons may not always directly interfere with campers, it does not mean they aren’t just as capable of causing an equal amount of problems. They often travel in groups of two or three, and become the most active at night. The campsite of an unsuspecting, inexperienced, camper can make the perfect place for these naughty rascalls to find dinner. Especially if this camper has forgotten to seal up their food in its proper containers, or if they forgot to zip their tent completely shut. For raccoons will break into anything they can get into in order to feed themselves.
Snakes can also be a problem for the unsuspecting camper if they get inside the tent. Once inside, they will slither into sleeping bags or a pile of clothes to sleep, and hide from the elements. In some cases, the discovery of an animal like this could be fatal. Run-ins with wildlife like this can range from unpleasant, to dangerous, in a matter of seconds. However, the camper must realize that some of these encounters are inevitable. In addition, probably one of the most frustrating, yet least serious, problems a camper may face is equipment failures.
Although all campers seem to encounter problems such as these at one time or another. They seem to mostly affect the, “first time camper. ” They may get a late start getting on the road to their campsite, and by the time they arrive it is already getting dark. Then they must begin their attempt to construct the tent they will be using as shelter, while they can barely see what they are doing. While it looks fine in the dim light of the fire, during the night the campers awaken to a loud crash, and then feel something heavy on top of them. It was the tent collapsing.
Sleepily, the campers are forced to exit the tent and try to find a way to fix it in the dark of night. However, there is no fixing. The rods to hold the frame of the tent have snapped, and the waterproof seal has been broken from the campers not zipping the doors and windows shut all the way before using it. Totally disgusted form the events prior, the campers decide to just pack up and head on home. Although equipment failures might not seem very serious, for campers who have had to deal with bad weather, and annoying wildlife, these failures can shred any remaining hope of a peaceful camping trip!
These three types of problems can be experienced while camping anywhere. Until someone is able to figure out how to control the weather, get rid of pesky wildlife, or not experience equipment failures, all campers will continue to shake their heads in frustration, because these things happen. If you want to be able to enjoy camping and make it a memorable experience for yourself, you need to be able to laugh at bad weather, enjoy annoying wildlife, and accept issues with your equipment, or you will always be frustrated and unhappy.