You may have spent hours planning for your trip or weeks or months figuring out where you are going, what you want to do, what your backup plans will be and whether you have all the gear you need.  You will have made lists upon lists and checked things off as you got closer to the time of departure. 

Then there is the day you leave. Whether you packed everything in advance or not, leaving to go camping always feels a bit more intense than other types of trips. Maybe it’s that you’ve had to prepare for more variables. Or  perhaps it is that you are headed somewhere that missing out on a knife or a fuel canister might mean no dinner or forgetting a towel might mean drying off after a shower with a t-shirt and being soggy and without the shirt you need for a day. You might be headed somewhere a long way from where you can buy a replacement for that missing item. Or you just aren’t sure where there might be to shop and restock along the way. [Did I mention that you should probably scope out a few outdoor shops and supermarkets along your trip? It is super helpful to know of a few places you might go if you are freezing/in need of a can opener/in need of bug spray or camp fuel or camp matches.]

At any rate, it can be harder to get out and on the way when you are camping. And there is always the unknown moment of “will it all fit?” as you pack the car. And what will you leave behind if you need to make space? 

Add to that a car trip where you spend hours belting out tunes as you cruise highways and byways headed to your destination. Google maps say five hours twenty minutes when inevitably it takes more like seven hours.  It seems like you might never get there.  I might note that it’s always good to plan a few stops and a well timed lunch along the way to keep blood sugars and tempers even as you maneuver amongst the traffic. Of course this is what adds to the time, but in the end it is better to get a stretch and food along the way. 

And eventually, you are there. It seemed like forever away and here it is.  You set up camp, you get the lay of the land, you build a fire, you read a book. You breathe in fresh air and enjoy a simple meal and stare at the view of the trees or the ocean or the fire or other campers. You slow down and just relax. Because as Tom says “camping can be a good excuse to do nothing.”