The first time I slept in a tent, I was NOT a happy camper.
For one thing, we were only issued half a tent – a shelter half, it was called. So you had to buddy-up with someone else who probably snored and (like you) hadn’t seen a bar of soap in a week and a-half. Worse, if there were only an odd number of grunts in your platoon, you might be the one on a rainy night who has to construct a lean-to.
Secondly, we weren’t allowed to bring along ice coolers and air mattresses and the like. Our accoutrements, as you can see, were less comfort-oriented, more lethal. It’s safe to say that our mood was anything but jovial.
Then too, that was 1967, and the mood of the entire country was a bit lopsided.
How can it NOT be better, second time around?
A whole tent to myself. Lightweight nylon, not heavy canvas. Netting to keep out the mosquitoes and let in the breeze. Back entrance for quick exits. Flooring to keep out bugs. Even has a welcome mat, can you see it? Don’t have to dig my own fire pit, that’s included. No need to chop my own wood because they sell logs and kindling and matches at the convenience store. Showers and laundromat nearby.
Okay, so maybe I don’t have a folding chair or any cooking utensils yet. Got to make more room in my car first. But I do have a miner’s strap-on headlamp to find my way to the bathroom at night!
CAMPING EQUIPMENT: 771.99
[includes tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, plastic ground liner, extra tent poles, hammer, pillow]
CAMP SITE: 10.00 per night, w/ Senior Lifetime National Park Pass
SHOWER: 3.75, bring your own soap & towel
THE VIEW: priceless
Just one word of advice, however… If you are tempted to give camping a try, learn to love the feel and smell of bug juice!
[Considering that motels run c. 100 dollars/night and gas when traveling averages c. 40-50 dollars/day, after merely a week of camping to recoup my expenses I'm saving enough money to catapult me into another tax bracket :)]