What Can You Forget on a Camping Trip?

campfire1516791We had planned a lovely camping trip for last weekend:  sunny September weather, our 36th wedding anniversary, and a break from weeks of piled-up stress.  A  wonderful get-away, right?

Now, you have to realize that we’re old hands at camping, even if we haven’t gone for a while. But boy, did we succumb to some newbie forgetfulness – even after a last-minute stop at Wally World!

  • The camp stove somehow, somehow, got left behind in the garage.  How could that possibly be?  The fire grill didn’t go low enough to cook well over coals, and our little aluminum barbecue would only work with the small pan.  Hmm . . . how many one-piece batches of french toast does it take to feed two adults?
  • S’mores Fixings:  Marshmallows, check.  Graham crackers, check.  Hershey bars? Pick them up at Wally World.  Except . . . we didn’t.  Do you have any idea what camp stores charge?? But it was a must-have, so we paid the extortion.  And boy were they yummy!  (I do not recommend calculating the Weight Watchers points for them, especially when scarfing down three!)
  • No Milk.  Not a problem for cereal – we hadn’t brought any – but I hadn’t checked the pancake mix that Hubby packed.  It required not only milk, but oil, too!  Okay, not a huge problem – we could have french toast both mornings.  One piece at a time.
  • I left Hubby’s anniversary present at home, and had never managed to even look for a card! Yeah, remember those weeks of stress?  Aarrgghh!  But my Sweetie gave me my anniversary roses on Friday (a day early), so I put most of them in the fridge and brought a half dozen with us.  Made the loveliest campsite picnic table I’ve had yet!

Actually, between new work deadlines added and a dismal weather forecast, I had really wanted to cancel out.  What was supposed to be a weekend of sun and mid-70s turned into a forecast of chilly rain Friday evening and Saturday. I finally caved on “no-electronics” and figured I could do some writing work while it rained, so I soldiered on with the trip.  And Friday stayed unexpectedly decent, so we counted our blessings that we only had to put up an unfamiliar tent in the dark, not the dark and the rain!  (I prayed hard, but I don’t really expect the Lord to change the weather just for my recreation.)

So in the daylight of Saturday morning, we pulled out the old dining fly.  It wasn’t big, but would give us a bit of protection from the coming rain without confining us to the dark tent. But it’s been years since we used it, and I groaned as Hubby pulled out the poles.  Do you remember these?

Insert 1A into 2B. I hate old tent poles!

Insert 1A into 2B. I hate old tent poles!

We laid it out on the ground, played with possible order of poles and stakes, and then realized that the bottom dimensions were significantly larger than the roof – to the point that it wouldn’t fit on the bit of mostly-level ground left in our small campsite.  And looking at the 8×10 roof, we realized it really wouldn’t give much protection from rain blowing in anyway.  With immense relief, we wrenched the old poles apart and packed it away again.  Dark tent, here we come.

The skies stayed half-clear, though, and the predicted arrival of rain changed from 10 am to noon.  We decided we could chance our hike.  Beautiful woods, hills and creek beds, and plenty of sunshine, accompanied by my fervent prayers of thanks.

Brown County State Park

Brown County State Park

When the rain finally showed up in late afternoon, I was already flopped on the air bed, exhausted.  My book lasted only a few minutes before I fell asleep.  And when nap time was over, all that remained was a wet table to wipe off!

We also met a few interesting neighbors in the more crowded part of the campground:

Classic T-Bird and the cutest little trailer I've seen!

Classic T-Bird and the cutest little trailer I’ve seen!

 

Isn't she a beautiful Great Dane?

Isn’t she a beautiful Great Dane?

 

 

Do I care that I never had time to catch up on some writing? Only a little.  We had a lovely time, despite the weather forecast and the forgotten items.

What about you? Have you left camping necessities at home?  Have you been camping on a weather-crazy weekend?  I’d love to hear your story in the comments below!

 

 

 

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4 Responses to What Can You Forget on a Camping Trip?

  1. There is always something forgotten when camping. Always! We went to Put-in-Bay a few years ago, and forgot dishwashing soap, plus a few food items. Then it rained the whole second day, to the point that we came back to the campsite (we’d been hiding out in a museum in town) to find a river running through our tent. We said “enough!” and went home a day early. Glad your trip ended up better than it began!
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..Friends, Fun, and new Fiction!My Profile

  2. Jennifer Jensen says:

    I love the name “Put-in-Bay,” Jennette! Where is it?

    And oh, the rivers running through tents. I was an adult before I knew not to leave pillows and such touching the tent walls! Of course, that may have come from my dry California upbringing. 🙂

  3. Melissa G. says:

    I’m not the camping sort. The last time I was camping, well, one of the few times I was ever camping, Jake was around 2 or 3 years old. We had a super windy night and weren’t able to sleep in the tent for all the noise, so slept in the truck cab. Not so much fun. 😀

    • Jennifer Jensen says:

      No, that doesn’t sound like fun! But it takes several times camping to even out the odds with the weather. We used to go with the kids on Memorial Day weekend until it finally dawned on me that we always got rained on! Switched to Labor Day and had plenty of sunshine!