Happening:

Love it or hate it: Camping

Love itMainly because of a lack of gear, the camping I’ve done throughout my life has essentially been car camping. Pooh-pooh that if you will (make sure you bring a shovel), but I absolutely love it. Here are a few reasons:

Once everything has been hauled from the car, the tent set up, bedding situated, the fire started with all the wood you’re going to need stacked nearby, then falling into a camp chair with a cooler full of ice and adult beverages sitting nearby and nothing else in the world.

Wearing clothes and hat to bed, cinched up in a sleeping bag and waking up in the morning, nose and eyelids almost frozen.

Even when it rains, being forced into the tent to play cards.

Walking away from the fire so you can look at the biggest stars you’ve ever seen.

Finding that perfect hidden spot to pee, so covert and shielded that you feel free to take your time even with active campers nearby.

When the sun goes down and there’s absolutely nothing to do but sit by a fire and tell stories.

Cooking. Over a fire. On a camp stove. Knowing that pretty much anything you eat will be the best thing you’ve ever had because, you know, camping makes you camping-hungry.

When there is no sound. At all.

David HolubHate itBugs. Sunburns. Waking up at the crack of dawn because I’m sweating my tits off. No internet. Seeing a massive shadow of a bear across zipped flaps while I’m in pajamas. Bad cell service. Not having a shower or having to flip-flop it into a rusty den of poisonous spiders and water-sputtering. Clogging my pores with mega sunscreen. Being expected to enjoy mucking up mountains or across lakes instead of just reading the latest Richard Kadrey novel in the shade. PORTA POTTIES. Ugh. Eris, save me from these evils.

I do not like camping. I can do it, but you better give me a damn good reason to not sleep on a soft bed – like, for example, the Muddy Roots Music Festival. I will eagerly “rough it” for four days of weirdo roots music in a Cookeville, Tennessee, field. But, if camping doesn’t include bands like The Goddamn Gallows, the Drunken Cuddle, or The Monsters, no damn thanks. The great outdoors ain’t my church, music is.

Camping can suck it – unless, I’m on Chicago Hill at Muddy Roots with Joe the Cop and Hot Amanda grilling me veggies, Rude Joe talking history, ShawnaBanana dancing by the fire, and the sound of the Calamity Cubes wafting our way.

Patty Templeton