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Liking One Style of Traveling/Camping, But Not Others

Recently I was camped with a non-self-contained van camper. It was remarkable how much fine cooking she could do just with a Coleman stove, ice chest, and picnic table. Mind you, her creations were done in the face of New Mexican "horizontal gravity," the wind. Unlike me, she was also organized with packing and unpacking her van. Clearly she should just go on doing what she has become good at.

Then there's the rest of us. I never liked camping when I was young. How ironic that I became a full time RVer who emphasizes dispersed RV camping.

If I had to do it all over again, I would. But how did I manage to do it in the first place?! It was just dumb luck that I managed to distinguish some outdoor activities from others. You can love walking or bicycling in the outdoors, and dislike housekeeping, cooking, or reading in the outdoors. You can like living in a small, hard-walled box and dislike tent camping.

Don't let me or anybody else oversell the Great Outdoors. There's a reason why homo sapiens started living in caves tens of thousands of years ago, and then upgraded to thatched huts. This is just another manifestation of what I posted a couple days ago: the best lifestyle is partly outdoors.

She loves the descents on her morning mountain bike rides. But in the afternoon, she'd just as soon nap indoors.

Non-self-contained camping has very little appeal to me. It's a daily strain to endure public restrooms, wind-swept picnic tables, and motor vehicle noise. 

Something similar happens in the traveling racket. You can dislike packing and unpacking suitcases at the motel, but you can love sleeping in your own bed every night, as we RVers do. 

You can dislike making reservations because it robs the travel experience of spontaneity and freedom, but you can love going out onto public lands to look for a campsite, with no guarantee of success. 

You can dislike making travel plans, and love deciding at the last minute whether you will turn left or right, at the fork in the road. In fact I literally did just that, in Chama NM recently, and ended up in South Fork, CO.

A person can be so sensitive to changes in the details of camping or traveling -- details that might not look terribly important from a distance, that is, when you are painting with too broad of a brush. 

We can't think without lumping things into categories. We'd drown in fractured details. Every noun is a "category" -- you wouldn't propose to have a language without nouns. But it is also important to see sub-categories. 

The shame of it is that many people will be too hasty or otherwise fail to make vital distinctions between different styles of traveling and camping; thus they will miss some great opportunities.


Too many folks think their way is the only way. As you point out there are many right ways. Your style and my style are very different even though we both use a travel trailer, but both are very comfortable to the person owning the trailer of choice. Excellent posting today.
Tesaje said…
Yup. I loved camping when a child and young person. Then life got in the way and my work required a whole lot of flights and hotel rooms. Then I developed a sensitivity to many hotel sheets yielding a nasty rash. The discovery of using an RV, even a small one like my Class B van, makes it seem like a real luxury with little downside. Just having my own sheets is huge. I avoid flying/hotels now. The van is more comfortable. There's always something you have to deal with, even at a home in a sticks and brick.

Having a can do/deal with it attitude is important too. When I took my first trip in the van, I didn't have time to figure out how all the systems worked. Figured it couldn't be worse than camping in my car. And it wasn't. What problems I had, I dealt with. I learned how to do things and what works for me. But then I had that same attitude camping with little more than a single burner white flame stove and a sleeping bag.
Michael said…
Good and subtle thinking, as always.

On every noun being a category: Is there any single word (as opposed to combinations of words), using any part of speech, that is not a category?

Barney, yes, we do have very different camping styles even though our rigs are fairly similar. That might be an endorsement of a van/pickup pulling a small trailer.

Tesaje, a simple stove on a picnic table can be made to work. But how many days per year would you want to put up with the weather when you are trying to cook? It's OK for a weekend camper or vacationer.

Michael, yes, just about every word implies a category.