Camping

Somehow I came across this blog post titled Camping with Architects and almost laughed out loud when I read this part:

One of the most interesting aspects of camping with architects is setting up the actual site because it brings the urban planner out in all of us. How each family assembles their assortment of canopies, tents, fire pits, picnic tables, cars, even towel-drying ropes tells a lot about the architect’s sense of spatial composition and organization. With proper planning and collaboration, an authentic sense of village might even be achieved. This is where I often drive my wife a bit crazy! I like EVERYTHING set up just right: things aligned, objects rationally placed in a clear organization, views considered, balance achieved… I even consider details like where the openings of the tents are and where to place my reading material. My kids mess everything up within an hour, but heck, since we are on vacation I try not to let these things affect my blood pressure.

So why did I laugh? Because I had this crazy idea of forwarding the post to my wife and when I thought about how she’d react I had a good giggle. First of all it would be impossible for her to imagine me camping at all. We’ve tried it a few times and it’s never gone well. I whined like a teething baby the whole time and generally made everyone around me miserable. Second of all, the whole idea of me EVER driving my wife crazy because of any amount of attention to detail is just downright ludicrous. My version of campground planning would involve trying to figure out a way to hook our tent to the car’s AC so that we could somehow control our climate.

Here’s the thing – we humans have literally spent thousands of years suffering through whatever Mother Nature’s thrown at us. Then we discovered all kinds of great things to control our environment, air conditioning in particular, and someone got the brilliant idea that the best way to celebrate this is to willingly do without it while spending days getting grimy and smelly while we pretended to enjoy the experience. What’s the sense?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a nice hike through nature in places that don’t threaten my existence (no bears, snakes or sheer cliffs for me) and the quiet and solitude to be found by a body of water that isn’t trying to drown me is awesome. But, and this is a big but, I have no desire to spend the night trying to sleep there protected only by a pop-up bubble of nylon. Air conditioned cabin? Sure thing, but otherwise don’t invite me on any excursion that doesn’t at the end of the day result in me eating a nice meal (one not cooked using with a thing that requires little green Coleman propane canisters), and sleeping on a mattress in a climate controlled room. If you can’t guarantee me that then just leave me behind.

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