Tag Archives: Camps

How to Know a Camper


Showerhead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Know what’s awesome? Camping. But if you take awesome and multiply it by spectacular, you get the feeling you have after you take a shower in your own bathroom at your own house after a weekend of camping.

Maybe it’s because I know my feet will still be clean in an hour. (Campers shower, throw flip-flops on and head back outside.). Maybe it’s that I can take my time and not worry about a gray water tank filling up or whether I brought enough quarters to the campground shower to get the conditioner out of my hair. I’m not sure exactly what makes such a mundane, daily task become so absolutely, beautifully blissful after a weekend camping. I am sure that the only comparable feeling is taking ski boots off after a long day of skiing.

Anyway, while in the shower on Monday after arriving home from a Labor Day weekend spent camping, I got to thinking about how some phenomena, like the blissful shower, are specific to camping.

It got me thinking about a few little quirky things about my family and me that are a result of camping. If I noticed these traits on another woman, I’d know she was a fellow camper.

Here are a few – what other ways can you tell someone is a camper even when they aren’t near their tent or camper?

1. Her infant or toddler’s stroller smells like beer. (Strollers have cup holders for a reason, but campground roads are often bumpy and some spillage can occur. Every weekend camping I spill a little adult beverage on the stroller and can never quite get it out and wonder if people in my neighborhood or other parents at the park secretly wonder what is in Buster’s sippy cup.)

2. After a long weekend, it looks like her face, shoulders and feet went on a posh tropical vacation but they left her back, legs, and stomach behind. The tan lines on the feet will likely look like flip-flops and may appear darker due to residual camping dirt. If her children are over 7, she may have a tanned area on each leg between her knees and shorts. This is because after your children are 7 can MAY be able to find time to sit down in daylight while camping. Her husband’s tan lines will be similar but if he has short hair, the term “red neck” can be quite literal and allegorical at the same time.

3. Her children look like they’ve contracted some horrible infectious skin disease, but it’s just mosquito bites and dirt stuck to the roasted marshmallow left on their faces.

4. At sporting events or the park or wherever, when bad weather strikes, she’s prepared for it with a rain poncho, umbrella or other gear she grabs from her car. When she takes out said gear, everyone starts sniffing and asking if something is on fire. Alas, it is just aforementioned gear’s residual campfire odor.

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Campers and Determined, Mobile Toddlers; a Good Mix?

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything about motorhomin’ yet (when you read “motorhomin'” it should sound the way “motorboatin'” does in Little Big Town‘s “Pontoon.” I just decided that.  “In a Rrrr Vvv… Out here in the open…motorhomin’.”) We started in April and went 5 weekends in a row. Of course, I do believe I might be ridiculed for blogging by the fire.  So that’s part of my excuse.

During that timeframe, baby Buster turned 1. We threw him a nice sock monkey party which he seemed to like.  But more importantly, he’s 1 now.  I don’t know if you’ve had experience with a one-year-old boy, but they are strong for their size.  And awkwardly mobile.  Somehow, either crawling or with his lurching walk, he can identify and get to the most dangerous item in a room in seconds.

Which means camping with him is a much different experience than last year. His mobility is something I’m proud of and grateful for, but it makes being in a camper difficult. Campers are designed to provide as much convenience as possible in a very small package. That means important switches, etc., are usually placed right at perfect toddler height.

In fact, if you could magically de-electrify, unsharp, and remove all flame-creating items from a camper and place that squishy foamy stuff under the stuff that would be climbed and then fallen off of, you could charge a small fortune for toddlers to visit. Because thy LOVE that every hole, toilet, switch, bed, and dangerous item is just at their level.  Add a steering wheel and a radio from 1992 like my RV has, and it’s toddler heaven.  The old-fashioned heavy metal seatbelts can amuse my three-year-old for hours.

Even the larger, newer motorhomes aren’t designed with children’s safety in mind.  They’re a little better, but there’s just no way to fit what needs to be fitted in a camper while keeping stuff out of kids’ reach.

So, here, I bare all.  The true danger I expose my children to camping in our camper. (Not to mention how old and messy my camper is.)  Enjoy this gallery of what a 1-year-old loose in our camper’s adventure might entail.  Click on one of the pictures to have the gallery open into a slide show.  (Please note that no toddlers are ever harmed in the photographing of or act of camping.  We actually don’t have hot coffee over his head- we make it after he wakes up.  And we don’t let him wander around the camper.  And we have those safety things for the outlets, too.  Mostly, we use common sense.  So don’t go getting all DCF on me.)

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