Secrets of a successful faux camping trip

Pinery-2011-038
I respect camping, but I don’t love it. Attempting to back a borrowed tent trailer into a campsite every year is the most stressful moment of my entire year—as my wife tries unsuccessfully to guide me in, and the kids laugh at my ineptitude.

I find many parts of camping really annoying. However, this year I loved camping. Now I will share the secret to enjoying camping for folks similar to me who prefer cottages and room service to sleeping bags and communal showers.

The key is to freeload. Our friends Steve and Patti Weir got a camp site at Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron near Grand Bend, Ontario. We enjoyed all the benefits of camping without doing any of the work. Thanks guys.

We stayed at lovely Shady Oaks B&B about five minutes away, which offered the following advantages with, of course, the bonus of being quaint:

  • Sleeping in an actual bed with sheets and having access to indoor plumbing, which means you don’t have to get out of your squeaky trailer three times a night to water the horses. (One solution would be to drink less beer at the camp fire, but, hey, I’m on vacation.)
  • Using appliances and indoor plumbing means cooking, making coffee and washing dishes takes five minutes each rather than half an hour each.
  • Storing food in a fridge rather than coolers in a locked van means you don’t need buy ice every two days or fish around for five minutes to find anything.
  • Walking to your own shower knowing you won’t get athlete’s foot.

We did all the great camping stuff—went to the beach, rode bikes on trails, told stories around campfires (cooked wieners and sang songs too!), ate outside, listened to birds–all with convenience.

I had such a great time I might even go camping next year, well, hang out again at someone’s campsite.

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