10/18/13

Camping . . .

I like living "simply" - let me clarify what that means (to me) . . . owning the things you value and that are special to you, having enough to feel grateful but not enough to feel overwhelmed or entitled, able to access the comforts you value without having them feel simple.

I've talked a lot about my ambitions to eventually build and live in a tiny home. I can't WAIT to do it, frankly. My ideal living situation is about 600 square feet (the loft makes it sorta' like having more). And I'm in training . . . my current home is just 400 square feet but I have a basement for storage and things like my hot water heater, heater, laundry, etc. so I get to sort of cheat in that regard.

I am truly happy and at peace in my home and everything in it makes me happy (except the pile of mail that I never seem to open).

So the question becomes . . . how is living the way I try to live (dis)like camping? And do I like camping?

A) No. The two things have nothing to do with each other. MOST campers are only out there doing it for a few days (or a weekish) at a time. They take great pains to pack everything and they make shopping lists and they plan to "walk in" to the woods and be completely self-reliant for the duration of their camping fun. They eat sparsely (or at least in terms of prep and serving - I know people who eat like ROYALTY when they camp). They sleep on the ground (or things very close/similar to it). They quietly hump in sleeping bags along side their friends who are either humping or sleeping quietly - or they are Boy Scouts at which point very little humping is going on.

No. All those things considered - I don't think there is much overlap between camping and tiny home living at all. The idea of light supplies and only what you need is consistent but you sacrifice very few creature comforts BUT space in a tiny home.

B) I love camping. I really enjoyed it as a Boy Scout (fun fact - I was an Eagle Scout at the age of 16. Boxed up all my crap, sent it to the national office and told the Boy Scouts to never contact me or count me in their ranks again after they "successfully" defend their rights to be homophobic biggots before the Supreme Court) and I even worked at a Boy Scout camp for two summers (staff cabins are a marked improvement over tent living and they might be more like tiny home living if not for the roommates. Upside? I smoked pot for the first time at AND got to know the Peter Gabriel version of Genesis (very different band, people) while a camp counselor. I've since camped a few times for a night or two. The last several years my camping has only included several one-night stints in the backyard with my beautiful daughter (tents in the lawn with extension cords, wireless Internet and fans doesn't exactly count as camping or tiny home living.

All that being said - I hope to do more camping in the future. Except I hope I never do the quiet humping in a sleeping bag thing. It just doesn't seem all that fantastic or special.