Camping for the first time? Sure, why not

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/07/2020 (800 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I have always said I would try anything once — within reason. When it came time to look at our summer vacation, the idea of camping came up as we’re not going to be able pack the car and head out on our annual road trip adventure, thanks to COVID-19.

The more we talked about, the more it sounded like a fun adventure. We did, however, face a number of challenges, including the fact we don’t have any camping gear — but we didn’t let that stop us.

The first thing we had to do was figure out what kind of equipment would be needed. We did the rounds of Mountain Equipment Co-op on Portage Avenue, Cabela’s on Sterling Lyon Parkway and even the nearby Canadian Tire. We had to purchase everything from a tent to a camp stove/grill, mattresses to sleep on and a table and chairs. We bought all of that and more. We were ready!

Debbie Ristimaki Rookie campers still managed to find a way to overstuff their vehicle ahead of their first trip.

We managed to find an unserviced spot at Birds Hill campground which meant no running water and no electricity. We were really going to ‘rough it’.

Our adventure, dubbed The Marshmallow Report, began on one of the hottest days of the summer. Imagine a couple of 50-plus menopausal women tenting during a heatwave and you have an idea what was in store.

Despite having watched video clips on how to put up the tent and doing a practise run in the backyard, the actual setup didn’t quite go as planned but we eventually got it up. The screen tent followed and then the rest was easy. We were, however, exhausted so it wasn’t long before we called it a day.

Remember the heat? We had to sleep with a battery powered fan going at full speed and wet cloths on our heads in an attempt to keep cool. Night noises haunted us and, while we were prepared with bear bells, it was no bear. It was a fellow camper.

Morning rolled around too quickly but we indulged in our one luxury — coffee made in a French press. It was delicious.

Part two of our adventure will take place at Riding Mountain later in the month.

We have learned to laugh at ourselves and that, in itself, is a good thing.

Debbie Ristimaki is a community correspondent for Bridgwater Forest.

Debbie Ristimaki

Debbie Ristimaki
Bridgwater Forest community correspondent

Debbie Ristimaki is a community correspondent for Bridgwater Forest.

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