A Reason to Camp

Tomorrow, I’m going camping. It’s my first time. I know. I’m 26-years old but I grew up in Chicago so I get a pass. When I was growing up, only white people went camping and I’m not white. There are so many reasons why I wouldn’t like camping: (1) bugs. I have a phobia of bee-like flying insects and spiders; and I generally dislike all insects. That’s the end of the list.

Why did it take me take me so long to go camping? I finally have a guide. I am a cautious, skeptical person and I calculate all of my risks before taking them. (I’m not as boring as I sound.) With camping, I am a novice. I dont know all of the risks because I’ve never been. What if there is a bear? Do run or scream? Or what if I’m bit by a poisonous spider? I don’t know if these fears are realistic or not. So, I’m going with a group of friends who’ve camped before. I can feel secure in that. If something goes wrong, I’ll just blame them.

There’s something inspiring about being outdoors, like if i do it enough, I’ll become a mountain climber or find myself free diving in the Gulf. When you’re not surrounded by walls and a roof, the environment gives only two options—do or don’t. Enclosures give the luxury of doing without doing, for example, watching Netflix. Outdoors, you’re confronted with yourself. What will you do? There’s nothing to distract you. Its just you and your thoughts and nature. A vibrating silence.

This one-night trip is focused on partying and bonding with friends but I hop to find a moment to break away, hike a trail, and sit and be with myself. Take in the park. Watch the moonrise. Sit still enough to feel the breeze. That will make it all worth it. That is a reason to camp.



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