Of course, my biggest fear is not being able to get it up. 😛

My family used to own a tent trailer – this was back when I was just a little snifter – and every year they’d haul it across the country to some campground where we would sleep in sleeping bags, deal with creepy crawlies in our tent, and use the loo in a public space. None of that ever excited me, and as I’ve grown accustomed to the luxuries of the city – beds, insecticides, bidets – I haven’t really grown any fonder of the prospect of a night in the woods.

Nature is lovely, just in small doses. Aside from the odd hour of hiking in the Gatineau Hills, I’m pretty much a city boy. We even bring our Xbox when we rent a cottage!

But Junkii has wanted to try camping for a few years now. I don’t know if I’m up for it, but if it makes him happy…

Where to Start
Of course, we have no equipment. Camping is costly, and we’re certainly not gonna dive right in without first giving it a try to see what all the fuss is about. We have a few friends who have offered to take us camping – to show us the ways of the forest – but a new opportunity has emerged that might be a better starting point than inflicting our complete ignorance of campsite etiquette on knowledgeable friends.

The Ontario government offers first timers like us the opportunity to do an overnight in a provincial park “without hassles or worries.” (Their words, not mine…and yes, I’m skeptical).

For $65 each, Ontario Parks promises new campers an overnight trip, teaching everything you need to know to become confident campers – how to set-up camp, how to build a campfire. They provide most of the equipment (we would supply bedding, personal items, and food to prepare our own meals).

Looks like the nearest session would be at Murphys Point Provincial Park. That’s only about an hour away, not too bad. If the experience becomes absolutely untenable, we can always just drive home. Whatever happens, I’m sure it won’t be as bad as our experience camping in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia

Anyone Wanna Come?
The excursion will be for two days and one night. But with campsites set up for 6 people, we could wind up sharing our site with kids – this program is aimed at families, after all. So if we’re gonna do this, we should start recruiting other first-timers who might be interested in a night of camping.

Who’s in?


4 responses »

  1. jandjsmum says:

    Too bad you didn’t live closer…I could lend you everything you need. I will say that for me the must have is an air mattress- that makes all the difference to me. Also we have a huge, tall, tent. I like being able to stand up in my tent and not have to crawl around. I really like camping honestly with these few luxuries. I would say that if you have friends that have equipment, you might borrow from them and do it yourself instead of this package deal. There really isn’t much too it. Setting up a tent (and with a little practice that is easy), setting up some chairs, and cracking open a beer. Done- you’re camping! The fire is easy (if you have charcoal and lighter fluid) and you know how to grill- or you could go easy and just do sandwiches. Get a few flashlights and some bug spray and there isn’t much else you need….you don’t even need a sleeping back if you have an air mattress- bring a sheet and a comforter. Anyways, that is just my 2 cents on this.

  2. Camper says:

    Hey RoC(k)r

    At Learn to Camp you won’t have to share your campsite with anyone else. Your campsite is yours for the two days. It just holds up to six people if that’s how many are in your party. Give it a try!

    • RoC(k)r says:

      Thanks! That’s a valuable piece of info. It would still be fun to have a few friends join us, but it’s good to know that not having extras doesn’t mean we have to camp with strangers.

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