Camping with your middle-aged parents and their friends is very different from camping with fellow mid-twenty year olds. Twice baked potatoes oozing with English coastal cheddar cheese replace dry hot dog buns made of god knows what, tenderloin replaces sausages consisting of a variety of minced animals, and coleslaw made with organic cabbage, peppers, carrots, apples, raisins, and peanuts replace, well, nothing; camping with my friends often means going vegetable-less, unless you consider the watery tomato sauce that spaghetti hoops float in a veggie dish.
With Middle Agers, you don’t waste time lounging at home before taking off; you go straight from the office to the campsite:
With middle agers, instead of bags of Cheetos, appetizers include tahini topped with pomegranate seeds, a grilled veggie and feta salad sprinkled with freshly squeezed lemons, homemade hummus, fresh tabouli, and tzatziki:
Cocktail hour calls for margaritas, not Bud Light:
The main course is most definitely not pasticy hot dogs; instead, there are homemade baked beans made with organic beans, green bell peppers, onion, tabasco, worcester sauce, and brown sugar, accompanied by tenderloin and twice baked potatoes.
Desert is not another diluted beer, but nutella brownies:
You sleep on custom-made-for-the-back-of-your-car mattresses that are cloaked in cashmere blankets, and real pillows instead of bundled up clothing:
You lounge on Middle Eastern carpets with Princess pooches:
And you eat Elvis Sandwiches (toasted bread spread with peanut butter on one side, regular butter on the other, topped with banana, bacon, and a drizzle of honey) for breakfast instead of toppingless oatmeal cooked in water in old and moldy pans:
Despite the luxury inherent in camping with comfort-seeking Middle Agers, I truly do enjoy “roughing” it. Sure, homemade brownies fulfill all my post-dinner sweet tooth wants, but I’d happily poke a marshmallow onto the tip of a dirty stick, shove it into the smoky campfire, and then relish in all its warm and gooey splendor, even if half the gloop ends up in my hair and under my fingernails. This girl, underneath it all, loves (loves, loves, LOVES) to get dirty; sit me down for a chat next to a flower bed and you can guarantee that in no time at all my hands will be caked in mud. It’s the simple things…
And this – the simple things – is, quite frankly, why camping is key to a healthful well-being.
Where is the best place you’ve ever camped? What are your favorite camping traditions? Do you have a fun camping story to share?