Letter: Tent camping
I read with great enjoyment your article on Tent Camping. How true that when the budget dictates,it is the best way to go. However, that is not the primary reason to “take to the trails” with your tent, food and basic stuff for a weekend camp trip. Tent camping is portable, so you select your own spot to enjoy priceless benefits, each day to treasure the peace, contentment and wonder of being surrounded by nature’s offerings. An owl’s hoot, echoed by a more distant one; at a nearby pond spring peepers or wood frogs (who sound just like ducks), deer with fawns and in the evening a raccoon checking out your campsite.
I have two friends, twin sisters, who like to hike and camp, but with families and jobs, we had only weekends to indulge.
Two incidents still make us laugh: the first happened as we camped at an abandoned Scout camp on a rainy weekend. Hunters were active in the area and had shot something, but lost it. We heard them calling to each other, “Over here. No more to the right — or left, check higher, maybe over by the pond.” We decided to take a hike, donned our rain gear and started. We found their prey, a dead pheasant alongside the trail. I said, “If that bird is here when we get back, that will be our dinner. It was there and I picked it up, carried it to campsite, where I used my paring knife (all I had with me) to prepare our dinner. One pheasant, a few potatoes, some carrots, seasoned with bacon strips, dry Vermouth wine, sale and pepper, placed in a portable oven and hunt over our campfire. A never forgotten but very unexpected and special meal!
The other incident really made our day. At a state campsite, we saw many huge camper vehicles with everything, TVs, gas stoves and all the amenities on campsites near ours. One morning early, we went to the nearest latrine and heard two ladies conversing. “And you know Helen, next to our camper there are three old ladies, living in a tent and cooking on a campfire!” Made our day, and that’s what tent camping is all about.
MARY E. LYLE