Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Camping, Part Dva: Russian Style

This is a followup to my post yesterday regarding my near death experiences while camping with my family.

Years after my last death march with my family, I slowly began to forget just how terrible they were at the time - either because I remembered the good times more vividly due to my genuinely bubbly nature, or due to memory repression.  I'll never know which.  And my experiences camping turned into a slight pretentiousness regarding camping.  This meant that to me, if the odds of survival are good, you're a wuss and not really camping.

So when my wife invited me to go camping with her family for the first time, I asked her where we were going.  She told me we would be headed for some campsite in the Poconos, and I giggled to myself - stupid people with their pseudo-camping. Psh, I bet they don't even dehydrate ONCE out there.

But, trying to be a good sport, and trying to impress her father, I agreed to go along.

First thing's first - the tent.  You could fit an entire village in this thing, which apparently, was the idea: we all slept in the same tent.  Why try to set more than one when they're about as complicated to assemble as nuclear reactors?  And we all know how well Russians are at assembling them *cough*had to fit in reference to Chernobyl's 25th anniversary, and BTW, yes, i know it was human error, not a structural design flaw*cough*.

Second thing - they brought legitimate air mattresses.  As if they figured being one with the earth was too "beneath" them, the needed to sleep on air.  Ooooo, how was your sleep on your cloud, Mikhail? Where did you grow up, France?

Third thing - literally everything else.  They washed a garden worth of fresh vegetables, they brought more alcohol than we could drink, plus some to pour into the car like liquid schwartz if we ran out of gas.  They brought badminton, a guitar, a chess set, an electric teapot, a radio, a hammock, and at least two pigs worth of meat.

"Good thing they brought the electric teapot", I thought, "cause I know lots of forests with electrical outlets."

When we got there, I was surprised to see hundreds of other people, sitting around the campfire next to their cars listening to either Bob Marley, or to some country song about Fried Chicken and biscuits (I tried to google the title of the song I'm thinking of, but there's an entire sub-genre of country dedicated to fried chicken).  The first three or four hours was dedicated almost solely to the set up of the campsite. 

And then...we sat.  And ate.  And then we drank, sang stupid songs on the guitar, played cards, and stayed up until 3 in the morning BS'ing with each other and dancing around like idiots.

There was no killer hike.  No trying to decipher a map, and making sure we're not lost.  There were no blisters, heavy packs, dehydration, or heat stroke.  There was even an electrical outlet so we could have hot water.

I pitied them for not realizing what camping could and should truly be - a test of your desire to survive.  Like 127 hours, only you didn't have a knife.

But I figure I'll go with them again just know...continue to pity them.


  1. sitting around bs'ing = best vacation ever.

  2. Ok, that's more like it. I want to camp like Russians. Except at a hotel instead of outside.

  3. Did you guys do the alcohol in juice jars part? That's the best.

  4. What about mosquitos? Surely, there were mosquitos. Oh, that's right, you were all too liquored up to notice.

  5. I probably shouldn't tell you that I'm going "camping" in an "RV" this summer.

  6. This post is damn funny! I'm tweeting it!

  7. Anyone that brings an ample amount of alcohol with camping is good people to me. We have a friend that lives on a good amount of land that has a "tent" party every year. That's about as close to camping as I've ever been. And I'm OK with that.


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