Other Outdoorsy Stuff

Senior Camping

February 14, 2018

Senior Camping
No, I’m not talking about high school seniors here, I mean honest to God seniors as in: old fogeys like me. You see, we like to camp too, we’re just not quite as gung-ho about roughing it as you young whipper-snappers are. Now, I have no idea what a whipper-snapper is, or what the difference between a young one and an old one is for that matter, but I sure seem to find myself using that word a lot lately.

I’m Not That Old
Most folks my age who still camp do it in a motor home, a pop-up camper or at least a little sleeper trailer but not me. I’m still a tent camper, though my tents have gotten taller so I don’t have to bend over and bigger so I can have room for some comforts befitting my age. Now, I know befitting is another one of those old guy words but deal with it; there’s plenty more where that came from.

Go Take a Hike
One thing you will never see again is me with a backpack, hauling all my gear for a week into the wilderness. I did it once and I marked it off my bucket list before I even knew what a bucket list was. It may be fine and dandy for some folks but I about killed myself hauling in enough beer for a week. Although we do still go into the back country, we only go as far back as my four wheel drive can get me  and I not only have enough beer, it’s kept cold in its own cooler.

What About the Senior Discount?
When us old guys venture out into the wilds, there are no senior discounts and certainly no early bird specials to get us up and out. We have to fend for ourselves just like you young’uns; we just know how to do it easier now. There is one major senior discount worth mentioning that I just missed out on. Unfortunately, though I may be old, I’m not old enough to have gotten in on the National Parks Pass for Seniors deal before it went up. The America the Beautiful Pass, which is the National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Senior lifetime pass went up on August 28 2017 from $10 to $80. This pass will get you and your guest into any and all National parks and monuments for life, which is a better deal for some than others. Now, 80 bucks is still a good deal but this is the first time in quite a while that I wished I was a little older. The last time was that one night with the fake ID when… well we won’t get into that.

Creature Comforts
Let me tell you youngsters something: as you age, you don’t just want to be comfortable, it becomes a priority.  One way to fulfill that priority is with a Stansport Deluxe Airbed-Doublehigh,  not just any deluxe airbed but this one is double-high. Why does that matter? You see, some of us old guys don’t like to bend down too far. At some point, we may not get back up.

Keeping it Real
I prefer tent camping because I’m trying to keep it real; was that hip enough for you? Otherwise, I have to admit, I may be joining the RV crowd soon. As I mentioned, some old codgers bail on the roughing it and “Trailer up,” as they say at the old folk’s home. My buddy just bought a 34 foot fifth-wheel trailer with a queen bed, full bathroom with shower, full kitchen with an oven and a microwave, along with a 55 inch flat screen TV that rises out of a cabinet in his fully carpeted and walnut wood trimmed living room. Now I know this is ridiculous, I mean, come on: who needs walnut wood trim when camping?

Michael Ryan

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