Ah, the great outdoors. The fresh air, the sunshine, the cool breezes; it doesn’t get much better than that. Most of us love to camp—and as for the few who don’t? Well, I don’t know anybody like that.
Back to Our Roots
Maybe it’s the getting back to our roots part of it or itching our primal instincts but whatever it is, it’s in our blood. We started out as campers, maybe not happy ones, but campers all the same. As we progressed from huts to caves and then into building homes, we settled down and then the pressure started. To relieve that mounting pressure we now go backwards and consider sleeping on the ground in a tent a vacation.
Hunters and Gatherers
Some folks like to hunt, but most of us can enjoy a good campout, even if we are cooking rib-eyes from Safeway. Not all of us are hunters, some are gatherers. Some of us are both as I prefer to hunt in the grocery store and gather potato chips from aisle 7. During hunting season, hunters have hunting camps and some say that is the biggest part of the trip. Some are there for the animal hunting, but there are also the gatherers who brought all the beer.
Now this is primal. Most folks wouldn’t consider it camping if you didn’t have a fire burning. We are obsessed with fire and rightfully so; we’d have no charred meat or hot coffee without fire and S’mores would really suck without a flame. There would be nothing to stare at for hours on end as we seem to do around a campfire. Plus ghost stories would lose a lot of their appeal if told around a flashlight. Nowadays folks have stove pots and pits in their backyards, but nothing beats a raging fire in the wilderness to appeal to your wild side.
Why is it you’ll throw away a dinner if a bug crawled over your stove and into a pot but at a campout, that’s considered a spice? Okay, maybe not for everyone, but a little ash on your steak sure seems to tenderize things on a campout. Everything tastes better when cooked over an open flame; bugs, ash, and dirt included. We grill on our back decks all summer long, so no wonder the meal cooked on a campfire is extra special. Besides, having to work a little harder makes it seem more of a reward.
The Lion King
Okay I admit it, I feel more of a provider when I well, do more of the providing. I am the one responsible for fire, shelter, and sustenance. In other words: I brought the lighter fluid, the tent, the Cheetos, and the beer. I am the Lion King, hear me roar.
In the beginning the man who brought down the biggest Wooley Mammoth or Saber-toothed Tiger was simply put: The Man. Now, in order to be the Man or the Woman, you have to have the brightest tactical flashlight, the biggest quick set-up tent, or the newest camp gadget. We all like to show off; we all want to be the Man or the Women. The way to do that now is to have the newest, most high tech and probably most expensive toy that helps us pretend—in the most comfortable way—that we are Neanderthals once again.
Where else are the sexes more equal than at a campout in the wild? We don’t care what you identify as, everyone poops in the woods.