I thoroughly enjoyed the movie A Walk in the Woods. This delightful story is about two “older gentlemen” taking on the Appalachian Trail. It reminded me how much I used to love to camp.
I haven’t been camping in a very long time, but I can still remember a pup tent honeymoon in the Smoky Mountains, and a cross country trip pulling a tiny travel trailer. Later an RV served as a home base for tours of the Pacific Northwest. I loved them all, but the day came when it just seemed easier to rent a cabin or to take a cruise. It’s not the same. Have you stopped camping because you think you are “too old?”
Camping can be fun at any age. Walk down the aisles of your favorite sporting goods store and remember the good times. Dream a little. New products such as tents that set up quickly and easily, self-igniting stoves and lanterns, and inflatable air mattresses might tempt you to try again.
Forget about burnt oatmeal, itchy wool blankets, lumpy bedrolls, and heavy canvas tents. Those heavy tents and lumpy sleeping bags have been replaced with light weight and comfortable gear, and you can eat in style. For the most part you still need to think quick, portable and nonperishable but at least try some of the freeze-dried offerings.
The basics remain the same, whether you camp in a tent, a travel trailer or a recreational vehicle:
• Fires are often prohibited so carry a kerosene camp stove.
• Remember that bears and raccoons forage in even the most populated sites so follow instructions re: food storage.
• Carry a first aid kit. Burns, blisters and bug bites are bound to happen even if you are prepared, and carry prescription meds in waterproof containers.
You don’t have to hike the Appalachian Trail to enjoy the out of doors. Road trips remain the best way to see the country. It may take a little more planning if wheels and walkers slow you down, but you can still get out there to commune with nature. Books about barrier-free traveling will soon have you wheeling in comfort and style. Rediscover the joys of camping at any age.