While reading Dogs and Dragonflies this morning, I began to wonder how I could simplify the prep for weekend camping trips for whenever our lives return to normal. Too often I've (we've) left something important behind. Though there are the times when we didn't expect much colder than normal weather conditions, too.
The first cold camping trip I can remember was when brother Jim had recently graduated and received his teaching certificate from Willamette's Master's program. We're not usually big on joining the crowds on the big holidays, but this was a special occasion. So East is where we pointed the truck for Labor Day weekend.
The first forgotten item we discovered were long pants and heavy coats. Who knew we'd wake to ice on the dog dish?! Luckily N had packed 3 pairs of jeans and shared with the girls. They didn't care how big those jeans were! Then there was the missing hamburger for dinner. Brother Jim (who's always tried hard to be a vegetarian) had a box of instant no meat hamburger patty mix. We thought perhaps it would be a good substitute for the missing hamburger in the dinner recipe. That's when we discovered how much sodium is added to some of those mixes. Which didn't go well with one of my can opener camping recipes.
As we washed our salty dinner down with cup after cup of ice cold water, new neighbors pulled in next door. It was a group of young hikers from Germany. They needed help with a map (which we provided) and then proceeded to torture us with the lovely smells of bacon and onion wafting over to our campsite. I should add that they generously offered long pants to brother Jim.
The most recent unprepared camping trip, was last year with Jonathon's family at Diamond Lake. None of us had checked the weather report. If we had, I'm sure there would've been more than just big John who had a heavy coat! The day we arrived was warm enough to take a dip in the lake. Norm was tempted, but then the rest of the group began to pull in. I think it was the next day when the wind began to pick-up and the clouds rolled in. The temperature for the rest of the trip varied between 65 (maybe) and 35. I don't think it froze, but I could be wrong. N and I were very happy we had our tent trailer with it's furnace this time around. We did have long pants and peach brandy, but there's no substitute for a warm, winter coat. Although a dog in the lap can help!