My First Time Camping… As an Adult


We all remember camping as a kid. A nice weekend with the family, the outdoors, and great memories. There may be nothing better than being free in the great wide open and getting some fresh air for a couple days.

When I was younger I always remembered camping as basically having all the things I had at my house, but outside… if that makes sense to you. We always had food, beds, and even a television.

Although, maybe my family brought a bit too much camping, we still had each other, and nature was right outside of our doorstep.

So me being me, I thought that camping would be the exact same way without bringing the old necessities we used to go camping with. I thought a tent, a blanket, and some food would equal a great camping trip like I used to have.

So a couple of buddies and I decided to go to a campground for a few of days in the summer. Keep in mind it was just a group of us, no parents, and the first time we had all gone camping as grown-ups.

We get to the campground and the site is beautiful, like a postcard. We start to unload our stuff, and begin to realize something isn’t right.

First of all, the only food we each packed was hotdogs… no ketchup, mustard, or even buns.

Secondly, we didn’t bring any bug spray or sunscreen.

Lastly, we forgot the poles to our tent. You know those metal things that hold the tent up so you could sleep in it.

Things weren’t looking up for us, so we decided to see if nature would.  We went to a lake to try to catch some dinner.

About an hour and a half later, covered in bug bites and sun burn, we caught one very small fish: one we claimed decent enough for dinner.

We decided to go back to our campsite, and attempt to set up the tent we had with no poles.

A strike of small genius struck as we thought of tying rocks to rope, and launching them into trees, to lift our tent off of the ground.

As a few of us did that, we asked our buddy to start a fire so we could cook up this tiny little fish for dinner.

The only problem with that was we didn’t bring any type of match or lighter.

As this was all going on, a family pulled to the campsite next to us and began to set up camp in literally ten minutes. They had all separate tents set up, a grill, a radio, and were sitting and laughing enjoying themselves in no time.

A sad sight it must have been seeing a bunch of young adults covered with bug bites and sun burn, throwing rocks into trees to bring life to a tent. Also, having to watch a guy trying to start a fire with two sticks like a caveman with arthritis.

As all of this was going on an older couple came over and began to stare at us. I looked at them like the memories I had as a kid, with my family, and how much fun it was.

The older gentlemen chimed in, and asked what happened to our tent. I told him we forgot a lot of things, but it didn’t matter. Our tent had two things: character, and a place to sleep (we finally got it up).

He asked us if we would like to join his family for dinner, and we all agreed.

We sat there like outsiders, looking at this family, and we all had to ask the question: “How are you guys so good at camping?”

The man and the woman laughed and said, “Years of experience, kid.”

He later told me that his very first time he went camping as an adult, he built his tent into a hill, and when it rained that night he almost drowned. He said it was nice seeing us guys hanging out, having fun, and finding a creative way of staying outdoors without the necessities most people bring with them.

You learn things in life as you start to go through it, and I’ve found that if I’m not laughing along the way, then I’m merely looking at things from the wrong angle.

That camping trip may have not been the most cozy, but we didn’t get hurt, or drown.  We met new friends, and to be perfectly honest, my first time camping as an adult was the best time I ever had camping.

(photo courtesy of Franky242/