I love sleeping in a tent; the sounds of the camp settling in, the smell of fire mixed with forest, and the blackness of the night and the shroud of silence that eventually comes with it. The air is fresh and I sleep deeply. Every day during our recent trip we awoke to birdsong and the echo of a faraway train.
I had a good time last week, I really did, but something about our recent excursion left me wanting.
Perhaps I’m slowly becoming a recluse in my old age, but I don’t want to drive for hours and hours to hear other people’s arguments about missing socks (I wish I was making this up), car alarms, and tinny radios. I’m also out of patience for campers who blatantly ignore good camping practices: people who wash their dishes in the sink at the comfort station, wash their clothing at the water tap, or chop up the deadfall in the woods when it’s supposed to remain there. These are all things we encountered at Presqu’ile, and I tell ya, my tolerance is slipping.
I’ve had lots of time to think about what I love most about camping. It includes:
- peace and quiet
- outdoor living (fresh air, making a fire)
- fun time with my family
- proximity to nature (hiking, photo taking, etc.)
- time spent relaxing (reading, hanging out at the beach)
Given these things, I think it’s fair to say that my ideal camp site is (a) sufficiently remote but not so far out that we’ll get eaten by bears and no one will find our bodies (b) in a scenic area, close to water and good trails (c) has a hammock.
The best car camping experiences we’ve had – and includes points A and B above – have been our trips to a couple different yurts in the Ontario Parks network. (One was winter camping at Silent Lake, the other was in Algonquin.) They were peaceful, but not crazily far from clean water, chopped firewood, and the park warden.
I like visiting new places instead of going to campgrounds we’ve been to before. The question is where do we go now? And also, HOW? Is this the turning point for our little car camping family? Should we graduate to something a little more challenging? Is this why people buy canoes? Or maybe a walk-in site is the next step? Sigh. Any guidance would be most welcome here.