Before moving to Canada, I had gone camping only once in my life. And It wasn’t a memorable experience. Sleeping inside a small tent and waking up to a beautiful view was my idea of camping. It’s only after my first camping trip to Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada; I realized that my ‘idea’ is just 25% of what camping is. I had it all wrong in my mind. After observing other campers in Algonquin, I realized how to camp. I am sorry to say this to all my friends back home; you’re doing it wrong. Here’s how Americans camp.
The More the Merrier
Carry all the stuff you need and the stuff you don’t need, but you might need, and if there’s some space left in your vehicle, fill it with something unwanted (a portable swimming pool, maybe?). Camping is like setting up an entire home in the woods for one/ two nights. The only difference is there’s no walk-in closet here. It’s cute to see campers lighting up the site with fairy lights, carrying large coolers filled with beers even though it is 2 degrees, and having elaborate meals. Just three sites away from our campsite, A couple had one big dinning table inside one of their many tents. I could see what’s underneath because the tent was transparent. I wonder how much time it takes to pack all this stuff.
Fresh Food is a Must
Back home, instant noodles are everyone’s favorite camp meal. It has become a part of our/their camping culture. I love the fact that people here prefer cooking their meals at the campsite. Just carry all the raw materials and eat freshly cooked delicious food. My friend suggested we carry takeaway containers, but I refused. I said NO. We’ll prepare something. Campsites are equipped with a fire pit and an iron apparatus that can be used to cook food. Cooking food in the wild is an experience in itself. isn’t it?
It’s a lifestyle
Camping here is considered a hobby and not something you do for just once in your lifetime. People use it as a way to connect to the natural world in their unique styles. They don’t do it because it’s cool or fancy; it’s an opportunity for them to reconnect with friends, family, and nature. So if you want to camp like an American, leave behind that over-excited touristy person that’s there inside you,
Don’t Leave Any Trash Behind
It’s not an ‘American’ only thing, but I just felt the need to ‘remind’ you’ll. In case you’ve forgotten.
Anyway, here’s a short video of my camping trip to Algonquin Park.
My journey from Mumbai to Toronto