A Gritty Gal Camper….Past and (hopefully) Present

hikingSo we are planning a family camping trip….our first in over ten years.  And Jake, my 15 year old son, has flat out refused to bunk in, or anywhere near, my tent.

Jake’s justification is simple. He says that he expects me to be……..”whiny.”

Now I’ve tried to explain that his perceptions are dead wrong.  While Jake expects me to be a difficult camping partner and views me as inflexible, I know an other me.

Once, way back when…..I was a plucky, gritty gal who hiked the land and canoed the waters….all over the northeast.   Back in those days, Joe looked like he belonged on a mountain, with a full beard and long hair.  And he went backpacking and rock climbing and made homemade wine.  And that other me had to keep up.  So I learned not to faint when I saw a snake on the trail and I became a master at fire starting…..and I even peed in the woods once or twice.

So I decided to make my point to Jake by sharing a few examples of adventurous times when I handled a difficult outdoor situation with ease……examples that show the rough and tough version of me!

  •  Once, Joe and I drove deep into the woods of Maine on a winding gravel road, looking for a particular trail where moose sightings were very common.  Now moose can be dangerous when startled……but I wasn’t afraid.  We were out there in the middle of nowhere to seek Bullwinkle….not to hide from him!  (I sound pretty tough here, right Jake?)  Plus, it was pouring rain that day, but I still didn’t mind…..I had quality rain gear and an attitude like Bear Grylls.  But strangely, we never did see a moose on that hike.  And contrary to Joe’s accusations, it wasn’t because I was talking loudly and occasionally singing as we hiked.  We all know that singing will scare away most animals, including moose, so I would never do that.  I just sing spontaneously in the woods because I am happy.
  • Once, I had a Girl’s Adventure Weekend at the hunting cabin of a friend’s father, which just happened to be infested with mice.  The cabin and its surroundings looked like the set from every camping trip gone-wrong horror film.  We gals swam and washed our hair in the river each morning and we hiked each afternoon.  In the evenings, we drank….alot.  (Jake- I know the plot here continues to sound like a horror movie waiting to happen, but I wasn’t worried.  We were rugged girls on a gritty adventure…..the polar opposite of whiny.)   And for the record, the one thing I did NOT do that weekend was to obsessively analyze movie scenes from Deliverance, Friday the 13th and the Evil Dead.   And I certainly didn’t lay in bed at night, praying that the inbred hillbillies, deranged serial killers and monsters in the movie world are just make-believe. 
  • Once, a rambunctious and nuisance raccoon was harassing campsites at the state park where we were staying with a group of friends.  So when that renegade raccoon came into our site, I knew we needed to act.  One of our group calmly grabbed a lantern and swung it toward the critter.  Like a slow and steady pendulum, that swinging lantern drove the raccoon back into the woods and out of our camp.  (Jake- are you thinking that the person swinging the lantern could have been me?  Your dauntless momma….the hero of our camp?)   Alright, the hero was actually our good friend Eric.  Sadly, I was prevented from helping due to the fact that I was standing on the picnic table screaming.  But it was me who warned Eric of the beast’s almost certain rabid state…..I do what I can with my gritty abilities.

Reevaluating my many camping experiences……I see that Jake’s concerns could have a touch of validity.  But even my most weak-kneed camping moments did not involve whining.  Screaming….yes.  But whining….no.

And those camping environments where I was most uncomfortable; these were environments that would unsettle many a camper.  Raccoon and moose and an escaped killer with a hook for a hand…..who wouldn’t be unsettled?

So on this trip, I will be out to prove to Jake that I am a pleasant and reasonable camping partner and I am certainly NOT whiny!  So I am going to tap into that rugged, gritty, and adventurous gal who spent so much time in the woods way back when.

But I do need Jake to give a clear definition of whining before we go.  I wonder if whimpering, sniveling, or grumbling will count?


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About Lisa

Lisa has two active blogs on Wordpress. Views from the RoofTop started as a blog space to share about crafting and using repurposed materials to make useful housewares and about my craft shop's mascot, RoofTop Chalie, the repurposed racing greyhound. It has evolved into a space to also share about the things in life that intrigue and inspire me. GAMES GAMES GAMES started because people asked Lisa to share many of the silly and fun games that are staples at her holiday parties.
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8 Responses to A Gritty Gal Camper….Past and (hopefully) Present

  1. Matt Lash says:

    I have your back on this. I will confirm that you are a valid outdoorsy non-whiner from experience.

  2. scrapsecrets says:

    Lisa, I was cracking up as I was reading this! And good for you that you are going. Have a great time. And I wouldn’t blame you one bit for whining! Lol.

  3. Loretta says:

    I am sure that after this weekend, your reputation will totally turn around. Everyone will be seeking you out as a camping buddy. Anything is possible!

  4. nlm264 says:

    I remember you a bit neurotic about black bear and leaving food on the picnic table in Shenandoah. But you didn’t whine.

    • Neurosis about black bears isn’t neurotic….it’s SMART! But on this trip, we were camped in the “dog-loop”, and almost every campsite had a dog……so I wasn’t too worried about bears.

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