Don’t Forget Toilet Paper

Found out last evening that one of my buds has never been camping! He’s considering it but he’s not entirely sold on the idea of sleeping in a tent when he pays rent nor is he certain what’s involved in the activity.

Why To Go Camping

Bacon tastes better cooked over a campfire than it does cooked any other way.

Camping Without Ending Up Ready To Kill Yourself If You Don’t Get Toilet Paper In The Next Ten Minutes

(How Not To Have A Fine and Pleasant Misery)

This guide is about car camping. That’s where you pack stuff into a car, drive to a campground, set up a camp, cook bacon, sleep, pack up your camp, and go home. It’s supposed to be fun. It’s not a hardcore adventure in minimalism designed to help you find your soul through the vehicle of discomfort. It’s about cooking bacon over a campfire.

I’m going to give you a few tips, but a successful car camp comes down to this:

Bring your own roll of toilet paper.

A sign I found in Japan that backs me up

A sign I found in Japan that backs me up

In the city if you have your wallet and your phone the rest is mostly ok to forget. Like when you get off a plane in Oregon wearing flip flops and discover that it’s raining so you go buy some shoes. Camping is not like that. It’s just after breakfast. You had a mug of fine, smoky coffee brewed up by your pal who claims to be a camping whiz. You head over to the local outhouse. There is no toilet paper. You go back to camp. “Pal who is a camping whiz there is no TP in the John where do I get more TP?” Your pal has no TP. He suggests asking The Campground People. Somehow, you find The Campground People. They also have no TP. You have two choices: kill your friend and use his clothes for TP, or just end it all because the discomfort is too much.

Adam’s number two rule of camping:

Plan to get bored.

It is midday. Your friends are asleep, drunk, or telling each other about their cats. Have something with you that you know you’ll want to do. I bring running shoes, books, and paper and pen I can use for my writing projects.

Camping is awesome if you do a little prep. Here are a few things, though certainly not all the things, to remember:

  • Your pal is not a camping whiz.
  • Someone will lock the keys in the car.
  • All electronics containing directions and maps will fail.
  • A minor scrape is a nothing problem as long as you have a first aid kit.
  • Nobody within a hundred miles can start a fire without a blowtorch but they will assume that you can.
  • You will eat twice as much food as you think you will.
  • There is no guarantee of water, ever.
  • Your phone will run out of battery many times faster than you think.
  • You are probably addicted to caffeine.
  • There will be no TP.
  • Sleeping bags make the difference between waking up with a headache ready to shoot the person who invented the blanket and waking up chipper and ready for more bacon.
  • You lose most of your body heat through the ground. That is why you have a sleeping pad. The skooshyness is nice and comfy, but it’s really about temperature.
  • You are probably addicted to caffeine. Don’t lie.
  • Nobody will bring anything to eat off of or drink out of.
  • Some campgrounds have tables and benches.
  • Nobody remembers to keep the gas tank full.
  • Mosquitos love you more than anything.

The routines and backup plans you use at home in the city probably don’t work at a campground. Think through where you’re going and what you’ll be doing and do enough prep to give you both a routine and a backup plan.

Take your own roll of TP!

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