Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Temptation Tuesday - Roughing it!

Pink Hearter Donna Alward talks today of one of her favourite temptations that's not for everyone....camping!

Camping. In my experience, that one word causes one of two reactions - either a light in the eye, or a shudder.

(This is White Lake, British Columbia.)

I'm definitely a light in the eye girl. Maybe because I've lived in the city longer than I have liked and so getting OUT of it is so appealing. I'm a farm girl, so open spaces and trees and water...well it all feels so liberating!
Of course there are different levels of camping. There are those that back pack it to the middle of nowhere, boil their water and...well, honestly, I don't have much experience with that sort of camping. Those that do that sort will definitely tell you that it's what REAL camping is. LOL.

(Our Tent - Eagle Lake, Alberta)

Then there's tenting...we did that for a lot of years. A big old tent, portable barbie, Coleman stove, coolers, and a deck of cards for entertainment. The one big downside of tenting is that when it gets wet...well, it's not fun. When it was the two of us, we could *ahem* find a way to while away a rainy afternoon. But with kids....

Then of course there's the other extreme...the huge RV's that cost more than my house and are basically a bungalow on wheels. Running water, flushing toilets, fridges and ovens, even satellite tv! We're not that kind of "camper" either.

(This is not us, by the way...my pic wouldn't load so you get the nice models from the manufacturer site!)

We did however buy what's called a "tent trailer" here in NA (What's the UK equivalent?). It has a hard body, the top is hard but the sides are made from a tough canvas. I love it. It's easy to tow, we can set it up in about 10 minutes, it has a 2 burner gas stove inside, a small icebox, and a furnace for those chilly nights. Table and benches for eating at if it's rainy or if the wasps are too bad, or for playing cards. Beds made up that are perfect for sleeping and READING on a lazy afternoon.

But the best part of camping is, in my opinion, the campfire. There is nothing better after a day in the lake, than coming back to a barbeque supper and then having a beer/wine/cooler around the campfire... we even discovered a treat called bush pies this last year made over the fire that are scrumptious. Fresh air, the smell of the trees and wet towels...no traffic, no sirens, ah...bliss.

So how about it? Are you a camper? And if so, what kind?

Donna's latest release, The Soldier's Homecoming, is out in Australia and New Zealand this month - where it actually might be warm enough to go camping!
To find out more about Donna and her books you can visit her Website or Her Blog...


  1. I'm a city girl, too. I've never been camping, not even as a kid. I would love to go camping one day. I've always wondered about the dangers of encountering wildlife.

  2. Hi Donna! We call your 'tent trailer' a pop top here in NZ as far as I know. And, yes! Count me as a camper (I'm also equally happy in 5-star hotel luxury, let me tell you, LOL!)

    But I'm not into roughing it style camping. Our tent is large (3 rooms,) very waterproof (our old one lasted nearly 13 years until a tropical cyclone put paid to that,) and best of all there's plenty of room for the fridge (vital that the wine and beer be well chilled when camping.)

    One of things I love most about camping, though, is the strong sense of community you get when you meet the same families over a series of years. One family in particular have become our best and dearest friends. If we didn't camp, we'd probably never have met them because they live a five hour drive from our home.

    Oh, and your comment about sirens. I totally agree that's one of the best things about camping. Where we live, in the 'burbs, we don't get a whole lot of road noise even though there are two fairly major roads that we sit in between, but if there's a medical emergency, crime or fire, by crikey, you hear sirens coming from all directions. Speaking of sirens, I strongly recommend NOT camping in areas serviced solely by volunteer fire fighters. We had five years in a row where our every night was disturbed one to three times by the wail of the siren calling the volunteers to action. Now, I'm not averse to volunteer fire fighters and medics, oh no. But there's a certain element of terror in being so awoken for the first time like that. Not to mention the night a rescue helicopter hovered over our campsite while people readied a field nearby so they could land to pick up a sick child. I swear, I really thought the aliens had landed!

  3. lol With 5 children we do LOTS of camping. And in the UK we call your kind of tent a 'trailer tent'. Not allowed a camp fire over here though. Most beaches have forbidden them, too, which is a shame.

    We have a trailer tent for longer stops. That's when I set up home. We put up the awning, set up a washing line, put out the doormat .... We also have an 8 berth pop-up which stores small for couple of nights here and there.

    But, honestly, I'm beginning to want a proper bed. Never really have been your outward-boundy type of girl. Just married really badly! vbg

  4. I do like camping.
    Because of my back, we have not been for awhile, but there is something about a tent... We have a large 8 berth tent, with a living compartment in the middle as unlike California where I grew up, it definitely rains in the summertime in the UK.

    But it is nice to stay in a good hotel as well...

  5. Hi Donna,

    You're right. There's something about a campfire that's just so lovely. I used to do lots and lots of camping (not in campgrounds but in the wilderness). But I married a non-camper and sadly I've become used to staying in four walls on holidays. Have to say thought that I still love to get out in the wilderness and enjoy the serenity.


  6. Look at the campers coming out of the woodwork!

    Our tent pictured in the post was very large and had curtains to divide it into 3 sections - one for the kids, one for us, and storage in the middle. But I do love my trailer.

    And the campfire...well at White Lake, the pit actually had an iron rack that would swing out and in, and we cooked several times over the fire in a cast iron dutch oven. It was so good. And at night, the girls would go to bed and we'd put some cedar in it...it would pop and snap, and we could listen to the loons on the lake and the Great Horned Owls in the trees...

  7. I love camping, though I haven't been able to go in some time. I've always gone tenting with friends, and we have experienced some memorable trips together. The best was the week two friends and I camped in the Black Hills of South Dakota, surrounded by tall pines.

    I'm imagining "bush pies" are similar to what we call pudgie pies--pie filling between two slices of bread, toasted in a special sandwich iron? Those work great for campfire pizzas, too. Mmmm....

  8. Yes Heather! That's exactly what they are!

    The apple ones taste like McDonald's pie to me. MMMM. Blueberry is very good too, and we used the irons for grilled ham and cheese too. Seriously delicious.

  9. Hi Donna!
    I love camping as well. Luckily, I moved from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest where there are lots of spots to camp.