15 May 2006

Camping Today

While we were waiting for our wives to finish shopping for beads, Dick P. and I wandered around the REI store next door. They have just about everything anyone would need from bicycling to rock climbing to kayaking. Canoes, bicycle locks, hiking boots, walking shorts, $5,000 backpacks, GPS devices, freeze dried chili, und so wieder. But the thing that struck me was a device one would use with a small burner to make one cup of cappaccino. My gosh, where have we got to?
When my brother, Fred, and I started camping, we had a surplus Army tent that could sleep four compatible adults or lots of sleepy children. We went trout fishing in the Adirondacks with his, then, father-in-law, Les, who seemed to know where every trout stream was in the Northeast. We had a Coleman stove, a cast iron frying pan, a coffee pot, and some Boy Scout eating utinsels that folded up into a compact carrying satchel, plus a cooler to store our meager supply of perishable food. Cans of beans and roast beef hash, eggs, butter, bacon, coffee, beer and bread is my recollection of the contents of our larder. We relied on a good catch to supplement the menu. Plus soap and toilet paper.
We usually drove up to the "campsite" in a station wagon - this was in the 50s - on dirt logging roads. The campsite was merely an almost flat spot under some trees just a few yards from the stream. The State maintained the area, so there was a primitive outhouse across the road (bring your own paper), with a catch on the outside of the door to keep the animals out when it was not in use.
One of the first times we fished there, we had a good catch, so had fresh trout cooked in lots of butter for supper. Being late, we left the frying pan on the picnic table overnight. Well, the raccoons cleaned the pan sometime during the night, so it was just a matter of rinsing it out before breakfast. After that, we were more careful about leaving edibles out in the open.
But cappaccino and camping? It just doesn't seem right.

1 comment:

Ronabear41 said...

What a great memory. Made me smile thinking of the stories Jamie has told me over the years of your camping trips. He loved going there.