SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY. Henry David Thoreau
This weekend, my friends and I revived a yearly tradition that has been dormant for the past few years: the Saco River camping trip. Of course, in the past, we packed and canoed down river, but this year we decided to just camp by the river at a campground, because K and J were bringing a 17 month old, K jr (or K2, as we call him)
Its a good thing we weren't trying to canoe, too. In the past few years, our group has collectively decided that there are far too many conveniences we cannot do without. The vast quantity of STUFF that 9 adults and one toddler took for a weekend camping trip was staggering. Our campsite sported 6 tents (even though one couple actually slept on an air mattress in the back of a Tahoe, they still set up a 5 person tent for changing in), 2 hammocks, 7 chairs, 5 full sized coolers, 2 picnic tables with tarps overhead, a pack-n- play, a full sized gas grill, and a pile of firewood that could last people a little more thrifty than us through the winter. It was nauseating.
When did this happen to us? Camping used to mean CAMPING. Now it means bringing as much stuff from home as possible to --what-- try to forget that we are in the wilderness? 2 of our group actually brought a portable DVD player and watched Goodfella's in the tent while the most spectacular lightening display I have ever seen unfolded outside.
Don't get me wrong. It was a really fun time. I'm so glad I went and got to hang out with these guys this weekend. But it did get me thinking about how much stuff I have and never use.
When I got home, after unpacking and showering, I went through a little purge session and got a good sized salvation army pile sitting by my door. And I have renewed vigor at getting back to CAMPING camping as much as I can this fall.