In Praise Of Camping

I’m blessed to have been introduced to ‘camping’ as a young child. I don’t remember the first time, but as a kid, we ‘camped’ so much that the various trips run together in my memory. It’s funny to me that now, with all of the technology swirling around us, the idea of ‘unplugging’ seems to be a new one. It’s not.

Consider this excerpt from “The Book Of Camping and Woodcraft” by Horace Kephart, published in 1918.

To many a city man there comes a time when the great town wearies him. He hates its sights and smells and clangor. Every duty is a task and every caller is a bore. There come visions of green fields and far-rolling hills, of tall forests and cool, swift flowing streams. He yearns for the thrill of the chase, for the keen-eyed silent stalking; or, rod in hand, he would seek that mysterious pool where the father of all trout lurks for his lure.

Indeed, even in the early 1900’s, they saw the value of escaping to the Great Outdoors. Most of the time, my family and I ended up camping at Tyler State Park, in magical East Texas. While a state park did introduce such comforts as running water and clean bathrooms, it still gives us the experience of getting outdoors.

The Book Of Camping and Woodcraft

This is something that I intend to instill in my daughters as young as possible – camping is good, and fun. And necessary. Sleeping in a tent, sitting around a campfire, catching lightning bugs, and hiking. Swimming in a lake, without any chlorine to ‘protect’ us. Lovely.

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