Tenting isn’t a trip for Mother – Orange County Register

I’m not the kind who likes to return to nature. I’m the kind who likes to return to the resort.

I stole that line from humorist Fran Lebowitz, simply because I believe it’s humorous. I’ve many pals who would agree with the sentiment, although I’m all the time making an attempt unsuccessfully to persuade them that forest bathing is healthier than bubble baths on the Plaza.

I used to be a tiny tot once I started tent tenting with my mother and father, since my dad was a devoted outdoorsman and favored sleeping in a tent higher than a mattress.

A few of my earliest recollections contain fishing within the Merced River close to Yosemite, not removed from the place we lived, getting up earlier than daybreak to catch trout after which fry them over the campfire for breakfast. To at the present time, I really like recent trout for breakfast, although it’s not that simple to seek out within the metropolis.

I don’t keep in mind who really cleaned the fish, besides that I assure it wasn’t me. That job in all probability fell to my poor mom, who tagged together with us however didn’t take pleasure in fishing. I’m certain there have been loads of chores again on the campsite to maintain her busy, whereas we had been off hanging across the riverbank hoping to land a chew.

As a result of right here’s the factor: Tenting shouldn’t be enjoyable for Mother. She may lie and faux that it’s. However, no it’s not.

What occurs whenever you’re tenting? Magical fairies seem from the forest and do all of the cooking and cleansing, whereas Mother relaxes and reads a e book.

Ha ha ha ha ha. Proper.

I’ve tried repeatedly to persuade my camping-obsessed brother to take his long-suffering spouse on her dream trip to Italy. As a substitute, he prefers to get that final campsite at Yellowstone and hunker down there for 10 days. He insists she likes it.

Yeah. I wager.

Now, as I can inform you based mostly on almost 60 years of expertise, tenting brings out the machismo in most males. They relish this position of wandering across the campsite, hammering issues, chopping issues and on the lookout for methods to beat nature, like transferring rocks out of the way in which of the tent.

My brother (who’s a software program engineer) has sure implements that actually are solely used when he’s tenting, akin to his hatchet, which has its personal leather-based holster. He loves that hatchet, and as quickly because the tent is pitched, he will get it out and chops up firewood into kindling for simpler use.

Then, he stands up and breathes deeply, like a person would, wanting round to see if there’s anything he can chop. (The reply is all the time no.)

Manly males additionally like tents which can be difficult to place collectively. “Let’s see, you must match the orange pole into the orange slot. No, no, wait! That’s the pink slot. Concentrate, dang it. And the place’s the purple tag?”

For these of you who think about pulling up in an RV and pulling out the awning over the pavement to be “tenting,” effectively, I don’t know what to say. I don’t wish to get any extra hate mail than I already do.

I’m simply unsure what your manly duties are whenever you’re driving an enormous rig. Parking correctly? Emptying the waste tanks?

In the meantime, after all, the mothers and grandmothers in query aren’t preoccupied with their hormones, as a result of they’re too busy doing all the pieces else.

Plates and saucers should be put out. The upcoming meal must be cleaned, chopped and cooked. Then dishes should be washed, dried and put away.

Kids who’ve become huge clods of dust must have their fingers washed and possibly put into recent garments. Any moist swimsuits or towels have to be hung up on makeshift clotheslines constructed out of bungie cords. All of the meals must be put away so the night time critters don’t sneak up and eat it.

Are the blokes doing this? Yeah, not a lot. It’s the ladies doing the very same duties they sometimes carry out at house, besides it’s tougher attributable to lack of water and that ever-present fixed of tenting: dust.

In the meantime, the blokes have already pulled grownup drinks out of the coolers, whereas performing yet one more manly job: Making the hearth. Now, I’m a fairly good hearth starter, however greater than as soon as I’ve been shoved out of the way in which so some individual with a Y chromosome can attempt to show his testosterone degree by getting the hearth going.

I suppose this comes from some kind of archetypical ritual: After I took my youngsters to Kenya, and we went to go to a Masai tribal village, the soldiers took a shine to my son, Cheetah Boy. Then they painted his face with ocher and spent an hour educating him to make hearth by rubbing a small stick.

In the meantime, his sister, Curly Woman, cried as a result of the Masai males wouldn’t educate her. “That’s for the lads,” they firmly defined.

I’m unsure how a lot issues have modified again right here in suburbia, as a result of my son realized to make a wonderful hearth whereas in Boy Scouts, whereas his sister didn’t, regardless that she was in a corporation known as … Campfire.

As a substitute, her Campfire troop did outdoorsy back-to-nature issues like getting manicures and making crafts with tongue depressors within the faculty auditorium.

Now that I’m older than the campground dust, I’ve realized to understand staying in cabins, which have working water, bathrooms and comfy beds. I do miss being woke up by the birds at daybreak. That’s what comes from being a weenie. However I nonetheless don’t wish to return to the resort.

NOTE: Need to meet me? I’ll be hanging out in my garden chair from 1 p.m. to three p.m. Sunday Aug. 13 at Creekside Park, 25753 Stonehill Rd. Dana Level. It’s simply off the Camino Capistrano exit of the 5 Freeway. Say hello, get your e book signed or purchase one. See you there!

And you may e mail me at

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