One of the best parts about getting outside is the dwelling there. Sure, it’s nice to have a stable shelter over your head. A warm shower every now and then. The four-burner stove and refrigerator and comfy bed in my apartment go a long way. But there’s something to be said for setting up camp, both the short- and long-term kind. It’s fun to cook sizzling bacon on a camp stove (moi, at right, makin’ bacon) and roast marshmallows over an open flame. I’ve been vehicle camping on these last few road trips, and even though this has kept me from venturing too far off of the beaten path, I’ve felt way closer to the rock and dirt of living than I do in my Vail, Colorado studio apartment.
On a recent trip to Indian Creek, Utah I camped with a few others on the road near Hamburger Rock. Each of us had a different camp plan. Jim and Arita had the family camp going on, with two tents and a superstar six-year-old who slept in one of them:
Jay and Mandy camped out of their truck, which has a pop-top camper shell. This thing was very house-like, with a refrigerator and freezer, a two-burner stove (both propane fueled), and a spacious sleeping space:
I just parked my van…
…and bundled up in my sleeping bag on the pull-out bed/seat.
This vehicle was made for camping and has many fun features, including a table that pops out for dinner parties and several storage compartments that help me stay organized on the road.
The social aspects of this type of camping generally center around the campfire. Thankfully, Jay and Mandy brought some wood—and dessert. The sweet treat was a banana, partially unpeeled, with Rolo chocolates stuck in between banana slices. We wrapped them up in aluminum foil and set them on hot coals to melt. And within a few minutes, we had a gooey dessert that rivaled the best S’mores out there.