It’s a matter of scale

We were leisurely canoeing at a state park in southern Florida and chatting with a kayaker who was paddling close by.  He wondered where we were staying, and we told him that we were in the park’s campground.

He asked, “What rig are you in?”

We stifled a laugh and replied, “We have a small two-person tent, and we’re driving a 1995 Honda Civic.”

He said, “Well, you might have the smallest tent in the park, and I’ve got one of the largest rigs – with one-and-a-half bathrooms, the kitchen is complete with dishwasher, and there’s a washer/dryer, too.  We’re comfortable.”

Holy mackerel!  Further details were even more astounding – like getting 5 miles/gallon going uphill in the big rig.



When did camping take a turn from “getting away from it all” by spending time in the great scenic outdoors to “take it all with you” by driving in a great rig so you can be indoors?  Did we miss something along the way?  The definition of camping is “lodged in a tent or tents or other temporary means of shelter,” right?

We have to admit to a fascination with these huge rolling homes on wheels.  Many have satellite dishes staked into the ground outside, massive flat screen TVs inside, and an array of bicycles, a motorcycle, and boats, too.  Many pull along a sedan or jeep. It doesn’t appear that the owners use the picnic tables, preferring to dine indoors.

We might be fascinated, but would we abandon curling up in our sleeping bags in the tent at night in the cool air?  Would we give up eating at the picnic table watching birds flying overhead?  (and the raccoons gathering behind us?) No, absolutely not….well, maybe in a pouring, cold rain we’d give you a different answer…

January 2013

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Trip across the US - 2013 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to It’s a matter of scale

  1. Denny says:

    I’ve got a Spinal cord injury so people often look shocked when they first see me crawling out of our two person tent, pull myself to standing (using a plastic chair borrowed from the BBQ area) then head off on my crutches to the toilet block! I love the smells when you’re camping. There’s nothing like lying beside your tent in the dark, looking up at the stars, or crawling out onto dewy grass first thing in the morning. My husband has to put the tent up and do the hard work but he doesn’t seem to mind. We can afford to stay in motels or hotels but not only do I love the sleeping out, I like the communal living and the friendliness of everyone around us.
    I can’t help but chuckle at “home away from homes”. Thanks for reminding me of the good times we have.

    • Yes, and we love to snuggle up in our sleeping bags and listen to rain pattering on the tent or, in good weather, lie looking up at the zenith through our tent’s screening — no fly attached — to see the stars at night. Thx.

  2. It’s not quite getting away from it all, is it?? We have a caravan which is very comfortable, but it doesn’t have all those mod cons.

  3. We both have back problems and other injuries so mattresses sound nice…as well as the personal bathroom. And if having a dishwasher/washer leaves more time for fun stuff then that’s cool too.

    But theres something about having the bare minimum that is thrilling too. Not being allowed to hide out in a big car.

    I don’t know…I can see both having unique pros/cons. I only went camping a couple times as a kid and have been wanting to get into it. I wonder which side I’ll end up on?

    Nice post!

    • We have a friend who says, “if you have two people and they like the same things, say the same things, hold the same opinions, and do the same things, then one of them is not necessary.” It’s good to have choices.

  4. Louise Millikan says:

    While I agree in principle, the idea of the bathroom has some allure! I also love he idea of your tent and car as “rig.” The people must think you’ve come from a galaxy (or at least an era0 far, far away! xxxxx

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