I've always loved camping, but the truth is I've never felt that confident doing it by myself and I'm ashamed to say I've let that stop me from doing more of it. I would dream of packing up the car for long day hikes, letting some big stinky dream dog jump in through the hatchback, having all of my perfectly planned gear ready. Then jumping in the passenger's side next to my imaginary hunky nature loving guy and taking off for some wilderness adventure. I imagined hiking for hours next to the worlds best dream dog and guy before setting up camp and making a fire for the evening. I love going to bed in my sleeping bag and waking up in the chilly morning to break down camp and hike back out. The older I've become the less I've done to make those types experience possible for myself because part of me thought I couldn't do it without that imaginary hunky nature loving dream guy by my side.
Rarely ever in my life have I thought I needed a man around to do anything and I'm more than a little embarrassed to be admitting this to all of you but, for some reason camping always seemed like it needed to include a partner, it just seems safer with two people. I'm still not disputing that I think it's safer with two people. I'm also sure a lot of this belief is because when I was little we always went camping with my parents and it felt safe and fun with the two of them, and it was safe and fun with the two of them, but that doesn't mean it's the only model I have to follow. I've been listening to a lot of the podcast "SheExplores" over the last year (and even Interviewed Gale Straub the creator) and I've decided it's time to tweak my mindset. I don't need some dream guy to go camping with me (although that would be nice too), just really awesome friends who know how to pitch a tent, and I'm recruiting! But luckily for me, I've made a new friend who's kinda a camping pro.
Her name is Betsy Bertram, and her family's company Townsend and Bertram put on a family camping trip last night at Camp Chestnut Ridge to help get folks more comfortable camping. It's only 45 minutes away from Greensboro with ample facilities and just far enough away to feel like you're not close to home. It would be what I refer to as car camping. Your car filled with more stuff than you could ever carry on your back still within walking distance, but you're in what feels like the middle of nowhere. You pitch your tent, start a fire make some dinner and voila you're camping.
Yesterday was relaxing and perfect! It wasn't exactly what I'd call warm, but bundled up it was perfect. There was pitching tents, going for a little group hike, cooking and lots of time around the campfire. This morning we even woke up to rain, but it had stopped by sun up and aside from things being a little wet it didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits. To me this is the perfect kind of self-care.
I'm wondering how many other women I know would love to do more camping but don't go because they don't think they have anyone to go with? This got me thinking that Yoke and Abundance should partner with Townsend and Bertrum to do a two-night camping trip at Chestnut Ridge with lots of hikes, yoga, workshops geared towards self-discovery and community building, campfire bonding and basic how-to camping workshops. Please comment and let me know if you're interested. Even if you don't have the gear you could easily rent it from Townsend and Bertrum. They've got great gear!