There are many different types of camping. Backwoods camping, tent camping and RV camping, just to name a few. Backwoods camping is pretty rustic, with a tent, sleeping bag and minimal comforts and not in a park or designated campground. Tent camping is a step up from backwoods camping, it includes electricity, hot showers nearby, and toilet facilities. But for me, RV camping is the only way to go. It includes all the comforts of home, while still being able to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. RV camping doesn’t have to be an expensive venture, as an RV can be rented by the week. You can choose to travel to different campgrounds, or park the RV in your favorite campground or Provincial Park.
I am not the type of person who can go many places without my hair dryer, curling iron, lighted make up mirror, coffee maker, and those are just the small appliances I require daily. Also I need to have warmth, or coolness as necessary, so a furnace and air conditioner is a must, along with a refrigerator, small freezer, and shower facilities and washrooms are a must.
A typical day of RV camping for me, my husband, our two dogs, and our cat begins with a big camp breakfast. Ah, the smell of bacon sizzling in the electric fry pan, eggs over easy, home fries and toast?the best camp breakfast. Following a quick clean up and feeding the animals, we go for a hike down a nature trail, often spotting a deer or two if the timing is right, or various other critters scurrying across the path in front of us. Hiking is a great way to get our exercise and experience a part of nature. By the time we return to the RV it is almost lunch time. We are greeted with the sounds of loud meowing from our 20-year-old cat, Boots. Before preparing lunch we put Boots outside in her cage, and tie the dogs on their tie out. Afterward we relax in our lounge chairs while deciding and what to have for lunch. We start with, or I should say I start with, a beer, since my husband doesn’t drink, followed by a light lunch of crackers, cheese, and kielbasa.
Then we relax outside just breathing in the fresh air while listening to the boisterous sounds of children playing, or sometimes fighting! By two in the afternoon, we are ready for a bike ride. Long or short depends on where we’re camping. Our favorite is Pinery Provincial Park. They have 12 km of paved bike trails weaving through the Carolinian forest. As we ride along the view is breathtaking, to say the least. The last 9 km of the bike path includes 9 different beach stops. We often park our bikes and walk up the stairs leading over the dunes and to the beach to cool off and enjoy the view. Our bike ride typically lasts over an hour, including stops for drinks and to enjoy the strategically placed look outs over Lake Huron. By the time we return to the RV the animals are ready to get outside where they lie around connecting with the earth and enjoying the warm sunshine. We pour drinks and drop into the loungers again. I generally read a book, or the latest edition of The Voice, while Stan naps.
An hour or so later, the dogs begin to get restless and we know It’s time to walk them again. We take them along the river’s edge where we watch the canoes or paddle boats rippling through the Ausable River. “Maybe we’ll rent a canoe tomorrow?” Stan agrees. Before we return to the RV we check how late the ice cream kiosk is open. An ice cream cone is a must on all our camping trips. We slowly stroll back to the campsite starting to reflect on what we will have for dinner. Frequently I have prepared a side dish to bring along before leaving home. We are so hungry by the end of the day that everything tastes good.
After supper another short walk with the dogs. On our walk we stop to chat with other campers who are chopping wood and preparing for the evening fire. Kids on nearby campsites are winding down and searching for sticks to roast marshmallows. We don’t do the marshmallow thing anymore unless we have kids with us. Stan begins to chop wood, swinging the axe like a natural lumberjack! As the sun goes down the campground becomes hazy as it fills with smoke. Stan carefully tends the fire while I keep repositioning my chair and expelling some choice words in my attempt to avoid being overcome by the smoke. Gazing into the fire we discuss our plans for the next day. What a day! We have a quick shower and if we can manage to stay awake long enough, we watch an episode of Breaking Bad, Justified, or Homeland. RV camping definitely proves to be the best of both worlds and has become an irreplaceable part of our lives.
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Barbara Godin is a graduate of AU and writes the “Dear Barb” column. She lives in London, Ontario with her husband, two dogs, and one cat.