I’m A Camper From Way Back

I’m a camper.  I have been a camper since I was a little girl, happily spending most of the day with picture books in my cozy “tent” made of a blanket thrown over a card table in the living room.  I graduated from that to a big canvas tent in the back yard, camping out with my big brother until he’d make things too scary and I had to run back to the house.  And then camping in a huge tent in my friend Cindy’s back yard, knowing the boys would come to throw little green apples at it and make us scream with delicious fear.  Sometimes the tent would be crammed full of neighborhood kids.

On it went….I loved camping, and I loved going away to summer camps, so much that I even saved up my own money to spend an extra week at camp a few times. (I think it cost a whopping $50 a week!)  I was a girl scout for as long as they’d let me…all the way through high school, when it DEFINITELY was not cool! After high school I backpacked and car camped on vacations by myself. For awhile I had a converted Ford van that took me all over out West.   I moved to NC when I was 30 and lived in an 8×10 canvas tent for 4 months while building a small cabin with hand tools (no electricity), and did some backpacking there too.

I eventually bought an ALiner hard-sided popup camper and met a bunch of fantastic women A-frame campers (WACS) and started camping pretty regularly with them; that was way more fun than my solitary camping!  Our little bunch in the southeast would camp nearly every month.

All I ever wanted to do after I retired was travel.  Well things happened, plans changed; savings had to be used for day to day living.  I couldn’t afford to live in the U.S. so I moved to Ecuador and have spent two pretty contented years there. I don’t travel here in Ecuador because I don’t feel I speak Spanish well enough and it’s very hard to travel with a dog on the buses. And a lot of hotels here don’t accept dogs.  That’s not the way I want to travel; I want to do Road Trips!  In a car!

So one day it just wasn’t working for me any more, and I realized that I really missed camping, and my camping friends.  I pinched and prodded the budget until I made it work (I think) and got an offer of a free place to park my camper! The only way I could move back was to live in my camper which, on the inside, is 6.5’ wide and 9’ long.  Can I do it?  I think so.  I hope so.

My ALiner Sport has a narrow bunk with room for a couple plastic storage bins under it, a little kitchen with 2-burner gas cooktop, 1.9 cu ft. refrigerator (no freezer) and a microwave.  It has a little A/C and a porta-potty which serves double-duty as a dining chair (the drop-down microwave cabinet door is my table) What more could I need?!

Most everything I own is going to be either in my car or camper.  It feels very freeing to not have any specific place to live, and no ongoing bills left behind. The world is my oyster! Well, the continental U.S. anyway.  My plans are to spend this summer in Michigan (mostly the Upper Peninsula where it’s nice and cool) and next winter-spring-summer in AZ-CA-NV-NM. Oh BIG plans indeed!  And after that, who knows?


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