Monday, September 14, 2009

Mini-Camping, Princess Style

When we went to the party at The Ranch, the plan was to camp at Porpoise Bay, one of the hundreds of Provincial Parks we have in B.C. (which is pretty fortunate, because these parks are really quite spectacular). This seemed beyond exciting, because this mini-camping trip would serve as a warm up for the MAXI-camping trip that's set to take place on the first weekend in October. (Mister Man really loathes it when I call it MAXI-camping, as it does sound like a menstrual product. But language be damned, I love the mini vs maxi camping concept.)

The day started brilliantly. I was not the driver, and Mister Man brought me THIS in bed. It is a CAMPING COFFEE gentle readers. It consists of espresso, cream, a dollop of whipped cream and a shot of Kahlua. It is perfection in a cup. And it is how I started my day on Saturday!
I had packed the things required for princess camping such as a duvet, a sleeping bag, 2 therma rests, coffee, 2 stovetop espresso makers, cream, whipped cream, Kahlua, a variety of lighting devices (the Coleman lamp, the headlamp, the tea lights), the camp stove, the assorted wash cloths, the t.p. and paper towel... etc. etc).

But somewhere along the line I forgot 3 things. (In all seriousness, this is because I had worked the night before, and didn't actually crawl under the covers until the wee hours of the morning. And well, this gal's not great on too little sleep!) I managed to forget my pillow *WAILS* "MY BEAUTIFUL PILLOW(s)"!!! And I forgot a mug for the coffee! GAH! (though I would have drunk the coffee straight from the pot if I had to) and I forgot a spoon! (which simply meant I had to pat the coffee into the espresso maker with my fingers.) And we had to "serve" the whipped cream by dipping our fingers into the plastic container and then "flicking" the cream into the coffee (which was followed by much slurping of the fingers to remove the remaining whipped cream!) (which was really kind of fun and oh-so-decadent in a Roman kind of way)

But I digress. To begin, one would think that 3 women going camping for 1 night would only require a couple of bags. I mean, we weren't preparing a MEAL at the campsite, merely coffee and snacks. But here's the sad truth. When Annie and Lara pulled up and took one look at my STACKS of baggage and stuff, they looked kinda scared. I thought it was because I was trying to make like a turtle and carry my house and maybe they realized they were about to head into the woods with a certifiable maniac. Turns out they had done the same thing. Essentially we filled the trunk of the car, and then the backseat, and then the back window. It looked like we were moving for god's sake!!! *shakes head sadly* Imagine how this might have looked if I HAD remembered my pillows!
Once we got to the ferry, we discovered FRIENDS!!!! Yes, we met some other folks who were heading to The Ranch. Luckily, along with the rest of my house, I had packed my travel scrabble set, so we sat down to a game of scrabble. Reg was kind of like a cheerleader. Hovering over our shoulders and muttering "oh I see something there" under his breath. We let him share his insights with the person holding the tiles.

Here is yer everyday, average B.C. Ferry.

[Sidebar note: in the above photo, is it me or do you think buddy is looking right at the camera? Sort of posing? Cuz I think he might be. He sort of looks like a game show host, don't you think?]

Annie wasn't happy with her tiles. Who could blame her? This might be a good word in Sweden, but HELLO!

Okay now time for a commercial break and a sliver of advice for you camping neophytes. You see I have learned how to camp from 3 places. The first was camping at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, where I learned how to deal with the *whispers* "needing to pee in the middle of the night but not being willing to walk half a mile to the outhouse/porta toilies, nor being willing to crouch and pee all over your shoes" issue. 8,000 women figure stuff like this out when they're in nature together (and they can't all be peeing in the bushes or it will mess up the ecological balance). It's best with a 4 litre jug, but this will do quite nicely.

Essentially, you take your plastic milk jug, comme ca.

And you cut off the top of it at an angle, comme ca.

You tuck it next to your tent, comme ca.

And when you have to pee in the middle of the night, you simple hold it up to your... spout, and pee. In the morning, you can take it to the outhouse for disposal. Or you can find a tree under which to dump it (if there aren't 8,000 of you on one piece of land). Mister Man is shrieking by now. He asked me not to post this detailed information. But for every one of his shrieks, there is a female novice camper out there who is CHEERING! BECAUSE I HAVE JUST SHARED A PIECE OF INFORMATION THAT COULD CHANGE HER EXPERIENCE OF CAMPING FOREVER MORE!!!

From the ferry, we went and set up our campsite. I love being out in nature like this! (especially if I have bug spray)
Tent of Annie and Lara. Very cute. My mini-tent wasn't nearly as cute and colourful.

And THEN we had to have a game of Catan before heading over to the party. Natch! Because that's just what we do.

We had some exotic food. (Cornichon a l'aneth delirant)

And we decided that this bottle of wine was PERFECT for camping, because it was the "weiner of wines" (meaning it has all the left over bits in it: malbec, cab sauv, shiraz, petit verdot). But for a $13 bottle of vino? Not bad at all.

And of course, you can't be all camping and stuff, unless you've brought some homemade treats. These are peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and I don't mind telling you that they are the BEST PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES ever. I'll post the recipe in a couple of days. Annie is clearly a better hand model than I am.

One of the very best parts of camping though, is something that is impossible to photograph, and that is the silence that happens before dawn breaks. I woke up in my tent and I could hear nothing except for the sound of my own breath. It was cool and breezy, dark as pitch and profoundly quiet. As I lay there, alone in my mini-tent, I smiled and sighed. I was at peace with the world.

(And then I fell asleep and drooled on the camp pillow I bought at the Canadian Tire in Sechelt.....)


  1. Modified milk jug = true brilliance.
    Tell Mr Man to stop his shrieking...he and the rest of his kind (with their oh-so-convenient, oh-so-efficient, pop & go german-designed nether regions) cannot begin to understand the challenges!

  2. I am so happy to have a camping convert. Who said that you needed to walk around the camp site with pee all over your shoes??

    I do love your physiological reference. "Oh-so-convenient, oh-so-efficient, pop & go german-designed nether regions" = true brilliance!!!

  3. conception allemande? evidemment un ca d'enviede penis

  4. Mister Man - did you just use Babel Fish to do that translation? Lookit you all using the Googles to talk about penis envy in a different language!