Why Do You Camp?

I have always loved camping. From “camping out” in lawn chairs and sleeping bags in our back yard a few feet from the house to trips to Clarks Hill with the family setting up a big Army Surplus tent, I enjoyed my time outside.

When I started bass fishing, I camped in tents at lakes the night before a tournament. Then I bought a cargo van in 1977 and fixed it up with a bed and used it. Two more vans took me to the lake many times, each one converted a little better for my needs, until last March.

My old back finally convinced me I wanted to be able to stand up to get dressed, so I got a slide in pickup camper. It takes a little more work loading and setting up at the lake, but it is a lot more comfortable once that is done.

Last weekend I camped in it at Lakepoint
State Park on Lake Eufaula for five nights for the Potato Creek Bassmasters tournament there. When making reservations, I went to their web page to make sure there was no tornado damage. It hit the airport about five miles from the campground, destroying hangers and planes, but did not damage the park.

Modern “campers” amaze me. On the website comments about the campground proved people do not want to camp to enjoy the outdoors. I am not sure why they even go. They could stay home and do the same thing they do in the campground.

The oddest comment was about alligators. There are big signs in the campground warning “Alligators Present, Swim at Own Risk” and there are usually several in the water late in the afternoon.

One person complained in their comment that there were alligators at the campground but the park ranger did nothing about them. I’m not sure what they were supposed to do, the lake is full of them and they are wild animals, moving wherever they want in their natural environment.

Another person complained there were puddles in the campground after it rained. Duh. I guess those folks wanted a nice huge paved area like a Walmart parking lot, sloped so the water runs to drains. Get rid of all the trees and dirt so nothing natural, like a puddle, is possible.

Over the weekend the sites filled, many with families with children. I think this past week was spring break there. All the kids brought their toys, riding scooters, playing basketball and having faces buried in electronic gadgets. The same thing the probably do at home.

One of the first things many of the folks did was put out their TV satellite antennae and set up their big screen Tv. If you are going to sit inside and watch TV, why pay for a campsite? I like being away from TV and all the other day to day distractions at home. It is nice to hear no news for several days for me.

At their age I would have been fishing every minute I could. That is one thing I loved about camping at the lake, all that water so close by and I just knew it was full of fish.

I still love camping, sitting by the picnic table first thing in the morning drinking coffee, then going fishing. After coming in, grilling and sitting outside is a big part of it, enjoying the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. But sometimes that is destroyed by all the noise of camper air conditioners, TVs blaring, and other non-natural sounds.