When I was little my family went camping all the time but, as I got older, weekends became devoted to sports. So this summer my mom decided we should go to Vermont for a quick camping trip, just us and my dad, my younger sister, and our two dogs.
This was one of my mom’s impulse decisions, and for some reason she forgot to check the weather as thoroughly as one might before going to live outside for multiple days in a tent. When we left our house in the morning it was bright and sunny, but as we got farther and farther north, the sky began to darken and the clouds moved in. As we arrived, we were caught by a rainstorm in the very, very wet woods. Did I mention that we forgot to bring tarps to keep the bottom of the tents dry? Well, we did.
Thankfully, the rain passed quickly and we were able to set up our tents on some only slightly soggy, super comfortable rocks. Unfortunately, rain makes most things wet, things like trees and wood needed to start fires, fires that are needed to cook dinner. My mom was tasked with gathering dry wood, which turned out to be an exercise in futility to say the least. At this point it was pitch black and getting colder by the minute. I was blundering through the woods with only a headlamp strapped across my forehead, praying that a bear wasn’t about to jump me.
After nightfall our adventure took a turn for the worse as my mom and dad were both unsuccessful at building a fire suitable for cooking the sausages we had brought. As campers know, a fire is actually pretty important, especially on a damp, cold night, out in the middle of nowhere, halfway up a mountain. After waiting less than patiently for an hour or so, hoping some spark would finally ignite the damp wood, we decided to give up and eat cold salami sandwiches instead. Not TOO big of a tragedy (unless you have tasted my mom’s famous camping sausages). The dogs seemed to be the only ones not unhappy with our plight, as they were delighted to eat the bits of meat my sister fed them and then run off to romp about in the nearby meadow.
Thankfully we were blessed with beautiful weather for the rest of the weekend, but I did learn to ALWAYS check the weather frequently before heading out to the woods.