Thursday, July 12, 2012


My loving father and I partook in fabulous American tradition today and yesterday--camping. I've never really thought twice about the practice...I assumed it was just done. But after pondering it in my recently culturally oriented mind (thank you, AFS!), I realized camping is an American tradition that some may not understand. For fun (and for you, if you've never been camping) I decided to make a list of camping traditions and activities.

What is camping? At it's barest, pitching a tent and sleeping in it. But it's a way Americans of all ages have fun with their family and/or friends near nature.

1) Campsite For my family, the ideal campsite is in the mountains, with a river or stream nearby, and somewhat secluded
2) Campfire Sadly, as my state of Colorado is facing a drought enforced fire ban, Dad and I were unable to do this. Usually, we light a fire, roast hot dogs, and sit around telling stories. Sometimes we even sing songs. Dad and I still roasted hot dogs, but we used a gas grill. We still told stories, which is one of my favorite parts of camping.
3) Hot Dogs and S'mores It's great fun to pick up a stick, sharpen it, stick a hot dog or marshmallow on it, and try to brave the flames. If you've never heard of a s'more (pronounced si-more), it is a gooey, burnt (or roasted) marshmallow placed atop a piece of chocolate and smashed between two gram crackers.
4) Fishing Now, I'm not an expert fisherwoman, but fishing giving us an excuse to explore the streams near the campsite. Some fishers gut their fish and roast it on the fire, but Dad and I have never caught a fish big enough. 
5) Sleeping in the Tent Some people sleep in a trailer or camper. My family sleeps in a two room tarp tent, in sleeping bags. The smell of a tent is unique and always beautiful. While sleeping in a tent, you can feel the difference between the morning and night air.
6) Hiking Being Coloradoan mountain lovers, we usually hit the trail towards the end of our stay in the campsite. Today, the Saint Vrain Trail led us to some beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains. Trail mix (essentially a blend of nuts, raisins, and M&Ms) is an important thing to bring camping because it makes the best snack on a hike.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about this Western American experience. I enthusiastically recommend you try it sometime.  

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