I am an avid tent camper.
Mostly because I don't have an extra 20,000 dollars lying around to upgrade from tent camper to RV camper.
But honestly I do love tent camping. Camping in a tent forces you to spend your time outside in your site. Breakfast in the early morning air, lunch sitting around your picnic table, ending your long day lounging by the fire with friends telling jokes and listening to the sounds of the forest/beach/campsite/neighbors.
Tent camping also ensures that when you wake to rain in those early morning hours you are going to spend the rest of your day completely and totally miserable. It's quite the double edged sword.
When Adam and I awoke in Long Beach, WA to the sound of rain on our tent Friday morning we did what any other tent camper would do. We cursed the heavens, ate our soggy breakfast standing upright in the rain, and then got in the car and drove an hour south to Cannon Beach, OR for lunch. Because we could. And because it was far dryer and warmer in our car than it was sitting at a wet picnic table in the pouring rain.
Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach OR
While we were in Oregon we decided that Miss Oly, the WIMPIEST DOG IN THE WORLD needed some kind of relief from the cold. She spent Thursday night shivering next to me making me wonder if I should have just tucked her into my sleeping bag with me, and Friday was basically a whine fest as she cowered in the rain and wind.
So what do you do when your skinny wimp of a dog is miserable and you don't want to spend a fortune keeping her protected?
You go to Fred Meyer, head to the children's section, and get your dog a super sale little boys small fleece jacket. Yes, she is going to look like Ellen Degeneres all weekend, and yes, when you take her on a walk people in your campground are going to point and laugh at her, but damn it at least she'll stop giving you the, "Please kill me now," eyes.
Our weekend camping on the coast wasn't all rain and sogginess. As many hours as we spent cursing the weather we also spent equally as many hours happy for the sun breaks which would appear without warning. In typical beach camping fashion there were a few glorious mornings where we wasted an hour or two on a perfectly empty beach throwing the ball for the dog. We were enjoying ourselves sure, but Oly, she was in heaven.
There were also plenty of tasty meals enjoyed around the campfire. Jokes played on one another, stories told, new memories made with old friends, and a tradition solidified. Lucky for us we also had one whole GLORIOUS afternoon of sunshine enabling us to have a fire on the beach, cook hot dogs off the back tailgate, and everyone even managed to enjoy a power-nap in the sun. Their Northwest skin felt the burn, but there wasn't a single complaint among the entire group.
All in all it was an amazing weekend. There were times I will admit when I eyed the RV campers enviously. Times when I wondered how much easier it would have been to turn on a movie, crank up the heat and forget about the weather raging outside. But in the end tent camping in the Northwest forces you to be adaptable. Forces you to take impromptu road trips to a nearby state, forces you to dress your dog in hilarious outfits, and encourages you to scrap the idea of making breakfast in the rain on Sunday morning in favor of a lovely meal at the local diner.
Sure, you smell like hell and probably look 700 times worse than the average diner in the place, but who cares, you're camping.
Ashley, the Accidental Olympian