One of the greatest things about living in the Midwest is camping, floating, and just dipping your toes in the creek. There’s nothing more refreshing than that cold spring water on a hot summer day. Summer is not quite here yet but that’s not going to stop me from getting on the river. It’s my favorite thing to do. And my first camping trip of the season went great.
I love everything about camping. I love planning the trip and packing everything into the truck. I like grocery shopping and buying snacks and beer. I even enjoy the car ride to the river. I like foraging for wood before the sun goes down so that we have plenty for a good fire. I love packing just light enough to not inconvenience myself, but having all of the essentials to be comfortable in the woods, essentials like bug spray, sunscreen, plenty of water, a tent, good quality river shoes, and of course snacks and beer.
Mostly I like being away from humanity and social media for a while. With the constant bombardment of news, looming threats, social unrest, and the hassle of life, it can be pretty exhausting. There’s something very restorative about sitting on a creek bed listening to the water trickle and having no worries except getting too much sun. Camping doesn’t have to be a difficult thing. It doesn’t require weeks of planning or a long trip out of town. We chose a spot just 30 minutes away, packed all of our belongings into a kayak, and floated about 500 yards down river so that we could have a gravel bar all to ourselves. It was glorious.
If you decide to go camping this year, there are a few things to keep in mind. Don’t bring glass on the river. Make sure you don’t leave anything behind. I have absolutely no respect for a person that will enjoy the outdoors only to trash it for others. Be mindful and respectful of nature and don’t kill any animals. I’ve never seen so many snakes in my life than I did on this particular trip. But if you leave them alone they’ll leave you alone. As always, just use your common sense while on the river, take good care of your health, protect yourself from the sun, stay hydrated, and be respectful of others.
There will be many more camping trips, float trips, hiking trips, and other fun outdoor activities to be had this summer. If you plan on going, do it soon because the weather is only going to get hotter and hotter. I hope your summer is full of fun and offers you a nice break from all the political and social turmoil going on around us.