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“Who’s Going to Make a Magical Fire With Just Sticks?”

While standing in line to watch an outdoor movie on top of cemetery plots, two of my friends—questionable if they’re being sarcastic or not– discuss what’s the point of camping.
One remarks,

“I don’t get what’s so great about it. If you think about it, it’s like an opportunity to what—act like we’re homeless?”

The other nods in agreement.
I interject,

“But wait…aren’t both of you coming on the weekend camping trip next week?”

They look at each other, shrug their shoulders, then nod in unison.
Okay then….
I spend the majority of my time with a rather large diverse gaggle of people (gaggle, there’s a word not used nearly enough. It’s so fun to say. Go ahead—say it.) In the upcoming weeks many of us are going camping. This will be my first time. And in Malibu no less.

I’m from the Midwest, we’re relatively outdoor people; I’m definitely pro-hiking and nature observing. I know how to make a great emergency kit–case in point refer to my previous article on such. But as my younger sister is quick to point out, regardless of my elaborate tent creations in mom’s living room (I made way better versions of this…but for reference click here), in a real one I lasted outdoors less than thirty minutes in the backyard because our dog kept bothering me…

Why? Because I’m girlie. I want my camp site next to a toilet and a shower. (even with the pstyle girl friendly pee helper, I’d still prefer an actual toilet) I want to have hot tea in a multi-bedroom tent that comes in pretty colors. Camping in luxury sounds nice, as does this lovely example of the Paris way seen here.

(Unlike my all star camping gal pals as seen in the picture here)

I hike in inappropriate shoes (and sometimes in strapless dresses. yep that happened once. all the way to the Hollywood sign). I don’t like worms, and there are many indoor things I don’t like touching. I’m concerned about getting eaten by a bear, or be stolen by some creep (I’m too old to be “kid”napped—ahha) And my favorite style of movie is dominated by murderous plots—that freaking take place in the woods!!!  So yeah while I do like the sun shine, I don’t mind sweating, I’m all for a little unknown adventure (when insect repellent is present) I’m an inexperienced camper.So this should be interesting. But hey judging by a few of the pals I’m going with, I’m clearly in good company.

(via a recent Facebook wall chat)

Janeice: does anyone have camping supplies..could use a sleeping bag, lanterns, wood, camping stove..
Ryan : it’s good to see you’re on the hunt for this stuff. good luck.
Jessie : I have a spirit of adventure and a compass. What else could you possibly need with that at hand?
Michelle : I have already found a backpacking single stove, a pot, a french press and 1 lantern. I”m working on some more
Ryan : the french press is the most important thing so far
Michelle : awesome! your in charge of bringing all coffee and coffee supplies…. i,e cream, sugar, cups!!!
Ryan :  i’m not really a big cream and sugar person, but ok. i will bring everything coffee related.
Michelle :  awesome!
Janeice : I was gonna bring my tea kettle and instant coffee as well…cups would be great tho…Michelle do u know anyone with another tent.. We need one more…I’m gonna call Hannah too
Ryan : i’m bringing real coffee fo sho
Michelle : Yeah… Chelsey has one that she will let us use.
Janeice : A tent?
 Michelle : yep
Janeice : Great
Maggie : ‎Jessie  you need more than that!!! i plan to enjoy my shower and a hot cup of tea on this camping trip 😉
Michelle :  Right, Maggie … it’ll be just like home!
Jessie : You guys and your showers. If you need me, I’ll be in the forest with my spirit of adventure and compass discovering new species and terrain.
Michelle : We will be there with ya…. But then we will come back, pay our 50 cents for 3 mins of a hot shower!
Janeice : Ps the showers only take one dollar bills…so come prepared

This is how I’m looking at it, I may not be a roughing it fanatic, but hey I have a new sleeping bag courtesy of a real outdoorsman. I won’t be on grill duty or in charge of making fire or anything.

So bring on the s’mores– I’m excited to do this!

(another great picture of my friend Sarah–because clearly I was not on this camping trip…)

Till then a little Troop Beverly Hills watching I think is in order:


Movie description from Amazon:

Shelley Long discovers that when the going gets tough, the tough go camping in Troop Beverly Hills, a comedy about lifestyles of the rich and outrageous. Flamboyantly wealthy Phyllis Nefler (Long) has everything money can buy–a drop-dead Beverly Hills mansion, a classic Rolls, furs, jewelry and designer gowns. The one thing she doesn’t have is her husband Freddy (Craig T. Nelson), who’s leaving her for good. Maybe. Determined to prove she’s still the creative, energetic woman Freddy once loved, Phyllis throws luxury to the wind and becomes leader of her daughter’s Wilderness Girls troop. But how much can this chic cookie take before she crumbles? Is saving her marriage really worth trading Gucci bags for sleeping bags-–not to mention actually touching bugs? Featuring cameos by Robin Leach, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pia Zadora, Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and Cheech Marin, Shelley Long blazes new comic trails in this hilarious trial-by-campfire that leaves the wilderness wilder than ever.

Oh, and to answer the question, “Who’s going to make a magical fire with sticks?” It’s going to be whoever also brings the matches!  It’s 2011– we’ve mastered making fire by easier means. Embrace it. (Can I also manage to not get myself “stolen”…well, we shall see.)


About maggie.

Maggie Barnes is a nonprofit and for profit business content specialist / social media consultant; and social sciences web writer interested in everything from psychology and sexuality, to technology, race, and economics. She is passionate about good communication and information accessibility.

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