Saturday, August 18, 2012

Camping, 21st Century Style

Probably if you are old enough to remember when "camping" meant getting away from it all you are in the same age range I'm in.  Over the years we traded our fire-building skills for gas grills.  We exchanged our tents and sleeping bags for RVs and the campgrounds installed electrical outlets.  Thus we take our microwaves and our television sets and our satellite dishes.

Much more recently, we have taken to taking our telephones because we take them everywhere.  Some of us remember when one of the principal joys of camping was to be disconnected from the workaday world we normally occupy.  Now we even take that with us.

I am amused at the old folk with whom we camp, for the first thing they do upon arrival at the campground is to open the phone to see how many, if any, bars they have.  Oh, the agony of  "no service!"  At Mississinewa where we most recently camped, the Verizon customers are all in a panic because they can't call Susie or Ned.  On more than one occasion I have loaned my AT&T phone to someone so they can call home.   To what depths have we fallen?  We don't even know the meaning of getting away, finding some solitude, or communing with nature.

And now we want our wifi connection so that we may continue to be connected to the interwebs.  Yes, I am one of those.  And in at least two of our state parks (there may be others) wifi access is available now.

Camping?  Why the heck don't we just stay home and save the lugging of all our possessions with us everywhere we go?  Well, it is the camaraderie with all those pacing around, pulling their hair because they can't make a phone call.

Got any bars?  (Did you ever watch a seventy-four year old man climb on top of his RV in hopes of getting that elusive or non-existent signal?)

6 comments:

Jacquelineand.... said...

I haven't yet had the good fortune to catch a 74 year old man clambering up, well, anything in order to catch a signal.

Then again, I can be a bit of a Luddite...

Jim said...

My mom tells me that her family used to camp most of the summer. Tents. Grandpa got up in the morning, went to work, and returned to the camp site at night.

Shudder.

I did a little camping in my day. I think I prefer motels.

Secondary Roads said...

Thanks Vanilla! I feel better now that I've had my humor "fix" for the day. At our house, we're still holding out on those "tote 'em around" telephones. And satellite TV on a camping trip? That's just wrong. At least it is in my book.

Grace said...

I've never done camping in any form, nor will I ever. I can live without the phone but not without my interwebz connection. Yeah, I know you can get them on a phone - but seriously - reading a book, newspaper or blog on a phone? My eyes aren't up to it. Sign of age - I have a 23 inch computer screen but only because the 27 inch was too big for the room it would be in. Next computer - probably go for the 27 inch (and I'll probably still need my glasses!)

Shelly said...

We used to camp the old school way when I was a kid. Now, not so much so. I do sometimes miss those days~

vanilla said...

Jacqueline, the old guys are persistent, if not agile.

Jim, that seems a bit too much "back to nature." A couple of weeks, maybe.

Chuck, I have to agree. I think satellite tv is a bit over the top.

Grace, certainly camping is not for everyone. Clearly you are one for whom it is not.

Also, imagine watching a full-length movie on a 2.5" screen. Yikes.

Shelly, nostalgia is fun. Enjoy that; the actual camping experience involving tents and wood fires probably wouldn't be quite as much fun anymore.