What exactly is camping? Is it quint-essentially the chance to reconnect with your ancestral and primitive roots? Possibly get a little closer to nature, reflect on life, enjoy life's simplicity. Well you'll be happy to know there is an array of products specifically design to ease you withdraw from modern civilization.
Well the first thing usually sacrificed during camping is hygiene. Yet nothing is more caveman like than defecating in the woods. Which is why the camping equipment manufacturing company Coleman decided to produce their own toilet paper. Why ? Maybe Charmin, Scot, and Marcal all lacked the capacity to perform well during camping; maybe they are filled with harsh pollutants; maybe one more biodegradable? Who knows, but when you have to go you'll use any brand of TP. Camping has often been revered as a man's activity, maybe because of their ability to pee outside. Well that is all behind us now, women across the world will now be able to funnel their urination with GoGirl. GoGirl is a device that enables ladies to projectile pee, so watch out penises girls will finally be able to fill up their own Mountain Dew bottles during long road trips. There is also nothing more lady-like and the deification of etiquette than using your GoGirl and returning the piss covered devices to your Louis Vuitton purse.
Continuing on this theme of hygiene, forget toxic bug spray, buy yourself the daintiest pastel pink mosquito net. And in any case your razor didn't come with it's own plastic cover or you just hate the pre-fab cover; why not buy yourself some camping approved Coghlans razor covers. Now you may think Coghlans oddly resembles Colman, but don't be mistaken, they both manufacture the best accessories for outdoor living. Such as their hygienic Contain-Alls. Screw buying travel size soaps or saving your leftover hotel shampoos; now you can waste all the time in the world by siphoning your Costco size toiletries into Contain-Alls' tiny set of plastic bottles. Who knew you'd be able to maintain such great hygiene, yet alone shower while camping.
Colghan's also makes two other necessary accessories. First their Cooler Dry, because it is so difficult to just leave the lid open while you're letting the cooler air dry. Second the Egg Holder because those those rinky-dinky Styrofoam containers from the grocery store will not suffice. You must also yet again waste time reloading your eggs into an egg holder equipped with an handle for easy carrying, because you've always wanted a briefcase for your eggs. Also what would be camping without a marshmallow roast? Well forget having to find a stick and turn it, now thanks to stupidity and sheer laziness your marshmallow can rotate alone with the Electric Marshmallow Roaster. There is something to be said for holding a battery operated device in a campfire. And just when you thought we couldn't get any lazier you have the double Hamburger Press because making hamburgers with your hands is just so gross, homely, and simpleminded? Also their is my personal favorite; the Portable Camping Deep-Fryer. I recommend this to all hikers and white-water rafters, strap this useless fat generating device to your back or boat along with gallons of oil for the rare opportunity to have a funnel cake or corn dog at the top of Mt. Everest or bottom of the Grand Canyon along the Colorado River. And if you are fearful of starving on your camping trip, nothing says preparation with a Year Supply of Survival Food jammed into your vehicle when entering the National Park. This may or may not be actual food, but with enough ketchup anything is pretty much edible.
Continuing along this theme of survival you have the Survival Bracelet, which is actually quite popular considering material culture. This bracelet may in fact save your life. How? Beats me? It certainly would not satisfy the human needs of thirst, hunger, and clothing, maybe shelter. It certainly will not save you from drowning in the plethora shit now accompanying the ritual of camping. Anyone who has been camping, hiking, or white-water rafting knows to avoid this world of material culture and all this useless shit (aside from name brand toilet paper); what is most important is protection from elements, i.e. breathable or waterproof clothing, sunblock, bug spray, fire starter, food, water, a flask of whiskey or lots and lots of beer.
Sandwiches are pretty much the bomb.com, they are portable, they satisfy hunger, and there are sooooo many options. I probably indulge in 5 or 6 sandwiches a week, and all of them vary with my mood. Sandwiches play have played a pivotal role in my life and existence, and it is really sad I am just now realizing this. Never before have I ever considered, where does the term sandwich come from? Who invented the sandwich?
Low and behold, the sandwich was an outcome of The Age of Enlightenment. Where during the 18th Century Lord John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, Kent, England coined the idea by asking his servants to bring him meat between two slices of bread. Although interesting, it is highly un-probably civilization never came up with this combination before. But "it all lives in the name" which in fact leads one to believe the "sandwich" was some-sort of beach-going witchcraft and sorcery thing, not specifically food.
Given the pedagogy of the "sandwich," I would say that a majority of sandwich goers are incognizant to its history and relationship to their daily ife. When slapping on some peanut butter and jelly, does one wonder? Or think of anything aside from hunger? Well I can say I have eaten my fair share of weird sandwiches, 1. being my friend's single father who made us Vienna Sausage sandwhiches when we were boating in Lake Gaston VA, and 2. my sweet nanny who often fixed my lunch including a Spaghetti Sandwich and a tomato both a fruit and vegetable. And although these are nothing in the vast rhelm that is sandwiches, I wish one day to open a sandwich delivery company where you pay $20 for a sandwich, you do not get to pick the ingredients, however the premise of the business if it is delivered at anytime during the day. Obviously this is a bit daunting on my part, the real objective is to giver the most personalized and accommodating service to the customer all-the-while probably out sourcing the entire shenanigans.
I could barely sleep last night and my roommate thinks I've it. Why? I'm going on vacation! Meaning I will not have to work for the next four days, I will be special, and the world is pregnant with possibility! What will I do; sail, swim, ski, hike, eat, drink, read, relax, sleep-in... over ambition looks like long runs, extensive hikes, camping, volunteering, reading 10 books, winning a volleyball tournament or fishing contest, bonding with everyone at the resort/hotel etc.
When I imagine myself on vacation, I'm Mariah Carey from her Honey music video, minus the mafia nonsense. Summer vacation is just about the best think in the entire world! Even as a child I was enamored with summer vacation, School's out for Summer, stay up late, sleep in, get in trouble, do it all over again. Why are vacations so important? Do they keep us from killing each other?
Obviously vacations are a form of luxury and complaining about them is the the essence of "first world problems." It always amazes me, that in this sacred and brief time dedicated to vacationing, how weird and crazy things can get...examples being Disney World or Cruise Ships or say a GIANT MUSIC FESTIVAL. John Hugh's nails this dynamic between utopia and purgatory in his The National Lampoon's Vacation movies, where he exemplifies the great dynamics of a vacation. Like you, I myself have had quite the adventures in vacationing, where now (just before leaving to go to the lake) I can only think of the good, but I know all too well the sweet is never as sweet without the sour. How could I have ever imagined.....
What is your earliest memory? How far back can you remember? Where were you? What were you doing? How old were you? What did it smell like? What did you hear? Who were you with? What did you see?
Here is what I remember... riding in a white wood-paneled Town & Country much like the one seen here. I was probably 2 or 3 year's old, riding in some sort of children's car seat similar to this. Although I remember a chrome metal and brown leather car-seat; which sounds pretty freaking painful A. more metal as protection for the onset of a car accident and B. hot leather seats in Richmond VA. Please also remember this was the 80's, prior to laws regulating child safety/seat belts/etc. AND about 10 years before people disgustingly doted-on their children AND where in the good-old 80's a spanking in public was considered just fine (so as long as you didn't go bazerk). My mother had just picked me up from my babysitter, Rachel Bailey, who was married to Hubert Bailey and all their children were grown and left the nets. Rachel kept a group of oddball kids, for supplemental income. The Bailey's are basically the nicest folks on earth. Anyway my mom had just picked me up from work, where she was most likely smoking a cigarette in the front seat; again not uncommon for the 80's. We were riding along and she blasted, Cindy Lauper's song "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" We were singing at the top of our lungs. AND that is it, the memory ends. I'm unsure whether or not 100% of this memory is factual or somewhat dreamt, but overall it is heartwarming.
With regards to material and popular culture, I always flashback to this moment whenever this song comes or I see a wood-paneled station wagon or some sort of nasty brown leather/metal car seat. What was your first memory?