I Went Camping Again and All I Had was This T-Shirt

Let’s try this again, shall we?

“Where’s my backpack?”

It’s Friday evening. We’ve just unpacked the car on this, our second weekend camping trip.

And my backpack is missing.

The backpack that contains everything non-food I brought for the trip: my clothes, my sunscreen, my toothpaste. A jacket for chilly mornings. A hat for when we go hiking. A book for reading during downtime. Extra solar-powered lights, so we don’t have to setup the tent in the dark.

Even the lower parts of my camping pants, which can detach via zipper to become shorts, are in there.

My pants are literally missing.

We searched the car multiple times. Checked in every other bag. I even looked in the cooler, in case it had somehow been shoved in there along with the food and soda.

It was gone.

Later, after we got home, we saw it laying on the floor of the garage, waiting to be loaded into the car. Left alone, like a kid picked last for a basketball team.

So I had to go the weekend without it.

I slept, ate, hiked, all in the same clothes for three days. My scent was…not good, let’s say, by the end of things.

And while we were hiking through the desert, with scraggly succulents clawing at my legs, I dearly missed the lower part of my pants.

Hiking through a grove of Joshua Trees

But everything else? We made do.

I borrowed my wife’s hat for hiking, and she used a spare umbrella we keep in the car.

I borrowed her rain jacket for the mornings, to keep off the chill (It didn’t rain in the desert. She brought it as a spare, which turned out to be excellent foresight).

We shared sunscreen and bug spray.

And avoided people, of course, because it’s still an effing pandemic.

So all that other stuff? Turns out I didn’t need it. Not once.

And other than that, the trip went well! We found a way to foil the bees (bug spray to repel them + a water bowl off in the distance to attract them). We took the pups for a hike around and up some rock formations (in a day-use area, on-leash). We ate the food I spent all Friday cooking, at one point munching on some chilled paninis in the shadow of a boulder after a short hike out from the car.

We are, it seems, actually getting better at this.

The view from the bottom
View from the top
View towards the next rock formation over

Sleeping is still an issue. Between loud campers and smoke, it’s difficult to get a full eight hours. Cooking is fraught, between the invisible burner and the bee invasion.

And we seem to get caught in traffic every time we go. We apparently leave at the exact right time to get jammed up in rush hour, every weekend.

But this trip was better. The missing backpack was the biggest thing, and it turned out to be not much of an issue at all.

We’re already planning our next trip out.

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