Camping….and another true story


Camping. For many of us, the need for wilderness means driving to a campground or provincial park and setting up a trailer or tent. For the hard core, this might mean canoeing or hiking onto Crown land. And then for many, the drinking begins.

True story: Much younger than now, I am paddling out of a nearby lake with a buddy, when we come across a guy in a blow-up dinghy, eking his way along. He is going slow because his dinghy is jammed full of booze. Plus, he has other stuff: a huge squirt gun, a cooler, paint ball equipment, a poker table (!).

Obviously, this guy’s take on the outdoors is different than mine. A hundred yards later, we see another guy in another dinghy, similarly weighted with booze and toys. When we spot a third dinghy packed the same, I can no longer resist.

Why can’t I join the Dinghy Society?!” I shout. When this gets no reaction, I start singing ‘Little Red Rented Rowboat’, taunting these three guys and their two buddies on shore, mocking their efforts to muster an indulgent ‘camping’ trip. When we get on land, I joke with the last two that they must truly be nature lovers. They laugh.

In retrospect, I wonder why I thought it so funny, when now I consider it sad.

Author: Doug Ironside RN

Doug is a Registered Nurse (PHN) with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

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