Camping 2012

We just enjoyed our first camping weekend in 2012, and it is an annual tradition among several families and individuals to do this together in the last few weeks of summer, before the school year begins again.

We were trying to pack light, and I almost left my DSLR behind this year but in the end I knew I’d regret it, so I brought my Nikon D700 and one lens, a 50mm f/1.4. I’m so glad I did, I enjoyed making some images I wouldn’t be able to make with a pocket camera.

But I didn’t lug around a whole bag of lenses or a tripod, and that was nice.

I also shot with my iPhone, and brought a waterproof pocket camera which I didn’t use but my daughter used at the beach.

These fellow campers are good friends, and when you make a habit of doing a camping trip like this year after year, your friendships deepen, whether or not you see one another a lot during the rest of the year. Most of us are from Madison, and one family from Minneapolis joins this gathering most years.

There’s something about shared food, sunrises, sunsets, conversation, the laughter of children and adults,┬ádarkness, campfires, star-filled night skies, tents, walks on the beach, doing dishes together, and the full range of early-to-late risers in the morning,,, all of which can deepen relationships.

There’s also the unpredictability of the weather; sand dunes; trees; tents; and other good ingredients of Midwestern camping in a state park.

There’s also catching up, though it’s almost always too brief and truncated; and there is┬ácamaraderie, friendship, respect, discovery, surprise, humor, spiritual life, family, and all-round goodness.

We change a lot in a year. We age, we experience highs and lows, we think about how to summarize and absorb all of these experiences, and we need a break from the routines.

Maybe a weekend camping trip would break a person’s routine just perfectly.


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