Independence Camp: The Day I Took Charge

I had backpacked into the Adirondak’s to hike up the tallest mountain in New York and camped in the Rocky Mountain National Forest. There was one difference for this one small camping trip near Silver Cliff, WI that made it momentous; I was no longer with my former husband. It was time to start camping by myself. There are many stressful things about planning a camping trip- what to eat, where to stay, and what you can do. I have never been a very good planner and had always relied on other people to put trips together for me.

The first time doing something is always the toughest. I hadn’t even reserved a camping site on my own previously. Trying to take baby steps, I got a few friends together and we camped together with a group from NOW Outdoors during Pesh Fest at Kosir’s Rapid Rafts to whitewater raft.

We were basically pros. When I pulled up in the dark with my 2010 Prius, I immediately bottomed out trying to park next to an SUV.  I sat in my car, embarrassed, while my sister went to ask a nearby campsite for help pushing the car back so we could find a new parking spot. One small push later and we were back on the road.

                “Oh, where are you guys camping?”

                “Actually, we are camping in your group….”

Having set up a tent 3x previously with help and during the day, I looked helpless enough to warrant getting offered help setting up from one of the car pushers. About half an hour later, we were set up and ready to sit around the campfire.

The next day, we decided to go on a hike in a nearby park. The trail was all flooded, so we went about a mile before returning to the campsite.  We then walked around the campsite enjoying Pesh Fest and chatting with other campers.

We slept over one more night and started preparing for whitewater rafting on Sunday morning. We got into our wetsuits, sprayjackets, and life jackets. Soon we were rocketing down a river with 7 different rapids/waterfalls. It was a blast!

It will probably never be smooth when I camp by myself. The important thing to me, however, is always maintaining a positive attitude. After this trip, I am more confident in planning a trip by myself and taking initiative to try new things. I can enjoy the outdoors like I did when I was a kid without someone else in charge.

One Comment Add yours

  1. What a wonderful journey of a story! That rocks!


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