Camping is an evolving hobby, something that progresses over time. Most of us begin at stage one with a tent. As time goes on we move to a pop-up, then to a travel trailer. In the retirement years, many campers evolve to the motor home or fifth wheeler. Where ever you are at on the camping “time line”, I am here to tell you that going “old school” is a good thing every once in a while. It makes you appreciate what you have. For Amy and I, we own a pop-up camper. However, this Labor Day weekend, in celebration of one year of camping together, we tent camped. We follow a band called Mumford and Sons. Excellent band! They have been touring America along with other bands in a huge production called “Gentlemen of the Road.” This weekend the tour landed in Troy, Ohio. Beginning Friday morning various acts played in downtown Troy. There was various music between Friday and ended with the main act on Saturday evening (Mumford and Sons). A weekend of music. Vendors in the streets of small town America. People enjoying gyros and funnel cakes and those wonderful adult beverages. Goose Island even created a special Stopover Ale for the tour. People came from all over Ohio to listen to the multitude of music.
The city of Troy opened up the city park along the river and the baseball fields for tent campers. There were rules, but camping was free. The Gentlemen of the Road tour offered shower facilities. Had it not been for the fact that one rule for tent camping was no animals, we would have camped in the park. I am not old enough to have been around during Woodstock, so I don’t have first hand experience of what that was like. However, this felt like a modern-day version of it.
Instead of camping in the park, we decided to set up tent in my mother-in-laws backyard, alongside my brother-in-law and his wife. Her house was only six or seven blocks from the festivities and it was great time to bond with family. Sure, we did not have some of the conveniences of the pop-up camper, however, it was good to relive the “old” days when we tent camped. The two night experience made us appreciate what we have now. This is not to say that tent camping is bad. In fact, there was less to worry about. Set up and breakdown was so much quicker with the tent. Even the dogs enjoyed the simple life of tent camping.
I think sometimes as Americans we want to keep progressing, getting more and more instead of just being happy with what we have. Sure, Amy and I just paid off the pop-up last month and officially got the title today. So, at any point I could go trade it in for a new travel trailer. But maybe life is about being happy with what you have and not down about what you don’t have. Maybe we should be grateful for what God’s blessed us with and not envious of what our neighbor has. Sometimes we need to go “old school” to appreciate what we have. Amy and I are happy with our pop-up camper. Every once in a while we pull out the tent and camp to remind us of that.
In the words of Marcus Mumford – “In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die and where you invest your love, you invest your life.”