A recent weekend getaway found us scrambling a little for accommodations. My mom had a hotel room for the week; we thought we could stay in the same hotel for two nights; it turned out we couldn’t. Instead we figured we’d camp. It’s certainly financially sustainable, at $20 per night.
I love camping. Sleeping outdoors feels excellent. Sleeping on the ground is fine. Sleeping in a tent during a serious lightning storm ain’t fine at all.
Our first night, we noted a lack of stars as we headed to bed. This was due, as it turned out, to a massive bank of storm clouds moving overhead. An hour or so later, we felt some sprinkles and had to quickly put on the rain fly we’d left off the tent for the sake of coolness. Then things really got exciting. A clap of thunder exploded directly overhead. The rain took on Niagara-like intensity. Water began seeping into the tent from all four sides.
Sleep was impossible during this racket, and once the storm passed we found ourselves with various body parts resting in puddles. It was a rough night–the kind of night where you finally doze off, then wake an hour later feeling relieved because dawn’s arrived.
Hotels are notoriously not eco, with their tiny soaps and overcranked A/C and bedspreads made from petroleum. Camping should be an improvement, footprint-wise. But when you have to go directly from your campsite to a laundromat, where you start four industrial-strength dryers running at once, it probably evens out.