Short, but Not Sweet: My Camping Experience

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Whenever I ask my husband if he wants to go on a camping trip for the weekend, I get this concerned look from him that says 'please not again'. Then he very quickly reminds me of the may long weekend about four years ago, when he totally wanted to grab me by the neck and squeeze the life out of me.

It was late Thursday afternoon and my only job was to gather the basics supplies, while he finished seeding oats in the field behind the house. So, I hopped into my car, made my way downtown through the crowded streets and headed to one of my least favorite places, especially on a holiday, Walmart. I grabbed a cart and headed to the groceries section and got what I thought was needed for two days. Then I headed over to the camping section, I recall my husband saying we needed some fuel for the lantern and a little tent. I saw some tents at the end of the isles; one box had some damage, but was marked for clearance, so I took that one. But as I hunted for the fuel, I noticed there were a few different kinds to choose from: camp fuel, lamp oil, and propane. There was one that caught my eye, citronella lamp oil repels mosquitoes and has a fresh orange scent. I thought this will be nice, keep the bugs off, plus has a pleasant fragrance, so there's no need to buy that nasty smelling bug spray. This should be just as good as the other camp fuels, and it is quite a bit cheaper than the others.

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I finally got out of the store and made my way home, I started to get everything I thought we were going to need and pack it into the car. We will be there before dark and we have a lantern, so I don't have to pack a flashlight, and what could possibly go wrong, so close to home that we need a first aid kit. I grabbed only one sleeping bag, thinking how romantic it was going to be under the stars snuggled so close together. I was anxiously waiting for my husband to finish his seeding; as usual, he was late coming home. We slowly made our way through all the traffic and finally made to the highway; it was only two hours to the lake. He looked at me and said that it is going to be dark when we get there, I said that's okay we have a lantern.

We finally arrived at the lake and picked out a place to set up camp; my husband started unpacking the car and asked: “Where's the camp fuel?”. I told him I got lamp oil with citronella to help keep the mosquitoes away; he looked at it and said that this isn't going to work. I said just try it. He said: “Okay, where's the flashlight?”. I told him that we have a lantern and did not need a flashlight. All though it was dark out, I could see the anger building up inside him as he filled the lantern with that scented oil. When he lit the lamp, it exploded into a huge ball of fire almost like a nuclear explosion. He shouted some not so good four-letter words while leaping around waving his arms and said: “I burned my hand, do I need to even ask if we have anything for that”. With my back turned to him, holding my hand to my mouth trying not to laugh and not to wet my pants, I thought, wow, he could have won an Oscar with that performance. He then insisted that I should put out all the flames and start putting the tent up because he was going to the closest store to look for the proper fuel and something for his burn. I didn't dare mention the fact that we had no flashlight.

I started unpacking the tent and realized that there was something missing, the instructions. So, in the moonlight, I took all the pieces out and tried to sort them. I could see the lights of the car coming already! I started to panic. I thought, boy, he's really going to be angry with me now. He came out from the car with his newly bandaged hand and said: “Now what?”. Trying very hard to hide the fact there were no instructions, I said that there is nothing to worry about, I have put many tents together before. When he lit the lantern with the proper fuel, I then saw that I had no clue as to what I was doing. We fought with the tent for most of the night. He finally gave up and said he would just sleep in the car. “Where did you put my sleeping bag?”. I then had the job of telling him that I had only packed one. I woke up the next morning to find him sleeping on the ground with a rock as a pillow. I woke him and asked if he would like something to eat, he just looked at me and said I think it's time we went home.


Now when I look back, I can see that my husband really does have plenty of patience and a great sense of humor. Every time I remind him of that camping trip, he just laughs and says, “Yes, dear, unfortunately, I still remember”.

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Short, but Not Sweet: My Camping Experience. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from
“Short, but Not Sweet: My Camping Experience.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
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