I’ve done my share of “real” camping. But you know what? I’m d.o.n.e. with that shit. The last time I slept on the ground was when we took a little family camping trip 2 Thanksgivings ago. We went to a great local mountainside lake and had a perfect spot next to the babbling brook. We brought a huge tent, 2 air mattresses, a battery operated pump, and whatever comforts of home we could fit into the SUV. It was glorious, we had the best days ever. But the nights? The pump didn’t work, so we found an air thing meant for tires and blew up our air mattress. We figured the kids could go without, they’re lightweights, and accustomed to misery. About 3 hours into REM sleep, my ass hit the dirt. And that dirt was cold and hard. The kids were no better off, it was utterly miserable. I made a promise to myself that night, a promise that I have thus kept and shall always keep. The promise is as follows: I will not sleep on the ground. Amen.
Okay, this isn't Mulege; it's Ligui. But you get the idea.
I'm not much of a camper. I've done very little tent camping; the last time was in the Borrego dessert, on a night that there just happened to be thunder, lightning, and, yes, rain. Like Jacquie, we'd brought along our air mattress, but once that thunder started our dog was so freaked out that he lay shivering on it with us, scared shitless and desperate for human comfort. It was one of those nights when you just wait for morning to appear with its sunny smile, so that you can forget the night's misery. Luckily, the more prepared campers (none of whom were in tents, I might add) we were with started making bloody mary's early that morning.