I want to go on the record to say that I fully acknowledge stereotypes are just that- stereotypes. Most often, they aren’t reflective of reality.
Sometimes circumstances provide evidence for the establishment of said stereotypes. Packing a vehicle for a one night camping trip with 5 women is one of them.
Everything from the number of group texts regarding who was bringing what, to the crazy amount of clothes and gear crammed and overflowing (albeit somewhat orderly) in the back of an SUV was classic. (It’s possible there were also a few randomly stashed bottles of wine in there as well.) I just smiled as I watched my husband lovingly bite his tongue when it was my turn to stuff my things into the vehicle. And I’m still laughing at the memory of my friend saying, “I don’t know how we could’ve brought less!” as we headed for the highway, ready for camping adventure.
I have to be honest, I was a little hesitant going into the trip. After all, we were tent camping in Michigan in early October…and I hate being cold. But some things are worth the cold, and this was certainly one of them. (I’ll also give my husband credit here because he was emphatic that I not back out!) I’m so glad I listened to him. Had I not, here’s what I would have missed:
1) Some really great food- including a fantastic doughnut. If you know me at all you know that I love to eat! And I really love doughnuts. So when the first stop of our trip was a quaint pumpkin patch, I was beyond pumped to see a sign for homemade doughnuts and apple cider. And oh man! I’ve had some good doughnuts in my day, but this was by far the best ever! Later that night we also had a truly first rate camping dinner made over the fire. Everything everyone contributed was superb. In and of itself, the food was great. But as we all know, the enjoyment of food is only intensified by the company you share it with. Which leads me to my second point…
2) Laughter and camaraderie. This probably goes without saying, but the conversation was constant and covered everything from parenting and careers to music, food, social media, and everything in between. I loved that we could go back and forth from light-hearted trivial topics to real life problems so seamlessly. That kind of camaraderie is such a gift and I’m beyond blessed to have these women in my life. They are intelligent, funny, hard-working, loving, and genuine. They’re also the kind of women who encourage and inspire me to do great things.
Speaking of which…
3) An epic hike. Sometimes hiking trails turn out to be a little longer than you think. And sometimes it’s also possible to get lost on those longer-that-thought trails. What we thought initially would be a 5 mile hike turned into well over 13 (possibly 15, depending on who’s watch you consider most accurate). I will say, a unifying factor in our friendships has been the love of exercise in general, and running in particular. Thankfully, we have all cultivated the physical and mental stamina produced by long distance training and racing. So when a 2 hour hike turned into 3, 4, and then 5 hours, I found it pretty impressive that we were all physically capable of this task (especially considering the serious hills involved). But even more, I was proud of our ability to stay calm and positive throughout the entirety of the hike. Although dinner was started a little later than originally planned, I’m so glad this was our story to share- and laugh about- together.
In summation: If you ever get invited to a girls-only camping trip…Go! Without hesitation. And by all means, bring an ax (no matter what your husband says or how ridiculous it may seem). But most importantly, stay present and enjoy every moment, even if it includes a crazy detour; I guarantee you and your friendships will be better for it in the end.