One of my all-time favourite things about anime is its ability to introduce you to new pastimes by engaging you in the pastimes of the characters that you’re watching. I’ve been strong-armed into caring about so many things that I’ve otherwise never spared a thought for as a result of this, the most recent of these things being camping.
I’ve never been a fan of the great outdoors. Why would I when everything I love can be found indoors? My Ps4, my nice, comfy bed, my wireless router… The thought of abandoning all of these things to share a tent with spiders and mosquitos would make me break out in preemptive hives. That is, until I watched Laid Back Camp. Laid Back Camp is about a group of high school girls and their ongoing quest to find the most scenic spot in which to pitch up a tent, enjoy good food, and, better still, good company. This feel-good anime made camping look so good, it even brought a city slicker like me ‘round to the idea…
Food was a big part of Laid Back Camp. Rin and Nadeshiko, our two gluttonous heroines, would plan, sometimes weeks in advance, what to prepare on their next camping trip. First, they started off simple, with instant noodles, but they soon advanced to more ambitious recipes, like soup-style pasta and gyoza hotpot. I’ve always been passionate about food (both the eating and the preparation of it). That being said, I’ve never tried cooking in the great outdoors. But since watching Laid Back Camp, the idea of stepping away from all of the mod cons of my kitchen and choosing a pared down (yet still delicious) recipe to cook using just the utensils I can fit into a backpack sounds fun… challenging… but fun! If any of you have any tried and true recipes, feel free to hit me up!
Another prominent theme in Laid Back Camp was camping as a means to get away from it all. For the duration of their trips, Rin and the “Outclub” could leave behind all of the trappings of the modern world (though they were still never far from their phones!) and soak up the scenery. This really appeals to me! This month alone, my husband and I are buying our first home, going on a family vacation, and joining a Dungeons and Dragons circle (don’t laugh). And whilst these are all good things, they are not without their worries. The closing costs on our home are pretty substantial, not to mention the fact that I’ll be eschewing a week’s worth of pay to spend time with family towards the end of the month (because of course our dream home would come on the market during the same month we’re due to go on vacation). And whilst I’m excited over the prospect of finally having a social life, it’s also scary, you know, to finally have a social life. Part of me just wants to go: “screw it” and leave it all behind to go play mountain man in a tent somewhere!
Though Rin certainly derived a great deal of enjoyment from it, I think I would definitely pass up solo camping. I think solo camping (me, a young, defenseless woman) in the bayous of Arkansas would end up looking more like “The Deliverance” than Laid Back Camp! No offense to my fellow Arkansans! No, I think I’d take a leaf out of the Outclub’s book and take a companion (probably my unwitting husband)! Nadeshiko, Chiaki, and Aoi would spend hours finding the perfect spot for their camping gear, sitting around the campfire, eating, and chatting. In other words, simply enjoying each other’s company. With the day-to-day busyness of life (even my days off are busy), it’s been so long since I’ve just sat, talked, and laughed with my husband free from concern over the next item on my to-do list. I think I’d love for us to cluelessly fumble around with tarp and tent poles, sit and chat for hours on end, and watch the stars with mugs of steaming hot chocolate clasped firmly in our hands. Gosh, that sounds so idyllic, I almost want to cry!
Are you a camper? If so, I’d love to hear from you! Any tips or tricks for me? Preferably something that’ll keep me alive whilst braving the great outdoors! And if you’re based in the US, where have you enjoyed camping? Look forward to hearing from you!