So . . . Patty and I decided that we wanted to try tent camping. A classic case of we don’t know what we don’t know but hey there’s this thing called the internet so we do a little research. We reserve a spot at Myrtle Beach State Park and set about gearing up. A trip to our local Gander Mountain and Walmart nets us a tent, screen room, queen air mattress and a pair of camp chairs. A friend from work loaned us a single burner camp stove. Back at home we practice setting up our tent and screen room. We throw together some sheets, cooking gear (pots, pans, and utensils), pack the cooler, and we are off.
We arrive at the park just as the sun was going down and set about making camp. Now recall that we have practiced setting up our tent at home but we didn’t practice in the dark. Big difference. Luckily our neighbors saw we were rank amateurs and stepped over to help us get the tent up. Within 10 minutes we have learned two important lessons. One, practice setting up and taking down your camp in the dark and two other campers are quick to help.
Once we had camp set up it was time for some food. Opting for quick and easy we fried up a couple of hot dogs and settled into our camp chairs to relax. Lesson number three. Don’t buy the cheapest camp chairs you can find. They were small, low backed, and not very comfortable.
As the hour grew late we make our bed with a couple of sheets and settled in for the night listening to the thunder of an approaching summer thunder storm. The storm brought with it our fourth lesson. Bring a blanket. We had only packed sheets because it is the middle of August in South Carolina, how cool can it get. Well when it rains all night it can get quite chilly. We laughed at our ignorance, cuddled up, and enjoyed the sounds of the storm as the rain pounded our tent.
It rained for most of the weekend. We were only able to get to the shore once for about an hour between storms. Even though we were trapped in our tent most of time we had a great time. We were sharing an adventure, together, something we had not done in a very long time. We talked and made lists of the things we would do differently our next time out.