Just got back from living outside for five days.
In a tent.
In the woods.
By the river.
In a nutshell, here’s how it went:
The Cosmos was being an asshat.
I cracked a tent pole.
We summoned an ambulance because twin #1 developed breathing problems. Ever call one in the middle of a campground? Awesomesauce. *twitch* (He’s totally fine *now*…cold + allergies = compounded breathing issues)
Gossip. At our expense. Without knowing or understanding the origin of circumstances and events. Amazeballs. Gossip + soul-hurt = No heart-healing.
I got stung by a wasp in that uber-sensitive under-the-upper-arm (aka, the fatty, jiggly bit) area. Win.
The spring in our main tent pole broke.
My husband cut too close to my car with his van when backing out and scraped both.
Wonder why I would continue to write about such a dastardly weekend?
Because I still made memories.
I still found moments that made me glad I’m feckin’ alive.
1. Snow White. True story. We had squirrels doing acrobatics into our garbage bag and chipmunks running laps in our tent. It was amazing. 🙂
2. Riverdance. No, not the musical hit series…having my husband hold me and dance circles in the river.
3. Teaching my daughter swimming.
4. Catching itty-bitty new frogs…and seeing tadpole and polywogs…and watching the gingers’ fascination at so many levels of life.
5. Showing two very amazing friends sacred sites that mean so, so much to me and my family, and teaching them why.
6. Llama henna. 😉
8. Discussion with like-minded friends about values, ethics and tradition.
9. “I love you, Mommy.”
10. “I love you, honey.”
So, how does a Go, Go SpazzyGirl with Lupus get to go camping?
Takes a little bit’o’brainwork plus some pre-planning!!
One month out:
– Make a menu list. From the menu list, you can make a shopping list!
– Know where all your gear is…if you know where your gear is, you can check your gear for any breaks/leaks/loosening/whatever and get it fixed or replaced.
Three weeks out:
– Start pre-cooking & freezing. By starting early, you can take advantage of grocery sales. 🙂 Freezing in small containers (or, better yet…the large Ziploc freezer bags so that you can freeze the meal flat for space savings in the cooler!) You are going to be hot and tired and not going to want to cook-from-scratch. That shouldn’t negate your ability to maintain nutrition and proper eating.
You won’t die from eating chips and s’mores all week/end…but you’re going to feel it systemically.
– Start assembling “camp-usables”…like bug sprays/sunscreens/citronella coils/lighters/etc…and stuff you don’t need until then (table cloths/dish cloths/small dish soap bottles & toiletries)
Two weeks out:
– Get prescriptions renewed/refilled!! Take what you need in your pharmacy-labelled bottles and leave the rest at home. **PLEASE remember to store them properly** Nothing says, “Buggernackles” like your gel caps melting into a pile of unusable blobs. Ask me how I know.
– Plan a “medicine bag”. Include things like heat wraps, muscle rubs, compression gloves/socks, stress balls, anxiety llama *shifty eyes*, allergy remedy and first aid kit…
– Ear plugs. I cannot stress how feckin’ important this addition has been to my camping routine!! Please note that ear plugs come in differing decibel levels. Aim for higher. I use “33”. There are bullfrogs. And drunken geese. Actually, I don’t know if they’re really drunken geese, but they sure as shit sound like it, whatever they are…
One week out:
Start packing. Seriously. You tire easily and forget a lot.
A lot, a lot. So start packing. Right. Now.
What else have I found that alleviates living outside with Lupus?
Anti-gravity chair. We haz one. Now, we also have a van to transport it…but it provides me a way to lift my feet and legs wayyyyy up, without laying on the damn ground. Because Go, Go SpazzyAss here wouldn’t be able to get up. That’s not fun. At all. Hammocks come a close second, but I fall on my face, so chair for the win! \m/
Double-high air mattress. Because Go, Go SpazzyAss here would like to get OUT of bed, as well as in to it. *shifty eyes* Some find portable cots better for their joints and backs. Check your local sporting stores for ones you can try out on display…see the ease of getting in/out, or on/off.
**we also put one of those Dollar Store emergency blankets (those silver “sheets”) underneath our air mattress to keep the dampness out…it works. Wrap one around your clothing, or put one under your suitcase/bag…damp clothes suck. True story. Damp + Sore = “No.”
SPF eleventy-billion. Okay, well at least 30 – 50 SPF. Thing is, people need to also remember to apply it properly…as in, OOEY GOOEY. Less is NOT the new “more”…if you don’t apply enough, or often enough, you cut down the SPF automatically and dramatically.
Here’s an awesome article about SPF: Ask the Expert by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
I like the disclaimer on the use of higher SPF products and the resulting inclination of people to disregard other sun-management skills, like avoiding direct sun exposure at peak hours…the use of hats and/or SPF clothing…etc.
Wet wipes. Baby wipes. Easiest “on the fly” kind of body cleaning. Dirty skin holds toxins to be reabsorbed into an already stressed system. Clean them off. No, the river is *not* a total substitute. Think about how much sunscreen and bug spray you’re applying during the day… Eww. Even a natural body wash and a “sponge bath” will go a long way.
Move. Make sure to balance movement when it’s not too hot for activity. Movement will keep muscles from cramping and spasming (that’s totally a word and I’m not spell-checking it because I’m tired…from camping…take *that* irony!)
If you do not hydrate, you run the risk of heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), and heat exhaustion…with the real risk of developing heat stroke (a real medical emergency) and generally feeling like shit from not replacing above and beyond how much fluid you’re losing through urine and sweat…hydration keeps muscle tissue cells from drying out, which leads to inflammation, which can lead to further systemic attack.
You know your body best. If you feel fatigued, rest. If you feel “out of sorts”…find something calming and out of the mainstream activity. Perhaps try a camping trip of a couple of days if you’re not used to camping or have never gone. Nothing says, “Shit.” like gearing for a week-long trip your very first go and realizing your limitations are a bit more than you’d have thought.
Are you planning a camping trip this summer?
What are your favourite tips and tricks…and what are your fondest memories of camping?
Camp on, lovely peeps! \m/