Kyle intended to only ever go camping with me once. I did get him to go camping a second time last year. But how did I get him to go a third time?
I got him to go camping a third time by telling him that I wanted to go, and if it turned out to be good weather that particular weekend, I hoped he’d go too. And then just sort of assuming that he’d be going. Especially since the weather turned out to be really nice.
But aside from being subtly manipulative… lol
I did everything I could to make him as comfortable as possible. First thing I did, I chose a campground that has actual flush toilets. He put up with toilet houses last summer, but they’re a bit too rustic for him. Besides, he’s extremely nearsighted, and having bathrooms with lights inside is a big help to him.
Next thing I did was, I bought a tent. The one we’d been borrowing from friends was so small that Kyle couldn’t stand up inside. And there wasn’t much floor space. So I looked around online, and I found a tent that’s six and half feet tall inside. Yay! Kyle can stand up in it. And the floor is 10’ x 10’, so there’s lots of room for our air beds, suitcases, etc.
I made sure we practiced setting up the tent before we left. There’s no way I want us to look stupid at a campground, reading the directions and having trouble figuring out how to set up a tent. Besides, what if something important had been missing from the box? Like, I don’t know, the tent poles?
I bought a second twin-sized air bed, to replace the sleeping pads I’d borrowed from another friend, which were too firm for Kyle and me.
I brought the kind of food he likes to eat outdoors, hot dogs in particular. And I roasted them over the fire myself, cause he’s extremely nearsighted and would have had a hard time doing it himself.
And I actually made s’mores! After the first time he went camping with me, that’s what everyone asked: did you make him s’mores? So this time, I did. Although, I have to admit, I didn’t bring the makings myself. We’d gotten to chatting with the people in the next campsite, and when they decided to leave a day early, they offered us some of their food – including marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers.
Kyle made me comfortable, too. I woke up cold in the middle of the second night, and practically sleeping on the ground because my air bed leaked, so he made room for me on his air bed – not easy when he’s a big man and it’s a twin-sized air bed! – and snuggled up with me so I could get warm again.
He washed the dishes, too, taking them to a spigot a little ways away from our campsite. And he did the heavy lifting when we were packing and unpacking.
I’m really glad we went camping. These past few months have been hard on me, and I needed to get away someplace where I wasn’t always thinking there was something I urgently needed to do. I needed time when we could just hang out, and be together.
We mostly just sat around reading, playing Scrabble, once or twice going for a drive, and doing nothing much in particular.
And we kept each other company.
I’m going to try to get him out camping at least once more this season.