Camping. It has my heart. There’s just something so special and unique about waking up in a forest clearing; the only sounds being the rush of a river or the wind whipping through the trees. The nights where the only things that matter are keeping the fire going, feeding yourself and making sure that the marshmallows are toasted to golden brown perfection. I also feel so refreshed and at peace, returning from a camping trip and have been lucky to go on a few while in Montana, breathing in that fresh mountain air on chilly mornings, fresh out of the car or the tent. I love living outdoors and kinda wish it was more accepted to do so (I will make it happen – watch this space). I love the smoky campfire smell that reminds you of evenings spent watching the logs burn or chatting or reading.
The outdoors teaches me to be more open, less scared, more prepared for what the world is throwing at me, I always feel my time is of a much higher quality when I’m outside, away from wifi and phone signal so no temptation to check up on the social sites befalls me. I have dreams of living somewhere without signal but am sure that would go well for the career I am planning to go into. With a good group of friends, or a special someone, sitting around a fire, you talk about things that are often forgotten in the rushed conversations of daily life; sharing stories and memories, giving and receiving advice, wondering about the future, or when the next s’more will be cooked to perfection.
Here are a few pictures from the last month’s wilderness adventures, if you’d like to take a look!
^^Our pitch in the backcountry of Hyalite Canyon next to a babbling brook where a few baby elk and their mother were spotted taking a drink moments before our arrival, we were told by a fisherman on his way out of the woods. This pitch was free to stay at and needed no reservation (gotta love the no crowds in Montana – it’s seriously amazing!) – it came with a clearing and a fire pit which was all we needed and perfect; peeing in the woods is part of the camping experience. It was a perfect day and night spent up there in the wilderness with 3 of the most fun girls I have met on this year abroad) – it was great to just relax and hang out before we all headed in separate directions (back to our home countries for the most part.)
^^A fire we kept alight all night, toasting marshmallows (and starbursts – Kylie’s tradition), sharing stories, listening to music and looking up at the evergreen trees and starry sky.
^^A perfect S’more (except for the Hershey’s Chocolate – I am not a fan! Bring me the Cadburys!)
^^Waking up to views like this never gets old reiterating my want to live somewhere like this, with access to countryside that I can camp in often. The hazy morning fog was gorgeous as I looked up at the cloudy sky, thinking how different this place was to the one I grew up in (Not in a bad way, just in a thoughtful way.)
^^The same week as my adventure to Hyalite with the girls; Sean and I drove out to the Bridger Mountains and stayed at the free Fairy Lake campground at the base of Sacajawea Peak which is the tallest mountain in the range. A 7 mile dirt road leads to it, with beautiful meadows and wildlife viewing opportunities (we saw a random herd of cows and a very cute little deer raise its ears to us).
^^We chopped and broke all our wood, from fallen branches in the forest and then keep it going all night, keeping us warm as we read our booked in the twilight and then torchlight. I was enamoured by the dancing flames and glowing embers as I always am, fire just never gets old to watch. We didn’t bring anything to toast so just enjoyed the process of building it, and keeping it going which was nice and keep us toasty until it was time to sleep.
^^Our boss lent us this hilarious tent which was very narrow but perfect for us two! Another example of the kindness of Montana residents 🙂
^^My favourite ready to eat the curry we made for dinner! After forgetting a few vital camping supplies and ingredients, we cobbled together a tasty meal with what we had with us and it was super tasty after the drive up, and good fuel for the next days activity: Summiting a mountain! (More on that in a later post!)
The one thing that is super different to camping in England versus in Montana is the threat of wild animals! S & I both woke up in the middle of the night convinced that a bear of some sort was outside the tent, it turned out to be the outer layer of our tent blowing in the wind, but terrified us none the less!
So, I love camping! And being outdoors (who knew!) – are you a fan of camping? Have you ever been to Montana? Do you have a favourite spot to camp? I would love to hear!