03Apr2011

Camping as a Lifestyle

Camping as a LifestyleOne February morning, high in the Colorado Rockies, not far from Aspen, I stared at the ceiling of my $500 per month bedroom that I rented in my friend’s trailer. The room had no closet, no bedroom door and the temperature that morning, inside the room, was twenty degrees. It was time to bust a move! This is my experience on camping as a lifestyle.

The Search for New Accommodation

“I could live outside and be warmer than this,” I thought to myself. It was a that point that I started looking at alternative housing.  I knew a few people Living in a Pacific Domewho had lived in tepees and another couple who lived in a yurt, like the nomads of Mongolia. But I needed windows, and although the yurt had windows, it also had a caged-in feeling with its lattice work walls. Then I spotted it! My perfect alternative to expensive housing. It looked like a large white mushroom in the magazine ad, but it had windows that popped in and out and a roof that zipped off! It was a tent from Pacific Domes out of Oregon. I immediately called, got information on sizes and cost and headed to the bank for a loan.

My Dome Sweet Dome

A Dome Like MineBy the beginning of June I had gathered a gaggle of friends to help me construct my dome-sweet-dome in the middle of an apple orchard I was to share with a dozen sheep. Ten of us placed the octagon shaped deck atop cinder blocks while another couple of guys dug a trench to a nearby garage to hook into the electrical system. Once the deck was constructed we all grabbed a piece of the steel frame and began putting the jungle-gym like structure together. By nightfall we had flopped the heavy canvas tent over the frame, connected the electricity to outlets on the deck and installed the wood stove.

Living Simple and Happy, Outdoors

For the next three-and-a-half years, I chopped wood and carried water. In the winter, my domicile was warmer than my neighbor’s house and in the summer, looking up at the stars, without the roof and listening to a chorus of coyotes was a highlight of my life.  I taught myself how to build a fire that would keep me warm and thaw out my bed in record time and discovered it wasn’t a good idea to have the compost pile too close to the cotton tent because of all the local bears.

Eventually I saved enough for a down payment on a house, but I know that the sound of whistling wind, baaing sheep and amplified raindrops is what life is all about. I will greatly miss camping as a lifestyle, I recommend living in a tent for anyone who wants to access the healing power of nature.

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Author: Nancy Bolam

Edited By: CampTrip.com

About the Author

has written 175 articles on CampTrip.

This post was an entry in our Camping Writing Contest. If you would like to enter the Camping Writing Contest you could see your entry on the CampTrip site as well. Plus, you're entered to win a Visa Gift Card up to $100! Thank you to all who have participated.

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