Virtual camping?

Can that be a thing? Not too sure it’ll work, but here’s what I’ve been thinking. Thinking?! I’ve gotten very close to setting up my little solo tent on our tiny balcony. If I thought Mrs. PC would let me in again the next morning, I’d probably take that trip. This week is a bit of a repost, or perhaps a remake? Redo?

This time last year was the last time I went on an off grid trip. Over thirty young people plus elders and mentors set off in two boats, in high spirits, low temperatures and steady rain. The smaller boat was a zippy number, speeding ahead and stopping every now and then to drop a line, see what could be hooked. We had time. This was because the second boat was a larger slow boat, carrying most of the group and all of the supplies. A steady steamer that probably felt smoother in the roughish seas.

The slow boat

I was on the small boat for the outbound voyage, “enjoying” those roughish seas and the chance to stop and fish. The fishing wasn’t a huge success, unless you count snagging a surprised sea slug. Or was it a cucumber?

Beware, sea cucumbers!

The weather improved over the three days we were away, so that by the time we were ready, if not willing, to return, we completed the trip under blue skies. I took the slow boat back – anything to prolong the fun.

Another picture of the slow boat

Out at camp, we rebuilt trails that had taken a battering from a couple of spring storms. Everything was tidied and spruced up, ready to present to and welcome a group of elders coming out to see the area, for some, the first time in years. After the first night, I reset my tent properly in daylight. I’d really rushed the set up, doing the best I could in strong winds and rain in the dark. Besides, who wants their untidy tent letting the side down?

The small tent

What I didn’t report in my first piece about this year ago trip was that on the final afternoon – the day before we were leaving – I turned my ankle over. It was jolly painful, and my left foot turned all sorts of jolly interesting colours.

Since then, the recovery of the high ankle sprain has taken many months. It’s unlike me not to have complained about this sooner, but as I’ve time in this pandemic, and because you’re interested, let me share that I couldn’t ride my bike, and really struggled with walking up anything with much of an incline. My dreams of shimmying past the last defender and scoring a beauty of a World Cup winning goal have had to be put on hold. Again. I know, I know, it’s a loss for sport.

The small boat

All of this slight moping and retelling and reminiscing is simply a way of me wishing we could all go camping again soon. Not all at once, and not in the same place. I love you dearly, but there are physical distancing issues that we need to respect. Still, until we can be out in our favourite places and with our favourite people, there’s always the virtual camping and old stories to share. Again. Did I mention my ankle?

Off grid inlet. Soon?

Thanks for reading, enjoy the long weekend if you have one, the regular one if you don’t, and stay safe and well! Now, where’s the spare back door key, and let’s see if that solo tent will fit on the balcony…

PS I’m told those seas really weren’t that rough, or roughish – even the sea slug laughed at me. Or was it a cucumber?

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

23 thoughts on “Virtual camping?”

  1. Good one, PC. I suppose virtual camping tales, such as this one, are a good thing for our balance in nature, and it was fun to think about that slow boat ride with dreams of sea slugs and work on the trails. At least our outdoor meditations, virtual or otherwise, are safe from ankle injuries & the like. Until we’re all camping in our healthier mode, thanks again for all your efforts &, if nothing else, happy balconizing in the sun!


    1. Thanks, Walt! What I wouldn’t give for the chance to risk a turned ankle after a slow boat ride and some time under canvas. Those days will be back, and it’s not so bad to have the dreams and meditations.
      Take care!


    1. This is good, Wayne! We live in western Canada, better than being any kind of billionaire, don’t you think?
      I hope all is well. We’re aiming for a mid June return, if restrictions ease enough…
      Take care!


      1. The numbers per 100 000 are higher in Calgary (and Brooks?) compared with the rest of AB, although I haven’t checked numbers today. On the travel front, I’m not aware of official legislation banning travel between provinces, at least not between AB-BC, it’s more of an advisory against non-essential travel. My work with the nation won’t shift from online to more regular for at least a few more weeks, so we’ll travel out nearer that time and when whatever phase of shutdown we’re in looks more favourable. Wouldn’t want to be greeted by an angry mob wielding pitchforks at any point!
        Hope you’re doing well.


      2. Oh don’t be silly Adam! Nobody is going to greeting you with pitch forks…………………………………………………………..we use axes and torches now!
        We can’t get those prairie tools out here?


  2. I’m definitely a fan of virtual camping and would highly recommend skipping the solo camping on the balcony after this many weeks in shutdown, just in case Mrs. PC or Scout accidentally hits the lock on the door. I’m blaming it on the current crisis, since prior to this I use to prefer hotels, but there was a delusional moment last night while watching a movie filmed in Scotland, with camping near Mount Suilven, that I loved the mental escape thought of traveling to Scotland, hitting the trails up that mountain and camping surrounded by that beautiful scenery and was ready to book a future trip. Harper brought me back to reality when she reminded me not to make any plans since my foot still dislikes inclines and she has a severe phobia to bugs and cannot go camping. I hope the high ankle sprain continues to heal and you’re almost back to your World Cup game shape and bike riding. It’s amazing those types of sprains can take much longer to heal than a broken bone. I was finally ready to get back to bike riding last weekend, but instead had my most spectacular fall. I think if I requested a copy of the video from the store I could win money on funniest video shows. Strangely, whether out of relief that I could walk or my delusional state, I have found myself laughing over the fall, even though the numbness has worsened again, but I hope I may be ready to try the bike ride next week. I miss those good old younger days when you laughed because a fall was funny, not because you’re hysterical or delusional, and when playing basketball the cure for a sprained ankle was to just tighten the laces to keep the swelling down and dread my mom asking once again why I wasn’t on the golf team on our way to x-rays. I hope your restrictions ease up so you guys can enjoy a weekend camping by a quiet beach and enjoying beautiful scenes like “the slow boat” soon. Thanks for a virtual trip to the coast!!


    1. Camping starts with delusional moments that become reality! Harper would love it, and the bugs aren’t so bad once you get used to the smell of bug spray – and the taste of it in your coffee. Camping in Scotland on the less buggy eastern side is wonderful. Junior is living in lockdown Dundee, and managing to drive out to the coast for fresh air and town escapes. It’s pretty up in the Kingdom of Fife. I’ll let her know you’ll be over with your tent next summer.
      Getting older is mostly ok, but I hate how long it takes to recover from sprains etc. Falling off a bike or a ski/snowboard tumble is all a bit more serious these days.
      Following up on your post today, a cold vegetarian pizza is just salad on bread?! Ouch! Have you been talking to my meatatarian brothers?
      I hope you’re back on the bike, or paddling on the lake this week, and easing any aches and pains. Oh, and coffee before tea, I missed that one.
      Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember that post; hard to believe that it’s been a year. And as a basketball player, I know all too well the special joy of a sprained ankle. Even broke it once for good measure. Hopefully you’re on your way back to daydreaming of World Cup heroics – I don’t think that’s what they had in mind when they said “bend it like Beckham.”


    1. The joys of getting older! Glass ankles and balsa wood knees. I suspect I’m like you, in that these setbacks won’t stop me, but they have slowed me. Dammit!
      Thanks, Bob, and take care.


  4. So sorry about your ankle…that kind of injury takes forever! Hang in there. I love your outdoor adventures. Memories of being served a sea cucumber in Singapore came flooding back, although I think they are different than sea slugs, but all the same to me when it comes to (not) eating them. 🙂


    1. Thank you for stopping by, Geri – much appreciated! Yes, these days everything is a bit virtual, but we can look forward to being out and camping/fishing/hiking and campfire cooking soon. I hope…
      Take care, stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Virtual camping is better than no camping I guess. At least your ankles are all better now, at least I hope they are PC. Thanks for sharing your memories. Hopefully you’ll be really, fair dinkum camping soon enough! 😊


    1. Thanks, Miriam! We’re back on the coast now, and that feels great. Also, if I can figure a safe way to make it happen, there’s a chance of some wilderness trips out here – training for youth, but it never seems like work!

      Liked by 1 person

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