Tarps and ropes

Almost all of the camping Hillary and I did together was car camping. I eventually want to learn more and start backcountry camping, but I don't regret not having done much yet. Car camping is a nice balance of some of the discomforts and difficulties of camping with the enjoyment of just living outdoors for a day or two.

Virtually all of our camping trips are good memories.

At the time of our Rocky Mountain Trip in 2006, we had camped together perhaps a dozen nights. Most of those trips had great weather, even if it was occasionally cold.

Among other things that Hillary would pack in the car for every trip would be a couple of large tarps. We had never used them.

The Tunnel Mountain tarp shelter. The tent stayed dry, as did the firewood, our shoes, etc.

As we pulled into our site at the Tunnel Mountain campsite by the town of Banff, it was starting to drizzle. The ground was still dry and dusty at this point.

"Warren, get the tent up as quickly as you can, I need to unpack and dig around for the tarps and rope."

"Uh, okay."

So I put her little tent together and staked it down. By the time I was done with that, she had ropes tied to a couple of the trees behind the tent and a couple more to the picnic bench.

"Okay, let's do this."

The repeat performance a couple of days later at Lake Louise.

I mostly bring this up as this was a Hillary job when we camped. She knew how to tie knots that would, through black magic, both stay tied and were easy to untie. She could take a quick look at the campsite and within a couple of minutes of talking aloud to herself have figured out what would work as an anchor and thus where the tent should go.

I've taken the kids camping on rainy days myself and haven't yet used a tarp for this purpose. Mostly due to my lack of knot knowledge. It was fine with them, but I definitely remember how much easier certain things were with these structures setup.I guess I'll have to learn that one eventually.

If not to actually do a good job of it, but more so I can do a terrible job and then tell the kids how much better Hillary would have been at setting it up.