To me one of Life’s greatest delights, appealing alike to body, mind and soul, is a camping-out trip. Breathing day and night the pure air of mountain and forest,—occasionally swept by breezes from desert and ocean,—exercising one’s body into vigorous healthfulness, sweating in the sun with life-giving labor,—even though it be only tramping or riding up and down trails,—sauntering over meadows, rambling and exploring untrailed spaces, under giant sky-piercing trees; lying down at night on the restful brown Mother Earth; sleeping peacefully and dreamlessly through delicious star-and-moon-lit nights, cooled and refreshed by the night winds, awakening in the morning full of new life and vigor, to feel the fresh tang of the air and the cool shock of the wash (or even plunge) in the snow-or-spring-fed stream; companioning with birds and bees, chipmunks and squirrels, grouse and quail, deer and antelope, trees and plants, shrubs and flowers, lava and granite, lakes and creeks, rivers and ponds; smelling the sweet fragrance of the trees, shrubs, plants and vines; bathing in an atmosphere of calm and quiet that seems almost Divine; covered with a sky as cloudless and pure blue as the dome of heaven itself, and which, at night, changes into a rich blue-black velvet, studded with silvery emblazonments, that dance and dazzle in the pellucid air; listening to the varied voices of Nature, each eager to give tongue to its joy; eating healthful, simple food with appetite and relish; absorbing the assurance that Nature means good and nothing but good to man, thus coming nearer to the heart of God; losing the fret and worry of money-getting and all other of Life’s lower ambitions and strivings; feeling the inflow of strength,—physical, mental and spiritual; gaining calmness, serenity, poise and power;—is there any wonder that a man so blessed should speak and write with radiant and exuberant enthusiasm of that which has been so lavish to him. This is what camping-out (in part) means to me.
Hence, when I leave home for a mountain trip I always put into my Indestructo an extra blue flannel shirt, riding boots and breeches (or a pair of overalls), a cap, and a bottle of Vaseline. The hunter and fisherman, of course, will bring his especial equipment, as, also, will the geologist or botanist.
The first essentials of a successful camping-out trip are personal. One must have the receptive and acceptive spirit. No matter what comes it is for the best; an experience worth having. Nothing must be complained of. The “grouch” has no place on a camping-trip, and one who is a “grouch,” a “sissy,” a “faultfinder,” a “worrier,” a “quitter,” or who cannot or will not enter fully into the spirit of the thing had better stay at home.
[Footnote 1: Indestructo is the name given to a trunk that has been such a delight to me for its enduring and useful qualities, that I cannot refrain from “passing it on.” A poor trunk, to a constant traveler, is a perpetual nuisance and worry. My trunks always gave me trouble until I got an Indestructo. Since then I have had freedom from all such distress. It is fully insured for five years.]