The best part of camping? Sneaking away from camp

The best part about camping isn’t about savoring the first steaming bite of rehydrated chicken and rice. It’s not about plunging your weary feet into a frigid creek after a day on the trail, or passing a bottle of bourbon back and forth between buddies, or huddling so close to a towering fire that your eyes get scorched. It’s not about the freedom of a useless cell phone, or collecting war stories of freezing nights, or buying truckloads of expensive new gear — though all these things are glorious.

The best part about camping is sneaking away from that campfire, ditching the tent-mate for a few moments of solitude. It’s about leaning back with your head propped up on a log, gazing at a blanket of stars. The only sounds are the trilling of insects and the wind like a crashing wave gathering up steam before rushing through the tree tops. The creeping cold sucks at your skin, body heat dissipating degree by degree until you begin to shiver.

These are the moments that can’t be recreated anywhere else. You can try to capture them in a photo, but don’t waste your time. Through your camera’s lens, the moon shows up not as a crescent but a spotlight, and the stars disappear. Technology does not speak this language.

That’s what camping is really about.