I had the enviable opportunity to accompany a fellow Girl Camper on an across-the-USA camping trip this summer. In June, while curbing at my friend Bonnie Shafto’s home in Taos, NM, she shared that she had plans to attend some camping events during August while introducing the Lance 1475 Camper to women who camp. As we talked about where she was going and how long her trip would be, (several thousand miles and almost the entire month of August), she asked what I was doing in August. I searched my calendar, and saw that I had NO campouts. That is unusual for me, so we excitedly explored the idea of me accompanying Bonnie to assist with driving and share the fun!
I love traveling, especially to places I’ve not been. However, my initial thoughts included concern that it was a very long time, and Bonnie and I had not traveled together before. This led me to suggest some things to Bonnie to insure we had a great time together on this wonderful adventure. Things to consider when joining a friend for a trip of any kind:
- Talk about personalities
- Talk about what to do if the other starts to get on your nerves
- Make a plan for how to communicate the need for some alone time
- Talk about tolerance for time in the car and how often you might need to stop
- Discuss driving arrangements
- Discuss the logistics of meals and make a plan, knowing it may change
- Ask how much space you will have for your STUFF, and be respectful of the space allotted for you in the vehicle and in the camper
- Make a plan for each person’s part in setup and takedown of campsite, so nothing is forgotten
- Discuss how expenses will be shared
During the Trip
- Keep your area in the camper and the car cleaner than you would if you were in your own camper/car
- Be respectful of privacy of your friend during campouts by spending time with others while she has time in the camper or with others
- Check-in periodically with your traveling friend by asking if everything is going alright for her, and ask if you need to make any changes
I felt I was fortunate to be able to join in on Bonnie’s fabulous adventure, which made it easy to follow all of the recommendations I have made here. When possible, I deferred to Bonnie’s plans and her preferences. However, Bonnie was a very gracious friend, who always considered what I might want to do. She even surprised me a couple of times, which was extra fun! (Yoder’s Kitchen/Arthur, IL for an Amish breakfast and Niagara Falls).
I hope you have the opportunity Bonnie and I had to share an adventure, whether one weekend or one month! I’ll see you down the road!
Article written by: Sharon Cutbirth, Chapter Guide for the Texas Hill Country