There are quite a number of outdoorsy people in Berkeley, even if we do live in an urban environment during the semester. We like to think that the redwood trees around campus pay tribute to our affinity for the outdoors. But did you ever consider how your college lifestyle might help you survive on a camping trip? We’re here to remind you that whether you’re new to the outdoor life or an old pro who can rough it with only a backpack for a week in Yosemite, your Berkeley experience has trained you for the less glamorous aspects of an outdoor adventure:
Strange bedfellows. In the dorms, you were assigned to sleep in the same room with (most likely) a complete stranger. When you’re camping, you may be sharing a tent with friends and family, but you typically don’t sleep in such close quarters. But we hope that’s no longer a problem for you, since you got all your awkward moments out with your roommate in previous years. Sleep in peace in your tent, knowing that this is nothing compared to your first nights in the dorms.
Diet. The easiest meals to cook while you’re living in the dorms are the same meals that are easy to cook while you’re camping. How many times did you turn in despair to Kraft Easy Mac because you couldn’t think of anything else to cook? We really hope you’re sick of foods like that by now, but whether you’ve been hiking or just struggling with an overly complicated tent all day, boil-it-stir-it-eat-it foods just might start to look palatable again, especially because you probably don’t have a fridge with you.
Animals. Berkeley squirrels are notoriously hungry for human food and would probably steal yours if they had the chance. Of course, the stakes are higher when you’re camping: Those squirrels may steal your only source of nutrition for the day. Le gasp! They won’t look so cute anymore, and you won’t want to feed them — and you shouldn’t have fed them in the first place. (Also, a warning: Particularly in the Sierras, there are plenty of chipmunks that will nab your snacks. And they do carry bubonic plague, so please don’t get cozy with them.)
Of course, we know there are outdoors people, many who are also college students, who know how to cook great camping-friendly meals and secure those meals from the wildlife. But if you’ve always sworn you would never camp, you might reconsider after realizing that your college lifestyle has prepared you so well for it!