I am from Long Island, and camping with or without a camper was never in my vernacular. Yes, I went to camp, but camping is a whole different mindset.
When I was a kid in the mid-seventies, our school would end for the summer break on a Friday, and I was on the camp bus headed to the Catskills by Sunday. Was it me going on vacation or my parents?
Camp Ma-Ho-Gee was located in Monticello, New York, and was rustic by Long Island standards. During my final years at camp, my lodging was a converted motel where my one roommate and I had our own bathroom. This is what camping was for me!
Fast forward, “gulp” 47 years, and I am camping again. This time with our new NorthStar TC650. (Before last month, the previous sentence would never have come out of my mouth).
As mentioned in last week’s Blog, our first experience was memorable. One of the biggest questions I received – was about the bathrooms. Or better said, the lack of bathrooms.
Let me remind you that prior to this camping was the converted motel in the Catskills with a private bath.
If there was ONE big reason why I didn’t want to join my husband Mitch on this retirement odyssey, it was the lack of facilities. Pre-Covid, this was not a problem because campsites provide clean restrooms and showers.
Post-Covid, I am not stepping foot into a public bathroom!
So now what? Mitch had several ideas that were extremely unappealing. And so he continued to research.
Meanwhile, we did solve the shower problem, at least during the warm months. Our camper has a hot-cold spigot on the exterior and a cute blue hose with a spray nozzle. Ok, that sounds promising, but do I disrobe in front of our neighbors with the rock star motorhome? I am learning campsite etiquette, and I am pretty sure that this is not on the list.
Mitch’s goal during his meticulous planning was to get me on board. He spent way too much time trying to find ways for me to feel like I was camping in my living room while sitting in a camper without certain accommodations.
He found a shower tent (see photo); it worked great if one held the tent while the other showered (see the second photo). The water was warm, the shower was private, and it was a delightful experience.
I recently joined a Facebook group of NorthStar enthusiasts, and one person suggested No Rinse Bathing Wipes Adult Wash Cloths. Brilliant! I quickly purchased these for when the weather is cooler.
But there was a more significant issue, as many of you can guess, and more of you have asked. What about the potty. I will try to describe this as delicately as possible to preserve my girlish reputation.
Think Human Litter Box…. Do not think too hard, especially if you are reading this with breakfast. (THIS IS ONLY For TINKLES! (pee)). Our friend Jeff said he solved this problem with horse pellets and cedar wood chips. We could not find horse pellets at the local Arkansas Walmart, so we settled for Ferret Pellets. (no words…. And I am a writer) Mitch pulled out the trusty bucket that we used to escape Florida in March, and we created our litter box.
I will admit it did the trick. We were able to have privacy in the camper. The pellets and wood-shaving always smelled like the outdoors, and daily clean-up was easy.
As for the rest of the story, TMI, Mitch bought a special portable thingy that worked well and was private, and that is all I am saying on this matter.
Yes, this Long Island girl who dreamed of living in a city all those years ago is roughing it more than I ever thought. And loving every (ok, mostly every) moment of the adventure!