Camping in the United States -- Native English Conversation Lesson

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In this Advanced English conversation we talk about camping in the United States. If you like being in nature and enjoy the outdoors or you're curious about camping tune into this Native English conversation. We discuss camping equipment to bring on your trip, different types of camping, and how to go camping!

NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER CONVERSATION

Follow along using the transcript below.

Enjoy this conversation!

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Mary Daphne
Hi, everyone. Welcome back to this Advanced English conversation between Greg and myself, Mary Daphne. It's so wonderful. That you're joining us for this conversation. The idea behind this is to give you some opportunity to hear two native English speakers have a regular conversation again, this is unscripted. This is the beauty of the ebb and flow of conversation. So we're going to let it take us where it may and right off the bat, I'll tell you today's subject and Greg, we'll hear it as well.

00:00:35:21 - 00:00:39:02
Mary Daphne
We're going to be talking about dance and drum roll.

00:00:39:21 - 00:00:43:05
Greg
Camping oh, yes. I love camping.

00:00:43:24 - 00:00:53:06
Mary Daphne
Awesome. So we're going to be right back. And we're going to jump into this conversation.

00:01:00:10 - 00:01:06:05
Mary Daphne
OK, Greg. So I want to hear from you. Why do you love camping so much?

00:01:06:27 - 00:01:14:28
Greg
Well, first of all, I think we should differentiate between camping and backpacking.

00:01:14:29 - 00:01:15:22
Mary Daphne
Oh, OK.

00:01:15:28 - 00:01:37:05
Greg
Right. So camping is sort of a catchall for going out into nature, right? And spending the night or multiple nights. Now, the question is, are you going out in a car with all your equipment in the car and then you park the car and set up your tent next to the car. And so you're still in nature, right?

00:01:37:05 - 00:02:01:07
Greg
You're at a campsite, but everything's sort of there with you. Where do you put all your tents, sleeping bag, all your equipment on your back and you hike with it? Right. And that's backpacking. And so when you're going backpacking, you're camping, but you're doing it, you know, carrying all your own stuff and going out further into nature. So regardless of those two.

00:02:01:07 - 00:02:08:24
Greg
Yeah, what I love about camping in general and I think you can say camping as a catchall to include both of those.

00:02:08:24 - 00:02:09:04
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:02:09:24 - 00:02:42:11
Greg
But I wanted to make that distinction right off the bat. The reason I love it is that I just love spending time in nature. Right? I find it very soothing, very peaceful. Very fulfilling. Right. You know, we are always surrounded by electronics and buzzing and beeping and honking. So when you get out into the woods into nature, it just feels like you you're being washed in this sort of relaxing, soothing vibe.

00:02:43:02 - 00:02:46:21
Greg
That's very hard to get when you're stuck in urban life.

00:02:47:12 - 00:03:16:24
Mary Daphne
And the concept of forest bathing is something that pops up a lot I think nowadays with this understanding of the importance of wellness and how there are a lot of things that we can be doing, even if we live in a city that might be good for us, for our health. And so for us, bathing is one of those things, and especially with something like camping or backpacking typically the surroundings are the woods or the forest.

00:03:17:22 - 00:03:40:22
Greg
Definitely. Yeah, no, forest bathing is such a cool term. I think it perfectly encapsulates what I love about camping. Right, right. It is like you're bathing in nature the same way. I know you might think about taking an Epsom salt bath, right? That's, you know, you have the warm round of water around you and the mineral soaking in your skin.

00:03:40:22 - 00:04:00:26
Greg
That feels great. The same kind of thing happens being in nature and hearing nature sounds and a lot of cultures. I know the Japanese and a lot of the Nordic cultures really take forest bathing very seriously in the Scandinavians because it is so cathartic, it's so salubrious.

00:04:01:19 - 00:04:28:13
Mary Daphne
And it's not necessarily that you're bathing as in submerging yourself in water like you could in a bath though you could. But it's what Greg said, where you're really just surrounding yourself in nature. So all of nature's, you know, abundance of trees and plants and just verdant surroundings is a bathtub. You can think of it in that way.

00:04:28:16 - 00:04:34:10
Mary Daphne
Yeah, but it's really this term that we have where you're completely surrounded by nature and.

00:04:34:10 - 00:05:01:18
Greg
Immersed, right? We use these terms are often liquid related terms, right? So into immerse yourself in nature. Right. The most strict sense of immersion is to dip something into a liquid, right? So you immerse something in water I'm here immersing ourselves in nature. So it's it's a sort of metaphorical description of what's happening. But yeah, I really do think of it as like bathing the brain, right?

00:05:02:03 - 00:05:13:20
Greg
You're bathing the brain with nature. So it's these sort of water terms where you're really just surrounding yourself and soaking yourself in it and it's just yeah, it's a great experience.

00:05:13:25 - 00:05:31:28
Mary Daphne
That's right. And so let's talk about camping. The first distinction that we made in the beginning so camping, what would that typically entail? Could you just walk us through a typical camping experience for those of us who might not be experienced campers like myself?

00:05:32:06 - 00:05:56:15
Greg
Yeah, that's that's a great question. And it is important if you want to go camping for the first time, you want to do it in baby steps, right? Your first camping experience probably shouldn't be trying to summit Everest, right? You're probably better off starting with the traditional what we call car camping, right? So a car camping is when you get all your equipment and your food and you pack it into a car.

00:05:56:15 - 00:06:15:13
Greg
So you have a lot of space because you have the trunk of your car. You can also pack a lot of heavier stuff, right? Like heavier types of foods and fuels and so forth. So what are you going to pack? Right. You're going to want a tent. You need something over your head, right? When you're going to sleep.

00:06:15:19 - 00:06:38:11
Greg
That's right. You're going to want a sleeping bag. To keep you warm, right? Sleeping bag is, you know, replacing covers, right? So you get into a sleeping bag. It's like a warm cocoon and surrounds you. And it's deceiving because most people think, oh, it's summer, it's going to be hot. But most people haven't ever slept outside. And what you realize is it's a lot colder outside than it is in your house.

00:06:38:11 - 00:06:55:19
Greg
Even if you aren't turning on the heat because your house, you know, insulates and holds heat throughout the night. Whereas a tent or if you're sleeping right under the stars, there's nothing between you and the sky. And so it can get pretty chilly pretty quickly. So make sure to bring a warm sleeping bag warmer than you think you might need.

00:06:55:21 - 00:07:01:22
Mary Daphne
Right

00:07:02:21 - 00:07:23:05
Greg
And then you also need the basics in terms of protective clothing. Right? It could rain. So you want to have a rain jacket. It again could get chilly. So make sure that even if it's summer, bring some sort of pants. So when you're there at camp, you know your legs are warm and if there's bugs, your legs are covered.

00:07:23:05 - 00:07:35:24
Mary Daphne
I was going to say bug bug protection. That's a big issue because it might not be something you think about for the warmer temperatures or cooler temperatures, but the bug situation. Oh, yeah, crazy sometimes.

00:07:36:06 - 00:07:55:02
Greg
And then you have wool socks. You should always have wool socks to keep your feet warm and again, to protect yourself from bugs. Right. And if you are planning to do some hiking, I always recommend that you take two pairs of shoes, one of your hiking shoes that you go out and do a hike, even if it's a short hike around the area and then you have some camp sandals.

00:07:55:06 - 00:08:03:13
Greg
Oh, write something easiest slip on something where your feet can breathe and it's more comfortable and you can wear those around camp with your wool socks.

00:08:03:13 - 00:08:17:15
Mary Daphne
Right. So in terms of camp, how do we define camp? Is camp a a place that we go to? Is it a place where we set up our own tent? What kind of situation are we looking at in terms of the sleeping arrangements?

00:08:17:22 - 00:08:38:02
Greg
Yeah, sure. So, OK, yeah, let's let's step back a little bit. When you go to a car camping site, yeah. You typically these camping sites are going to be either in a field, right, in a big open grassy field or they could be set inside the woods and so you'll have like a gravel path that you drive in, right?

00:08:38:02 - 00:08:50:25
Greg
You'll get off the highway and drive on to my things and you'll have a gravel path that you'll drive along. Yeah. And then along the gravel path, well, first you'll check in, right? And you register and you say, here's, you know, our reservation. So this is.

00:08:50:25 - 00:08:52:04
Mary Daphne
A campsite, the campsite.

00:08:52:04 - 00:09:19:04
Greg
Yeah. You can, you can book these online you can book them over the phone. Often they'll just have space if it's in an off month, right? It's not in the summer. You're going to have to probably book an advance. But other places you can just show up anyway. So you check in. Yep. And then you keep going along the gravel path and you'll start to see little patches of ground bare earth, right where enough space to park a car and set up a tent.

00:09:19:04 - 00:09:19:15
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:09:20:04 - 00:09:24:08
Greg
And so the idea is when you get into your reserve space, it'll have a little sign on it.

00:09:24:08 - 00:09:25:07
Mary Daphne
You're a patch of grass.

00:09:25:07 - 00:09:50:03
Greg
You're patch of grass or dirt. It'll say, you know, like number 23 or, you know, fire log site, right? They'll have little funny little names. Yeah, yeah, the deer site. OK, so you get to your site and that's when you can start to unpack, right? You can set up your tent on the Little Earth patch, try and look for like a nice flat area because you don't want to be sleeping at an angle.

00:09:50:03 - 00:09:51:01
Mary Daphne
Right, right, right.

00:09:52:00 - 00:10:10:16
Greg
And you don't want big roots or rocks under you. And so you set up your tent and then typically they also have a fire pit. Right? And I love fire pits because a fire pit is where you can set up your fire, right? You collect some sticks logs and you build a fire.

00:10:11:08 - 00:10:28:19
Mary Daphne
Right. And what if you don't know how to build a fire? Is there anyone there on the camp site to assist you? Or you would hope that the people that you're with on this camping adventure are hopefully experienced campers that they can help because I know that, you know, how to, you know, build a fire, but start a fire.

00:10:29:02 - 00:10:33:20
Mary Daphne
But I don't know that everyone has that outdoorsy knowledge.

00:10:33:27 - 00:10:44:26
Greg
No, that's that's a good point. In fire is fire safety is very, very important, particularly during the summer when the the the the ground the foliage, the trees are all very dry.

00:10:45:00 - 00:10:45:22
Mary Daphne
Might be hot out.

00:10:45:22 - 00:10:58:08
Greg
Yeah. So knowing how to build a fire is really important. If you've never done it before and you don't have anyone there who has your best bet is to see, you can check with the management to see if there's a ranger who can help build one for you.

00:10:58:08 - 00:11:24:11
Mary Daphne
Right. So I'm a park ranger in the US. We have people who are it's a profession, a profession to be a park ranger. They will Greg could probably speak to it. There are people who are part of the campsite or the preserve or the park, the national park, for example. And they are there to help you if you need something.

00:11:24:22 - 00:11:32:17
Mary Daphne
They are well versed in how to build a fire doing, you know, any sort of giving any assistance to campers is.

00:11:32:21 - 00:11:33:29
Greg
Outdoor safety in general.

00:11:33:29 - 00:11:34:23
Mary Daphne
Exactly.

00:11:34:26 - 00:11:53:19
Greg
They are. They're very experienced and they're super handy to have around, but they're not always there. Right. You can also go on to YouTube, right? And look up some tutorials on how to do it. But the key here is if you can make the four the first fire you make, you want to make it small, you want to make sure there's no flammable stuff in the area.

00:11:53:19 - 00:12:11:06
Greg
Right? Right. So you have your fire pit. There should be a ring of rocks around it to contain the fire and then pass that ring of rocks. You want to make sure there's at least ten feet of bare earth space. Right. And you also want to make sure above you there aren't any trees hanging over. Oh, right. Because sometimes the fire gets hot.

00:12:11:12 - 00:12:14:07
Greg
It can light the leaves of the trees hanging above.

00:12:14:07 - 00:12:15:04
Mary Daphne
Oh, my goodness.

00:12:15:04 - 00:12:27:24
Greg
So you have to just you just want a lot of space and start small. And once you get the hang of it, you know, after a few fires, you start to sort of get a sense of, you know, what's what's safe and what's appropriate can scale it up.

00:12:28:02 - 00:12:35:00
Mary Daphne
Right. And then what about food? What do you people do about food? Because you said to bring your food. Yes. Let's talk about that for a moment.

00:12:35:09 - 00:12:55:06
Greg
You do have to bring food, but before we even touch on food, the more important thing to bring is water. Right? Because we can go days, weeks, even months without food. We can only go a couple of days, a matter of hours without water. Before we die. Yeah, right. So water is the most important thing to do.

00:12:55:06 - 00:13:16:02
Mary Daphne
And water is also really heavy. I don't know about you, but I mean, when we've gone on hikes, I remember just sometimes I'd bring like three liters of water, and that was pretty heavy. And, you know, and I'd carry it on my person, and I'd just be drinking the water throughout the day with the CamelBak, which is this container of water, which is basically like a silicone bag.

00:13:16:02 - 00:13:16:13
Greg
It's a water.

00:13:16:13 - 00:13:35:04
Mary Daphne
Pouch. A water pouch, and you have a nice long like hose essentially, and you have that connected to your backpack, and you don't even have to stop, open your bag, take out your water bottle, remove the other things that are in the way of your water. Bottle. You just simply take the spigot out and drink from the first drink from the hose.

00:13:35:04 - 00:13:36:18
Mary Daphne
And it's like really handy.

00:13:36:19 - 00:13:53:28
Greg
Yeah. So yeah, you need to bring water and bring way more water than you think. You need just tons of water for each person you should have. I mean, I'd have to look up what the number is. I generally always have a sense how much I'm going to drink. Yeah, but you want a good amount, right? Like they have this five liter containers.

00:13:53:28 - 00:13:56:28
Mary Daphne
Gallon for each person. Yeah, I would imagine at least.

00:13:56:28 - 00:13:59:23
Greg
Yeah, I would say really like one of those guys liters per day.

00:13:59:23 - 00:14:00:19
Mary Daphne
Per day? Yeah.

00:14:00:19 - 00:14:14:01
Greg
Yeah. At least 15 liter jug per person. Yeah. And you can also look at your campsite. Is it close to water? Like a stream or a lake? If so, then you can get more water from the stream or lake.

00:14:14:02 - 00:14:23:27
Mary Daphne
But you have to make sure it's drinking water like drinkable or potable water because otherwise you just don't know the safety. Yes, water. And that's very important.

00:14:23:27 - 00:14:28:06
Greg
It never you should assume always, no matter where you are, that the water is actually not safe. Yeah.

00:14:28:21 - 00:14:29:21
Mary Daphne
Unless there's a sign.

00:14:30:00 - 00:14:30:29
Greg
Even if there's a sign.

00:14:31:01 - 00:14:31:18
Mary Daphne
Really? Yeah.

00:14:31:18 - 00:14:47:01
Greg
I mean, unless it's coming out of a pipe that says drinking water. Right. But if this you know, if they say, oh, this stream is safe to drink from or you don't know right. You don't know if there is a dead animal upstream or. Yeah, a beaver with giardia. Right. There can be all kinds of microbes in there that can't be controlled for sure.

00:14:47:01 - 00:14:54:29
Greg
And so it's always best practice if you're getting water from nature to bring some iodine or the easiest little iodine tablets, you can easily buy them.

00:14:55:02 - 00:14:56:09
Mary Daphne
Right. And so what does that do?

00:14:56:13 - 00:15:02:19
Greg
And the iodine just kills all the microbes, right? So you just drop a tablet into your water, let it sit for 30 minutes and then you can drink it.

00:15:02:25 - 00:15:04:27
Mary Daphne
Does it taste like water? Does it taste like it's.

00:15:05:14 - 00:15:10:26
Greg
A little so free? Like almost. Yeah. Like if you the smell of boiled eggs, if you had that in water.

00:15:10:26 - 00:15:11:23
Mary Daphne
Oh, sure. A little like.

00:15:11:23 - 00:15:16:14
Greg
That. And it can stain things, so be careful. But look, if you need to drink water.

00:15:16:15 - 00:15:17:25
Mary Daphne
You need water, you need water.

00:15:18:01 - 00:15:26:17
Greg
You can also get pumps which are a little heavier and that's probably recommended if you have a car because the weight doesn't matter as much. So you bring a pump and then you can just pump the water and you don't need to use.

00:15:26:17 - 00:15:28:02
Mary Daphne
Chemicals, right? That's good.

00:15:31:13 - 00:15:35:24
Mary Daphne
Now we can get to the food now.

00:15:35:24 - 00:15:55:11
Greg
We talked about this. Yeah. So keep in mind, a lot of the food that you make while you're camping also requires water, typically purified water. And so you have to factor in that with your water equation. But in terms of food, I mean, the sky's really the limit, right? In terms of how complicated you want to get, just remember, you don't have a kitchen, right?

00:15:55:11 - 00:16:11:26
Greg
So at best, you're going to have a table that you can lay out with some basic cutlery, but you're not going to have a sink. You're not going to have a dishwasher. You know, you're not going to have all your pots and pans. So you want to be strategic about what you're cooking. You want stuff that's relatively easy to put together.

00:16:12:05 - 00:16:16:00
Greg
It doesn't require too much, you know, complex machinery.

00:16:16:10 - 00:16:16:23
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:16:17:16 - 00:16:40:06
Greg
Things I love to do right. Rice based stuff. It's very easy to boil rice, beans, refried beans, very easy to do, you know, stuff that's that's dense and caloric and that you can add stuff easily, too. So couscous is another one. Yeah. And then things like cheese that you can toss into this right block bricks. A cheese salami.

00:16:40:07 - 00:16:45:18
Greg
Yes. Right. These are all things that are easy to transport. Peanut butter works very well. Camping.

00:16:45:18 - 00:16:46:09
Mary Daphne
Peanut butter is always.

00:16:46:09 - 00:16:47:00
Greg
A good one. Yeah.

00:16:47:11 - 00:17:16:10
Mary Daphne
We also have things like trail mix, which is I don't know that I seen it really outside of the US, to be honest, but it's a wonderful thing. A lot of people use it when they're on hikes or camping or even just as a snack food. It's essentially a variety, a medley of nuts and maybe even some dried fruit and their different assortment so you can get one that has like pumpkin seeds and dates and figs and things like that, or you can, you know, make your own sunflower seeds.

00:17:16:18 - 00:17:38:12
Mary Daphne
I mean, the sky's the limit with that too, because you can just pick and choose your favorite seeds and nuts and dried fruits. And those, like you said, are calorically dense. But, you know, you could carry a big bag with you and only a handful would help you sort of like, I don't know, get through that meal. Or if you need some sustenance yeah.

00:17:38:12 - 00:17:48:27
Greg
It keeps your energy levels very, very level. Yet nuts, nuts and seeds are probably the best thing that you can bring. Yeah. Alongside again, I think salami works really well. Yeah.

00:17:49:14 - 00:17:51:10
Mary Daphne
If cheese like you said, cheese.

00:17:51:17 - 00:17:55:15
Greg
Union with cheeses after they can start to get like a little sweaty, you know?

00:17:55:15 - 00:17:55:27
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:17:56:02 - 00:17:57:12
Greg
And funky.

00:17:57:13 - 00:17:57:26
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:17:57:26 - 00:18:01:18
Greg
So make sure if you can bring cheese, eat that sooner rather than later.

00:18:01:27 - 00:18:15:25
Mary Daphne
And then what about making sure the animals don't like not attracting the attention in one too? You don't want animals near you. And I'm talking about like bears and maybe wolves and things like that.

00:18:16:03 - 00:18:32:26
Greg
You're not going to see any wolves. You're not principles, but depending where you go, you may see bears. Bears and bears don't like to interact with people, but they do really like to eat food and so and they have good noses. Yeah. And they also know that camping sites have food.

00:18:32:26 - 00:18:35:03
Mary Daphne
Typically they associate one with the other.

00:18:35:03 - 00:18:35:29
Greg
Yeah, exactly.

00:18:35:29 - 00:18:38:14
Mary Daphne
Wherever they're humans, there's bound to be food.

00:18:38:21 - 00:18:53:12
Greg
Exactly. You've probably seen, you know, videos of bears breaking into trash cans and stuff. They're pretty nosy when it gets to food. Yeah. So, yeah, you need to be. But the bears are actually aren't even your biggest problem. Your biggest problem is going to be squirrels and chipmunks.

00:18:53:12 - 00:18:53:25
Mary Daphne
Right?

00:18:53:26 - 00:19:09:27
Greg
Right. These little rodents that can get everywhere and they can bite three things and you don't even notice them because they're so small and quiet. So those are going to be a real problem. So the key here is that you want to keep your food always in a tight container, write something hard and seal.

00:19:09:27 - 00:19:10:18
Mary Daphne
That you can seal.

00:19:10:18 - 00:19:12:20
Greg
You literally have things called bear containers.

00:19:12:21 - 00:19:13:12
Mary Daphne
Oh, wow. Right.

00:19:13:15 - 00:19:35:06
Greg
I was like, is this plastic polyurethane containers are basically indestructible and you put your stuff in and seal it and then, you know, nothing can get in. Wow. Some a lot of campsites actually have bare containers built into the campsite. That's you're more like big chests, OK? And you can just put everything in there and lock it up.

00:19:35:07 - 00:19:59:19
Greg
That's good. And those are really good and then if you don't have either of those, you want to go light, you can use what are called bear bags, OK? And bear bags are a soft bag that you stuff all your stuff in, right? You can even use like a sleeping bag, stuffed sack. I mean, put all your stuff in and then you tied to a long piece of rope and you launch the end of the rope over a tall branch on a tree, right.

00:19:59:19 - 00:20:11:14
Greg
That pokes way out and then you can lift the bag up, right? And you basically have the bag dangling in the air. Right. It can't be too close to the branch, though, because you don't want squirrels be able to jump down to it.

00:20:11:14 - 00:20:12:01
Mary Daphne
That's right.

00:20:12:01 - 00:20:26:18
Greg
And obviously you can't be too close to the ground cause you don't want a bear reach up and swipe it. So you need something that's probably at least 20 feet high. And then you pull it up like 12 or 15 feet just so that you have enough space to clear all those those threats and that's a bear bag.

00:20:26:19 - 00:20:30:08
Mary Daphne
Amazing. Yeah. So how long have you been camping?

00:20:30:29 - 00:20:57:06
Greg
Well, lately I haven't been doing much camping at all. I miss it. But when I was younger, I would camp multiple times a year. Well, and during summers, I would camp most of the summer. Yeah, a few friends and I would just, you know, go out. We would go with groups, with trips through organizations and by ourselves. And I even have a friend who hiked the entire Appalachian Trail.

00:20:57:06 - 00:21:18:28
Greg
So he camped for in the woods for nearly four months straight, actually, probably over four months straight. Yeah. Hiking over 2500 miles. A huge, huge distance all the way from Bangor. Or is it? I think it's Bangor, Maine. Up in Maine. All the way down to Georgia, right? Yeah.

00:21:19:06 - 00:21:41:17
Mary Daphne
So would you say that camping is something that Americans typically like to do? I mean, of course, we're making a sweeping generalization either way, whether they Americans like camping or don't like camping. What would you say typically speaking in terms of American's relationship to camping? Is it something that.

00:21:42:02 - 00:21:43:11
Greg
I think it's very positive.

00:21:43:11 - 00:21:43:22
Mary Daphne
Yeah.

00:21:43:26 - 00:21:49:20
Greg
Yeah, Americans and I think in general, it's not just America. Yeah. It's really around the world.

00:21:49:20 - 00:21:50:11
Mary Daphne
Around the world.

00:21:50:25 - 00:21:56:25
Greg
There's something about camping that's very it feels like it's bringing you back to your humanistic roots, right? Yeah.

00:21:56:25 - 00:22:16:28
Mary Daphne
And I would say in my experience, I mean, mostly hiking, but there's very much of an overlap there. Just the difference being that you you'd go home or you'd stay maybe in a log cabin or a hotel or a friend's place. If you know, you're with friends, that you are just it's so therapeutic. Yeah.

00:22:17:06 - 00:22:37:05
Greg
Yeah, yeah. And what I find, you know, talking about the American population broadly, you will find that there's a part of the population that's very outdoorsy. Yes. You know, some of the most aggressive and talented outdoorsmen in the world are Americans yeah. And then you have a much bigger group of just campers, right? If you go camping in the US.

00:22:37:05 - 00:22:51:06
Greg
Yeah, you're very likely to encounter other campers, right? Because there's a lot of them. But as a percentage of the population, yeah, it's probably still not that big. Right. People who camp in general, I would guess, make up maybe 40% of the total population.

00:22:51:06 - 00:23:21:16
Mary Daphne
I would say so, too. I was going to say maybe 5050. I mean, I'm, I'm someone who loves being outdoors, but I'm not much of a camper, right? You know, I grew up in cities, have been in cities most of my life thus far. And so the opportunity to camp is not really that, you know, of parents abundance, but you know, I feel like the friends that I have, for example, in Colorado every weekend, they're doing the car camping and now they have a baby and they're taking their baby car camping.

00:23:21:16 - 00:23:37:23
Mary Daphne
So really, I think is very much also state dependent. You know, if you're in a state such as Colorado with beautiful outdoors that you people really take advantage of, then people are going to probably be camping as one of the outdoor activities that they do.

00:23:37:24 - 00:23:50:19
Greg
Yeah, I would even say it's city dependent, right? Because within a state even New York has phenomenal camping. Like New York City. Obviously, it's hard to get to camping. You have to get on a train or do a long drive. But if you live in the upstate New York.

00:23:50:19 - 00:23:51:07
Mary Daphne
Right, right.

00:23:51:08 - 00:24:02:03
Greg
Right. There's it's useful. And that's actually where I learned to camp. Yeah. So, yeah, it really does. I agree. It has to do with the proximity of your home to great camping in the area right.

00:24:05:21 - 00:24:29:00
Mary Daphne
So we talked a lot about what equipment to bring when you're camping, what do you suggest to anyone out there who wants to start camping or has an interest in camping? What are some of the first things that they can do to be able to go camping? What would you say?

00:24:29:11 - 00:24:46:26
Greg
Yeah, the first thing I would do is make sure to find a friend who has gone camping right the best thing to do is to go with someone who knows and loves camping because they'll just make it so much easier for you. They'll show you, you know, all the things to look out for, and it'll just be a much more relaxed experience.

00:24:47:08 - 00:25:05:23
Greg
But if you're really brave and you don't know anyone who likes to camp, I would say going on to YouTube and just, you know, searching something like camping for the first time. Yeah, right. Watch a few different videos, see what people have to say about it and start to put together a gear list of the things you're going to need.

00:25:06:18 - 00:25:26:21
Greg
Do some planning around looking around your area. Where is the closest camping site to you? And I would start with like a car camping or a campsite that's very close to civilization, just so that if something goes wrong, it's very easy for you to get help, start simple, start small, just do one night, try to do it with some friends.

00:25:26:21 - 00:25:51:05
Greg
In fact, if it's your first time, I would insist you do it with at least one other person. It's just good to have more than one person there for safety reasons. And yeah, have fun. That's the most important thing. You know, be prepared to to have be prepared for it to be a challenge. Right? It's a lot about mindset, having an open mind, embracing the unexpected things that will happen.

00:25:51:05 - 00:26:14:20
Greg
It'll probably rain on you. You're probably, you know, going to have an animal who takes some of your food. You know, you're probably going to get dirty. Just expect all these things and you probably it's going to be uncomfortable for the first time when you're sleeping. So just expecting the unexpected, you know, getting in that mindset of no matter how challenging this is, I'm going to have fun and learn from it.

00:26:14:28 - 00:26:18:00
Greg
If you go with that mindset, I think you're in great shape.

00:26:18:15 - 00:26:53:13
Mary Daphne
I would totally agree with all of that. Especially as someone who has been on a couple of camping trips, but not really not nearly as many as you. And there have been sort of more of like a day type to daytime camping. I would also say maybe start with hiking where you're kind of having a similar experience. But like I said before, you go home or you just stay in a bed or a log cabin, something like that, you're not necessarily staying in a tent or a sleeping bag to sort of acclimate to this idea of being outdoors for several hours and really enjoying it.

00:26:55:01 - 00:26:56:12
Mary Daphne
I think that would be also a good way.

00:26:56:12 - 00:27:13:21
Greg
Yeah, that's a great point. Even before you get to staying the night, just get comfortable being in nature, right? Yeah. Just spend the day, you know, just spend some time learning, getting comfortable in the forest and not having your phone handy. Things like that. Yeah, that's a great way to get get started.

00:27:13:21 - 00:27:23:06
Mary Daphne
And then my last question is, what would you say is one of the biggest lessons you've learned from camping?

00:27:24:22 - 00:27:35:28
Greg
Biggest lessons? I mean, the lesson that I learned every time and it never gets old is that, you know, you like I am not the center of the world. Right.

00:27:36:01 - 00:27:36:12
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:27:36:14 - 00:28:07:17
Greg
It's very easy when we're in the city and in our jobs to just only be thinking about ourselves and everything that's going wrong, everything that's going right, all our ambitions and aspirations, blah, blah, blah. When you get out into the woods, you sort of dissolve the sense of self dissolves into this bigger tapestry of nature. And that's such an important lesson and that's part of what makes it so comforting because your sense of stress and anxiety melts away.

00:28:07:17 - 00:28:16:10
Greg
Right? Right. Because you individually don't really matter. It's you start to realize, like, nature is so much bigger than just you. You're just a tiny speck.

00:28:16:10 - 00:28:17:00
Mary Daphne
Nothing matters.

00:28:17:00 - 00:28:30:06
Greg
Nothing that once it's a mindset, right? Yeah. This is this is like I don't know if it's a Buddhist mindset, but a lot of religions actually get to this, right? There's something other than you dissolving that's much bigger, right?

00:28:30:07 - 00:28:30:22
Mary Daphne
Yeah, for sure.

00:28:30:22 - 00:28:34:03
Greg
But yes, obviously, you know, you have priorities.

00:28:34:05 - 00:28:34:21
Mary Daphne
Right? Right.

00:28:34:21 - 00:28:42:21
Greg
You know, obligations and so forth. But you can suspend all that and end of it. None of it really matters at that moment.

00:28:42:21 - 00:28:43:20
Mary Daphne
Yeah, it's about that.

00:28:43:20 - 00:28:44:04
Greg
Moment.

00:28:44:04 - 00:28:44:21
Mary Daphne
At that moment.

00:28:44:21 - 00:28:46:04
Greg
Being free from care.

00:28:46:05 - 00:28:46:17
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:28:47:01 - 00:28:51:07
Greg
And it's very hard to experience that in the modern urban world.

00:28:51:08 - 00:28:51:19
Mary Daphne
Right?

00:28:51:20 - 00:28:59:22
Greg
It's very easy to experience that in nature. And I think it's a great lesson that I encourage everyone to expose themselves to at least once.

00:29:00:03 - 00:29:21:08
Mary Daphne
I would agree with that. And that also, you know, it kind of has you change your perspective on things. For example, if it's a problem that you might be dealing with at work or at school, you know, you shift focus for a moment, you get some more perspective. You you get that bird's eye view simply because you might not just be ruminating over it all day.

00:29:21:15 - 00:29:42:08
Mary Daphne
And also you're surrounded by the beauty that is our world. And you also might be with people who really lift your spirits as well. So that combination of being in nature and with people that you enjoy, whose company you enjoy can really get you out of a mood that you might be in and and then I would also say the resilience.

00:29:42:14 - 00:29:45:22
Mary Daphne
Yeah, right. Just finding a way to overcome.

00:29:46:01 - 00:29:50:21
Greg
Yeah. And learning how to be adaptable and flexible and resourceful.

00:29:51:25 - 00:29:57:20
Mary Daphne
So that was really fun. Learning all about camping. Yeah. You shared a lot of amazing.

00:29:57:20 - 00:29:58:12
Greg
I could talk all day.

00:29:58:22 - 00:30:04:19
Mary Daphne
Yeah. I mean, it really sounds like it. So hopefully you get to go on a nice camping adventure soon.

00:30:04:25 - 00:30:06:07
Greg
Hopefully. Yeah. Huh?

00:30:06:17 - 00:30:18:20
Mary Daphne
Yeah, maybe I think that'll be interesting. Yeah. And, you know, I think it's like what you said, the baby steps, right? If you want to try something, you try it with keeping those steps. And you do it progressively.

00:30:18:24 - 00:30:19:26
Greg
Yeah. Yeah.

00:30:20:11 - 00:30:47:06
Mary Daphne
So. All right, well, we hope you enjoyed this conversation. If you have experience camping, let us know in the comments down below. And also, if you're interested in camping, let us know what steps you're going to take to get yourself into the mindset of forest bathing, being in nature, having that therapeutic experience of just surrounding yourself and immersing yourself in nature.

00:30:48:01 - 00:30:48:09
Greg
Yeah.

00:30:48:24 - 00:30:57:19
Mary Daphne
Awesome. All right, so we'll see you in the next Advanced English lesson where we're going to continue advancing your English together. Until then, keep up the awesome work and we will for you very soon.

back to this advanced English conversation between Greg and myself. Mary Daphne. It's so wonderful. That you're joining us for this conversation. The idea behind this is to give you some opportunity to hear two native English speakers have a regular conversation again, this is unscripted. This is the beauty of the ebb and flow of conversation. So we're going to let it take us where it may and right off the bat, I'll tell you today's subject and Greg, we'll hear it as well.

00:00:35:21 - 00:00:39:02
Mary Daphne
We're going to be talking about dance and drum roll.

00:00:39:21 - 00:00:43:05
Greg
Camping oh, yes. I love camping.

00:00:43:24 - 00:00:53:06
Mary Daphne
Awesome. So we're going to be right back. And we're going to jump into this conversation

00:01:00:10 - 00:01:06:05
Mary Daphne
OK, Greg. So I want to hear from you. Why do you love camping so much?

00:01:06:27 - 00:01:14:28
Greg
Well, first of all, I think we should differentiate between camping and backpacking.

00:01:14:29 - 00:01:15:22
Mary Daphne
Oh, OK.

00:01:15:28 - 00:01:37:05
Greg
Right. So camping is sort of a catchall for going out into nature, right? And spending the night or multiple nights. Now, the question is, are you going out in a car with all your equipment in the car and then you park the car and set up your tent next to the car. And so you're still in nature, right?

00:01:37:05 - 00:02:01:07
Greg
You're at a campsite, but everything's sort of there with you. Where do you put all your tents, sleeping bag, all your equipment on your back and you hike with it? Right. And that's backpacking. And so when you're going backpacking, you're camping, but you're doing it, you know, carrying all your own stuff and going out further into nature. So regardless of those two.

00:02:01:07 - 00:02:08:24
Greg
Yeah, what I love about camping in general and I think you can say camping as a catchall to include both of those.

00:02:08:24 - 00:02:09:04
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:02:09:24 - 00:02:42:11
Greg
But I wanted to make that distinction right off the bat. The reason I love it is that I just love spending time in nature. Right? I find it very soothing, very peaceful. Very fulfilling. Right. You know, we are always surrounded by electronics and buzzing and beeping and honking. So when you get out into the woods into nature, it just feels like you you're being washed in this sort of relaxing, soothing vibe.

00:02:43:02 - 00:02:46:21
Greg
That's very hard to get when you're stuck in urban life.

00:02:47:12 - 00:03:16:24
Mary Daphne
And the concept of forest bathing is something that pops up a lot I think nowadays with this understanding of the importance of wellness and how there are a lot of things that we can be doing, even if we live in a city that might be good for us, for our health. And so for us, bathing is one of those things, and especially with something like camping or backpacking typically the surroundings are the woods or the forest.

00:03:17:22 - 00:03:40:22
Greg
Definitely. Yeah, no, forest bathing is such a cool term. I think it perfectly encapsulates what I love about camping. Right, right. It is like you're bathing in nature the same way. I know you might think about taking an Epsom salt bath, right? That's, you know, you have the warm round of water around you and the mineral soaking in your skin.

00:03:40:22 - 00:04:00:26
Greg
That feels great. The same kind of thing happens being in nature and hearing nature sounds and a lot of cultures. I know the Japanese and a lot of the Nordic cultures really take forest bathing very seriously in the Scandinavians because it is so cathartic, it's so salubrious.

00:04:01:19 - 00:04:28:13
Mary Daphne
And it's not necessarily that you're bathing as in submerging yourself in water like you could in a bath though you could. But it's what Greg said, where you're really just surrounding yourself in nature. So all of nature's, you know, abundance of trees and plants and just verdant surroundings is a bathtub. You can think of it in that way.

00:04:28:16 - 00:04:34:10
Mary Daphne
Yeah, but it's really this term that we have where you're completely surrounded by nature and.

00:04:34:10 - 00:05:01:18
Greg
Immersed, right? We use these terms are often liquid related terms, right? So into immerse yourself in nature. Right. The most strict sense of immersion is to dip something into a liquid, right? So you immerse something in water I'm here immersing ourselves in nature. So it's it's a sort of metaphorical description of what's happening. But yeah, I really do think of it as like bathing the brain, right?

00:05:02:03 - 00:05:13:20
Greg
You're bathing the brain with nature. So it's these sort of water terms where you're really just surrounding yourself and soaking yourself in it and it's just yeah, it's a great experience.

00:05:13:25 - 00:05:31:28
Mary Daphne
That's right. And so let's talk about camping. The first distinction that we made in the beginning so camping, what would that typically entail? Could you just walk us through a typical camping experience for those of us who might not be experienced campers like myself?

00:05:32:06 - 00:05:56:15
Greg
Yeah, that's that's a great question. And it is important if you want to go camping for the first time, you want to do it in baby steps, right? Your first camping experience probably shouldn't be trying to summit Everest, right? You're probably better off starting with the traditional what we call car camping, right? So a car camping is when you get all your equipment and your food and you pack it into a car.

00:05:56:15 - 00:06:15:13
Greg
So you have a lot of space because you have the trunk of your car. You can also pack a lot of heavier stuff, right? Like heavier types of foods and fuels and so forth. So what are you going to pack? Right. You're going to want a tent. You need something over your head, right? When you're going to sleep.

00:06:15:19 - 00:06:38:11
Greg
That's right. You're going to want a sleeping bag. To keep you warm, right? Sleeping bag is, you know, replacing covers, right? So you get into a sleeping bag. It's like a warm cocoon and surrounds you. And it's deceiving because most people think, oh, it's summer, it's going to be hot. But most people haven't ever slept outside. And what you realize is it's a lot colder outside than it is in your house.

00:06:38:11 - 00:06:55:19
Greg
Even if you aren't turning on the heat because your house, you know, insulates and holds heat throughout the night. Whereas a tent or if you're sleeping right under the stars, there's nothing between you and the sky. And so it can get pretty chilly pretty quickly. So make sure to bring a warm sleeping bag warmer than you think you might need.

00:06:55:21 - 00:07:01:22
Mary Daphne
Right

00:07:02:21 - 00:07:23:05
Greg
And then you also need the basics in terms of protective clothing. Right? It could rain. So you want to have a rain jacket. It again could get chilly. So make sure that even if it's summer, bring some sort of pants. So when you're there at camp, you know your legs are warm and if there's bugs, your legs are covered.

00:07:23:05 - 00:07:35:24
Mary Daphne
I was going to say bug bug protection. That's a big issue because it might not be something you think about for the warmer temperatures or cooler temperatures, but the bug situation. Oh, yeah, crazy sometimes.

00:07:36:06 - 00:07:55:02
Greg
And then you have wool socks. You should always have wool socks to keep your feet warm and again, to protect yourself from bugs. Right. And if you are planning to do some hiking, I always recommend that you take two pairs of shoes, one of your hiking shoes that you go out and do a hike, even if it's a short hike around the area and then you have some camp sandals.

00:07:55:06 - 00:08:03:13
Greg
Oh, write something easiest slip on something where your feet can breathe and it's more comfortable and you can wear those around camp with your wool socks.

00:08:03:13 - 00:08:17:15
Mary Daphne
Right. So in terms of camp, how do we define camp? Is camp a a place that we go to? Is it a place where we set up our own tent? What kind of situation are we looking at in terms of the sleeping arrangements?

00:08:17:22 - 00:08:38:02
Greg
Yeah, sure. So, OK, yeah, let's let's step back a little bit. When you go to a car camping site, yeah. You typically these camping sites are going to be either in a field, right, in a big open grassy field or they could be set inside the woods and so you'll have like a gravel path that you drive in, right?

00:08:38:02 - 00:08:50:25
Greg
You'll get off the highway and drive on to my things and you'll have a gravel path that you'll drive along. Yeah. And then along the gravel path, well, first you'll check in, right? And you register and you say, here's, you know, our reservation. So this is.

00:08:50:25 - 00:08:52:04
Mary Daphne
A campsite, the campsite.

00:08:52:04 - 00:09:19:04
Greg
Yeah. You can, you can book these online you can book them over the phone. Often they'll just have space if it's in an off month, right? It's not in the summer. You're going to have to probably book an advance. But other places you can just show up anyway. So you check in. Yep. And then you keep going along the gravel path and you'll start to see little patches of ground bare earth, right where enough space to park a car and set up a tent.

00:09:19:04 - 00:09:19:15
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:09:20:04 - 00:09:24:08
Greg
And so the idea is when you get into your reserve space, it'll have a little sign on it.

00:09:24:08 - 00:09:25:07
Mary Daphne
You're a patch of grass.

00:09:25:07 - 00:09:50:03
Greg
You're patch of grass or dirt. It'll say, you know, like number 23 or, you know, fire log site, right? They'll have little funny little names. Yeah, yeah, the deer site. OK, so you get to your site and that's when you can start to unpack, right? You can set up your tent on the Little Earth patch, try and look for like a nice flat area because you don't want to be sleeping at an angle.

00:09:50:03 - 00:09:51:01
Mary Daphne
Right, right, right.

00:09:52:00 - 00:10:10:16
Greg
And you don't want big roots or rocks under you. And so you set up your tent and then typically they also have a fire pit. Right? And I love fire pits because a fire pit is where you can set up your fire, right? You collect some sticks logs and you build a fire.

00:10:11:08 - 00:10:28:19
Mary Daphne
Right. And what if you don't know how to build a fire? Is there anyone there on the camp site to assist you? Or you would hope that the people that you're with on this camping adventure are hopefully experienced campers that they can help because I know that, you know, how to, you know, build a fire, but start a fire.

00:10:29:02 - 00:10:33:20
Mary Daphne
But I don't know that everyone has that outdoorsy knowledge.

00:10:33:27 - 00:10:44:26
Greg
No, that's that's a good point. In fire is fire safety is very, very important, particularly during the summer when the the the the ground the foliage, the trees are all very dry.

00:10:45:00 - 00:10:45:22
Mary Daphne
Might be hot out.

00:10:45:22 - 00:10:58:08
Greg
Yeah. So knowing how to build a fire is really important. If you've never done it before and you don't have anyone there who has your best bet is to see, you can check with the management to see if there's a ranger who can help build one for you.

00:10:58:08 - 00:11:24:11
Mary Daphne
Right. So I'm a park ranger in the US. We have people who are it's a profession, a profession to be a park ranger. They will Greg could probably speak to it. There are people who are part of the campsite or the preserve or the park, the national park, for example. And they are there to help you if you need something.

00:11:24:22 - 00:11:32:17
Mary Daphne
They are well versed in how to build a fire doing, you know, any sort of giving any assistance to campers is.

00:11:32:21 - 00:11:33:29
Greg
Outdoor safety in general.

00:11:33:29 - 00:11:34:23
Mary Daphne
Exactly.

00:11:34:26 - 00:11:53:19
Greg
They are. They're very experienced and they're super handy to have around, but they're not always there. Right. You can also go on to YouTube, right? And look up some tutorials on how to do it. But the key here is if you can make the four the first fire you make, you want to make it small, you want to make sure there's no flammable stuff in the area.

00:11:53:19 - 00:12:11:06
Greg
Right? Right. So you have your fire pit. There should be a ring of rocks around it to contain the fire and then pass that ring of rocks. You want to make sure there's at least ten feet of bare earth space. Right. And you also want to make sure above you there aren't any trees hanging over. Oh, right. Because sometimes the fire gets hot.

00:12:11:12 - 00:12:14:07
Greg
It can light the leaves of the trees hanging above.

00:12:14:07 - 00:12:15:04
Mary Daphne
Oh, my goodness.

00:12:15:04 - 00:12:27:24
Greg
So you have to just you just want a lot of space and start small. And once you get the hang of it, you know, after a few fires, you start to sort of get a sense of, you know, what's what's safe and what's appropriate can scale it up.

00:12:28:02 - 00:12:35:00
Mary Daphne
Right. And then what about food? What do you people do about food? Because you said to bring your food. Yes. Let's talk about that for a moment.

00:12:35:09 - 00:12:55:06
Greg
You do have to bring food, but before we even touch on food, the more important thing to bring is water. Right? Because we can go days, weeks, even months without food. We can only go a couple of days, a matter of hours without water. Before we die. Yeah, right. So water is the most important thing to do.

00:12:55:06 - 00:13:16:02
Mary Daphne
And water is also really heavy. I don't know about you, but I mean, when we've gone on hikes, I remember just sometimes I'd bring like three liters of water, and that was pretty heavy. And, you know, and I'd carry it on my person, and I'd just be drinking the water throughout the day with the CamelBak, which is this container of water, which is basically like a silicone bag.

00:13:16:02 - 00:13:16:13
Greg
It's a water.

00:13:16:13 - 00:13:35:04
Mary Daphne
Pouch. A water pouch, and you have a nice long like hose essentially, and you have that connected to your backpack, and you don't even have to stop, open your bag, take out your water bottle, remove the other things that are in the way of your water. Bottle. You just simply take the spigot out and drink from the first drink from the hose.

00:13:35:04 - 00:13:36:18
Mary Daphne
And it's like really handy.

00:13:36:19 - 00:13:53:28
Greg
Yeah. So yeah, you need to bring water and bring way more water than you think. You need just tons of water for each person you should have. I mean, I'd have to look up what the number is. I generally always have a sense how much I'm going to drink. Yeah, but you want a good amount, right? Like they have this five liter containers.

00:13:53:28 - 00:13:56:28
Mary Daphne
Gallon for each person. Yeah, I would imagine at least.

00:13:56:28 - 00:13:59:23
Greg
Yeah, I would say really like one of those guys liters per day.

00:13:59:23 - 00:14:00:19
Mary Daphne
Per day? Yeah.

00:14:00:19 - 00:14:14:01
Greg
Yeah. At least 15 liter jug per person. Yeah. And you can also look at your campsite. Is it close to water? Like a stream or a lake? If so, then you can get more water from the stream or lake.

00:14:14:02 - 00:14:23:27
Mary Daphne
But you have to make sure it's drinking water like drinkable or potable water because otherwise you just don't know the safety. Yes, water. And that's very important.

00:14:23:27 - 00:14:28:06
Greg
It never you should assume always, no matter where you are, that the water is actually not safe. Yeah.

00:14:28:21 - 00:14:29:21
Mary Daphne
Unless there's a sign.

00:14:30:00 - 00:14:30:29
Greg
Even if there's a sign.

00:14:31:01 - 00:14:31:18
Mary Daphne
Really? Yeah.

00:14:31:18 - 00:14:47:01
Greg
I mean, unless it's coming out of a pipe that says drinking water. Right. But if this you know, if they say, oh, this stream is safe to drink from or you don't know right. You don't know if there is a dead animal upstream or. Yeah, a beaver with giardia. Right. There can be all kinds of microbes in there that can't be controlled for sure.

00:14:47:01 - 00:14:54:29
Greg
And so it's always best practice if you're getting water from nature to bring some iodine or the easiest little iodine tablets, you can easily buy them.

00:14:55:02 - 00:14:56:09
Mary Daphne
Right. And so what does that do?

00:14:56:13 - 00:15:02:19
Greg
And the iodine just kills all the microbes, right? So you just drop a tablet into your water, let it sit for 30 minutes and then you can drink it.

00:15:02:25 - 00:15:04:27
Mary Daphne
Does it taste like water? Does it taste like it's.

00:15:05:14 - 00:15:10:26
Greg
A little so free? Like almost. Yeah. Like if you the smell of boiled eggs, if you had that in water.

00:15:10:26 - 00:15:11:23
Mary Daphne
Oh, sure. A little like.

00:15:11:23 - 00:15:16:14
Greg
That. And it can stain things, so be careful. But look, if you need to drink water.

00:15:16:15 - 00:15:17:25
Mary Daphne
You need water, you need water.

00:15:18:01 - 00:15:26:17
Greg
You can also get pumps which are a little heavier and that's probably recommended if you have a car because the weight doesn't matter as much. So you bring a pump and then you can just pump the water and you don't need to use.

00:15:26:17 - 00:15:28:02
Mary Daphne
Chemicals, right? That's good.

00:15:31:13 - 00:15:35:24
Mary Daphne
Now we can get to the food now.

00:15:35:24 - 00:15:55:11
Greg
We talked about this. Yeah. So keep in mind, a lot of the food that you make while you're camping also requires water, typically purified water. And so you have to factor in that with your water equation. But in terms of food, I mean, the sky's really the limit, right? In terms of how complicated you want to get, just remember, you don't have a kitchen, right?

00:15:55:11 - 00:16:11:26
Greg
So at best, you're going to have a table that you can lay out with some basic cutlery, but you're not going to have a sink. You're not going to have a dishwasher. You know, you're not going to have all your pots and pans. So you want to be strategic about what you're cooking. You want stuff that's relatively easy to put together.

00:16:12:05 - 00:16:16:00
Greg
It doesn't require too much, you know, complex machinery.

00:16:16:10 - 00:16:16:23
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:16:17:16 - 00:16:40:06
Greg
Things I love to do right. Rice based stuff. It's very easy to boil rice, beans, refried beans, very easy to do, you know, stuff that's that's dense and caloric and that you can add stuff easily, too. So couscous is another one. Yeah. And then things like cheese that you can toss into this right block bricks. A cheese salami.

00:16:40:07 - 00:16:45:18
Greg
Yes. Right. These are all things that are easy to transport. Peanut butter works very well. Camping.

00:16:45:18 - 00:16:46:09
Mary Daphne
Peanut butter is always.

00:16:46:09 - 00:16:47:00
Greg
A good one. Yeah.

00:16:47:11 - 00:17:16:10
Mary Daphne
We also have things like trail mix, which is I don't know that I seen it really outside of the US, to be honest, but it's a wonderful thing. A lot of people use it when they're on hikes or camping or even just as a snack food. It's essentially a variety, a medley of nuts and maybe even some dried fruit and their different assortment so you can get one that has like pumpkin seeds and dates and figs and things like that, or you can, you know, make your own sunflower seeds.

00:17:16:18 - 00:17:38:12
Mary Daphne
I mean, the sky's the limit with that too, because you can just pick and choose your favorite seeds and nuts and dried fruits. And those, like you said, are calorically dense. But, you know, you could carry a big bag with you and only a handful would help you sort of like, I don't know, get through that meal. Or if you need some sustenance yeah.

00:17:38:12 - 00:17:48:27
Greg
It keeps your energy levels very, very level. Yet nuts, nuts and seeds are probably the best thing that you can bring. Yeah. Alongside again, I think salami works really well. Yeah.

00:17:49:14 - 00:17:51:10
Mary Daphne
If cheese like you said, cheese.

00:17:51:17 - 00:17:55:15
Greg
Union with cheeses after they can start to get like a little sweaty, you know?

00:17:55:15 - 00:17:55:27
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:17:56:02 - 00:17:57:12
Greg
And funky.

00:17:57:13 - 00:17:57:26
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:17:57:26 - 00:18:01:18
Greg
So make sure if you can bring cheese, eat that sooner rather than later.

00:18:01:27 - 00:18:15:25
Mary Daphne
And then what about making sure the animals don't like not attracting the attention in one too? You don't want animals near you. And I'm talking about like bears and maybe wolves and things like that.

00:18:16:03 - 00:18:32:26
Greg
You're not going to see any wolves. You're not principles, but depending where you go, you may see bears. Bears and bears don't like to interact with people, but they do really like to eat food and so and they have good noses. Yeah. And they also know that camping sites have food.

00:18:32:26 - 00:18:35:03
Mary Daphne
Typically they associate one with the other.

00:18:35:03 - 00:18:35:29
Greg
Yeah, exactly.

00:18:35:29 - 00:18:38:14
Mary Daphne
Wherever they're humans, there's bound to be food.

00:18:38:21 - 00:18:53:12
Greg
Exactly. You've probably seen, you know, videos of bears breaking into trash cans and stuff. They're pretty nosy when it gets to food. Yeah. So, yeah, you need to be. But the bears are actually aren't even your biggest problem. Your biggest problem is going to be squirrels and chipmunks.

00:18:53:12 - 00:18:53:25
Mary Daphne
Right?

00:18:53:26 - 00:19:09:27
Greg
Right. These little rodents that can get everywhere and they can bite three things and you don't even notice them because they're so small and quiet. So those are going to be a real problem. So the key here is that you want to keep your food always in a tight container, write something hard and seal.

00:19:09:27 - 00:19:10:18
Mary Daphne
That you can seal.

00:19:10:18 - 00:19:12:20
Greg
You literally have things called bear containers.

00:19:12:21 - 00:19:13:12
Mary Daphne
Oh, wow. Right.

00:19:13:15 - 00:19:35:06
Greg
I was like, is this plastic polyurethane containers are basically indestructible and you put your stuff in and seal it and then, you know, nothing can get in. Wow. Some a lot of campsites actually have bare containers built into the campsite. That's you're more like big chests, OK? And you can just put everything in there and lock it up.

00:19:35:07 - 00:19:59:19
Greg
That's good. And those are really good and then if you don't have either of those, you want to go light, you can use what are called bear bags, OK? And bear bags are a soft bag that you stuff all your stuff in, right? You can even use like a sleeping bag, stuffed sack. I mean, put all your stuff in and then you tied to a long piece of rope and you launch the end of the rope over a tall branch on a tree, right.

00:19:59:19 - 00:20:11:14
Greg
That pokes way out and then you can lift the bag up, right? And you basically have the bag dangling in the air. Right. It can't be too close to the branch, though, because you don't want squirrels be able to jump down to it.

00:20:11:14 - 00:20:12:01
Mary Daphne
That's right.

00:20:12:01 - 00:20:26:18
Greg
And obviously you can't be too close to the ground cause you don't want a bear reach up and swipe it. So you need something that's probably at least 20 feet high. And then you pull it up like 12 or 15 feet just so that you have enough space to clear all those those threats and that's a bear bag.

00:20:26:19 - 00:20:30:08
Mary Daphne
Amazing. Yeah. So how long have you been camping?

00:20:30:29 - 00:20:57:06
Greg
Well, lately I haven't been doing much camping at all. I miss it. But when I was younger, I would camp multiple times a year. Well, and during summers, I would camp most of the summer. Yeah, a few friends and I would just, you know, go out. We would go with groups, with trips through organizations and by ourselves. And I even have a friend who hiked the entire Appalachian Trail.

00:20:57:06 - 00:21:18:28
Greg
So he camped for in the woods for nearly four months straight, actually, probably over four months straight. Yeah. Hiking over 2500 miles. A huge, huge distance all the way from Bangor. Or is it? I think it's Bangor, Maine. Up in Maine. All the way down to Georgia, right? Yeah.

00:21:19:06 - 00:21:41:17
Mary Daphne
So would you say that camping is something that Americans typically like to do? I mean, of course, we're making a sweeping generalization either way, whether they Americans like camping or don't like camping. What would you say typically speaking in terms of American's relationship to camping? Is it something that.

00:21:42:02 - 00:21:43:11
Greg
I think it's very positive.

00:21:43:11 - 00:21:43:22
Mary Daphne
Yeah.

00:21:43:26 - 00:21:49:20
Greg
Yeah, Americans and I think in general, it's not just America. Yeah. It's really around the world.

00:21:49:20 - 00:21:50:11
Mary Daphne
Around the world.

00:21:50:25 - 00:21:56:25
Greg
There's something about camping that's very it feels like it's bringing you back to your humanistic roots, right? Yeah.

00:21:56:25 - 00:22:16:28
Mary Daphne
And I would say in my experience, I mean, mostly hiking, but there's very much of an overlap there. Just the difference being that you you'd go home or you'd stay maybe in a log cabin or a hotel or a friend's place. If you know, you're with friends, that you are just it's so therapeutic. Yeah.

00:22:17:06 - 00:22:37:05
Greg
Yeah, yeah. And what I find, you know, talking about the American population broadly, you will find that there's a part of the population that's very outdoorsy. Yes. You know, some of the most aggressive and talented outdoorsmen in the world are Americans yeah. And then you have a much bigger group of just campers, right? If you go camping in the US.

00:22:37:05 - 00:22:51:06
Greg
Yeah, you're very likely to encounter other campers, right? Because there's a lot of them. But as a percentage of the population, yeah, it's probably still not that big. Right. People who camp in general, I would guess, make up maybe 40% of the total population.

00:22:51:06 - 00:23:21:16
Mary Daphne
I would say so, too. I was going to say maybe 5050. I mean, I'm someone who loves being outdoors, but I'm not much of a camper, right? You know, I grew up in cities, and have been in cities most of my life thus far. And so the opportunity to camp is not really that, you know, of parents abundance, but you know, I feel like the friends that I have, for example, in Colorado every weekend, they're doing the car camping and now they have a baby and they're taking their baby car camping.

00:23:21:16 - 00:23:37:23
Mary Daphne
So really, I think it is very much also state dependent. You know, if you're in a state such as Colorado with beautiful outdoors that you people really take advantage of, then people are going to probably be camping as one of the outdoor activities that they do.

00:23:37:24 - 00:23:50:19
Greg
Yeah, I would even say it's city dependent, right? Because within a state even New York has phenomenal camping. Like New York City. Obviously, it's hard to get to camping. You have to get on a train or do a long drive. But if you live in upstate New York.

00:23:50:19 - 00:23:51:07
Mary Daphne
Right, right.

00:23:51:08 - 00:24:02:03
Greg
Right. It's useful. And that's actually where I learned to camp. Yeah. So, yeah, it really does. I agree. It has to do with the proximity of your home to great camping in the area right.

00:24:05:21 - 00:24:29:00
Mary Daphne
So we talked a lot about what equipment to bring when you're camping, what do you suggest to anyone out there who wants to start camping or has an interest in camping? What are some of the first things that they can do to be able to go camping? What would you say?

00:24:29:11 - 00:24:46:26
Greg
Yeah, the first thing I would do is make sure to find a friend who has gone camping right the best thing to do is to go with someone who knows and loves camping because they'll just make it so much easier for you. They'll show you, you know, all the things to look out for, and it'll just be a much more relaxed experience.

00:24:47:08 - 00:25:05:23
Greg
But if you're really brave and you don't know anyone who likes to camp, I would say going on to YouTube and just, you know, searching for something like camping for the first time. Yeah, right. Watch a few different videos, see what people have to say about it and start to put together a gear list of the things you're going to need.

00:25:06:18 - 00:25:26:21
Greg
Do some planning around looking around your area. Where is the closest camping site to you? And I would start with like a car camping or a campsite that's very close to civilization, just so that if something goes wrong, it's very easy for you to get help, start simple, start small, just do one night, try to do it with some friends.

00:25:26:21 - 00:25:51:05
Greg
In fact, if it's your first time, I would insist you do it with at least one other person. It's just good to have more than one person there for safety reasons. And yeah, have fun. That's the most important thing. You know, be prepared to to have be prepared for it to be a challenge. Right? It's a lot about mindset, having an open mind, embracing the unexpected things that will happen.

00:25:51:05 - 00:26:14:20
Greg
It'll probably rain on you. You're probably, you know, going to have an animal who takes some of your food. You know, you're probably going to get dirty. Just expect all these things and you probably it's going to be uncomfortable for the first time when you're sleeping. So just expecting the unexpected, you know, getting in that mindset of no matter how challenging this is, I'm going to have fun and learn from it.

00:26:14:28 - 00:26:18:00
Greg
If you go with that mindset, I think you're in great shape.

00:26:18:15 - 00:26:53:13
Mary Daphne
I would totally agree with all of that. Especially as someone who has been on a couple of camping trips, but not really not nearly as many as you. And there have been sort of more of like a day type to daytime camping. I would also say maybe start with hiking where you're kind of having a similar experience. But like I said before, you go home or you just stay in a bed or a log cabin, something like that, you're not necessarily staying in a tent or a sleeping bag to sort of acclimate to this idea of being outdoors for several hours and really enjoying it.

00:26:55:01 - 00:26:56:12
Mary Daphne
I think that would be also a good way.

00:26:56:12 - 00:27:13:21
Greg
Yeah, that's a great point. Even before you get to staying the night, just get comfortable being in nature, right? Yeah. Just spend the day, you know, just spend some time learning, getting comfortable in the forest and not having your phone handy. Things like that. Yeah, that's a great way to get get started.

00:27:13:21 - 00:27:23:06
Mary Daphne
And then my last question is, what would you say is one of the biggest lessons you've learned from camping?

00:27:24:22 - 00:27:35:28
Greg
Biggest lessons? I mean, the lesson that I learned every time and it never gets old is that, you know, you like I am not the center of the world. Right.

00:27:36:01 - 00:27:36:12
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:27:36:14 - 00:28:07:17
Greg
It's very easy when we're in the city and in our jobs to just only be thinking about ourselves and everything that's going wrong, everything that's going right, all our ambitions and aspirations, blah, blah, blah. When you get out into the woods, you sort of dissolve the sense of self dissolves into this bigger tapestry of nature. And that's such an important lesson and that's part of what makes it so comforting because your sense of stress and anxiety melts away.

00:28:07:17 - 00:28:16:10
Greg
Right? Right. Because you individually don't really matter. It's you start to realize, like, nature is so much bigger than just you. You're just a tiny speck.

00:28:16:10 - 00:28:17:00
Mary Daphne
Nothing matters.

00:28:17:00 - 00:28:30:06
Greg
Nothing that once it's a mindset, right? Yeah. This is this is like I don't know if it's a Buddhist mindset, but a lot of religions actually get to this, right? There's something other than you dissolving that's much bigger, right?

00:28:30:07 - 00:28:30:22
Mary Daphne
Yeah, for sure.

00:28:30:22 - 00:28:34:03
Greg
But yes, obviously, you know, you have priorities.

00:28:34:05 - 00:28:34:21
Mary Daphne
Right? Right.

00:28:34:21 - 00:28:42:21
Greg
You know, obligations and so forth. But you can suspend all that and end of it. None of it really matters at that moment.

00:28:42:21 - 00:28:43:20
Mary Daphne
Yeah, it's about that.

00:28:43:20 - 00:28:44:04
Greg
Moment.

00:28:44:04 - 00:28:44:21
Mary Daphne
At that moment.

00:28:44:21 - 00:28:46:04
Greg
Being free from care.

00:28:46:05 - 00:28:46:17
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:28:47:01 - 00:28:51:07
Greg
And it's very hard to experience that in the modern urban world.

00:28:51:08 - 00:28:51:19
Mary Daphne
Right?

00:28:51:20 - 00:28:59:22
Greg
It's very easy to experience that in nature. And I think it's a great lesson that I encourage everyone to expose themselves to at least once.

00:29:00:03 - 00:29:21:08
Mary Daphne
I would agree with that. And that also, you know, it kind of has you change your perspective on things. For example, if it's a problem that you might be dealing with at work or at school, you know, you shift focus for a moment, you get some more perspective. You you get that bird's eye view simply because you might not just be ruminating over it all day.

00:29:21:15 - 00:29:42:08
Mary Daphne
And also you're surrounded by the beauty that is our world. And you also might be with people who really lift your spirits as well. So that combination of being in nature and with people that you enjoy, whose company you enjoy can really get you out of a mood that you might be in and and then I would also say the resilience.

00:29:42:14 - 00:29:45:22
Mary Daphne
Yeah, right. Just finding a way to overcome.

00:29:46:01 - 00:29:50:21
Greg
Yeah. And learning how to be adaptable and flexible and resourceful.

00:29:51:25 - 00:29:57:20
Mary Daphne
So that was really fun. Learning all about camping. Yeah. You shared a lot of amazing.

00:29:57:20 - 00:29:58:12
Greg
I could talk all day.

00:29:58:22 - 00:30:04:19
Mary Daphne
Yeah. I mean, it really sounds like it. So hopefully you get to go on a nice camping adventure soon.

00:30:04:25 - 00:30:06:07
Greg
Hopefully. Yeah. Huh?

00:30:06:17 - 00:30:18:20
Mary Daphne
Yeah, maybe I think that'll be interesting. Yeah. And, you know, I think it's like what you said, the baby steps, right? If you want to try something, you try it with keeping those steps. And you do it progressively.

00:30:18:24 - 00:30:19:26
Greg
Yeah. Yeah.

00:30:20:11 - 00:30:47:06
Mary Daphne
So. All right, well, we hope you enjoyed this conversation. If you have experience camping, let us know in the comments down below. And also, if you're interested in camping, let us know what steps you're going to take to get yourself into the mindset of forest bathing, being in nature, having that therapeutic experience of just surrounding yourself and immersing yourself in nature.

00:30:48:01 - 00:30:48:09
Greg
Yeah.

00:30:48:24 - 00:30:57:19
Mary Daphne
Awesome. All right, so we'll see you in the next Advanced English lesson where we're going to continue advancing your English together. Until then, keep up the awesome work and we will for you very soon.