I never thought I'd be someone who camps, but I'll do anything for a writing retreat. Here's some VERY HELPFUL tips if you decide to take the plunge.

So, since moving to Pennsylvania years ago I’ve done something I never, ever thought I’d do in a hundred years, unless forced to because of some sort of apocalyptic scenario.

I’ve gone camping.

I haven’t done this for nature, mind you. I’ve done it to get away on writing retreats, while spending as little money as possible. Also because I’m lazy and if someone else organizes a retreat of any kind, I will do it.

Anyway, a lot of friends raised eyebrows when they heard I will go camping, but ya know what?


For realz.

And here’s what I’ve learned camping:

  1. Go camping at a place with a ridiculous name. For example, last time I went camping, my amazing awesome writer friend, Lee McClain, gave me a few choices of where we went, one of which was BLUE KNOB. Seriously? There was no contest. There was, however, an insane amount of hilarity as we proceeded to “go up the Knob,” “go down the Knob,” “circle the Knob,” “hope the Knob was dry,” “sweat atop the Knob,” “pitch a tent on the Knob,” etc. It never ceased to amuse us.

  2. And then we learned that the little town next to Blue Knob was Frigid.

  3. Woodpeckers suuuuuuuck.

  4. Ambien is amaaaaaaazing.

  5. You can make pizza on a fire!

  6. I can build a fire! Sort of.

  7. My fuck-off huge blow up mattress is actually a fuck-off huge CAMPING mattress. It’s like I always knew I was supposed to go camping!

  8. You can get sooooooooo much writing done when you’re camping, mostly because there’s very little else to do.

  9. Except hiking, which is fun and getting your blood pumping is scientifically proven to help you focus and be creative later! Many podcasts have told me so.

  10. Mennonites sing a LOT. Also, I kinda want a bonnet.

  11. If you do go camping, and you’re a writer, go camp-writing with a friend who is inspiring, kind, hilarious, and—THIS IS IMPORTANT—better prepared than you are. You’ll get a HUGE amount done, you’ll nearly pee yourself laughing, and you’ll have an amazing time.

That’s a pretty darned good list. And on that note, I’m going to bed. Because the twelfth thing I learned camping is that camping is tiring.