Camping Chronicles

You have been hanging out with your friends all wrong.


Recently, I have become friends with some outdoor-loving people. They go hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping….. for fun. And let’s just say that until very recently, the outdoors and I have not be too buddy-buddy. But, after being dragged along onto a few trips, I have come to a realization. CAMPING IS THE BEST ACTIVITY TO DO WITH FRIENDS! And here’s why:



The outdoors has endless possibilities. You can camp in so many different ecosystems. For example, my friends and I went out to Andrew Nichols’ family farm for his 18th birthday. The property was an expansive array of trees and trails, with countless places for us to explore on his all-terrain vehicle. Also, there was plenty of room to set up our tents and games that we wanted to play. On that trip, we decided to play corn-hole and football, but we could have brought so many other games.

Lulu Massenet and Ashleigh Smith kayaking
Andrew Nichols fishing


Also, my friends and I took a trip out to my parent’s waterfront property in Hollywood, SC. This trip really opened our eyes to the magic of camping all together. We kayaked, fished, swam, and just had an overall splendid time.





Lulu Massenet enjoying a roasted marshmallow
Lily Phelps staying warm

What is a camping trip without a solid fire? Nothing hits better than sitting around a crackling fire late into the night, chatting about everything going on in the world. Campfires also open the opportunity for S’MORES! Someone will always be down to stop at the store on the way out and pick up supplies for the creation of this most iconic camping snack.





I know, we all love our parents hanging out with us and our friends. However, camping is an opportunity to get away from the watchful eye of our mothers, fathers, and legal guardians.

Never leave your tent unzipped. You never know what could crawl in with you!

— My dad

After supervising our jaunt in Hollywood, my father had this to say about being the designated chaperone: “Chaperoning kids on a camping trip is a great way to meet some of their friends that you’ve heard them talk about but never seen in person. It’s also a great way to impart some tidbits of information to them about camping.”



Be honest with yourself. Do you really know how to take care of yourself? Ignore this question all you want, I know the answer is no. But if you start spending more time camping, you will discover the best ways to take care of your hair, skin, and nails in the wilderness (braids, the answer is braids). Also, camping requires you to think about how you will feed yourself. You have to take into account ease of cooking, transportation, and factor in the wildlife of the surrounding area. 


Have you ever been inside an REI Co-op? Recreational Equipment Inc. is the most magical store I have ever been in. I made my first visit to an REI store this past weekend when I was in Greenville, and it was an experience I will never forget. Endless rows of sleeping bags, tents, and outdoor chairs greeted me as I walked in. Kind workers in decorated green vests were everywhere I looked, and they helped me in my selection of my very own tent. Let’s just say I spent every penny I had in that splendid shopping experience, and I would not have had it any other way. Your camping gear is personal, it can say a lot about you. Picking out supplies is fun, and is appealing to many different types of people. Outdoorsmen can appreciate the quality of the options, shopaholics will love the variety of categories to shop from, and penny-pinchers will drop dead when they see the unbelievable sales that REI holds.


Driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, with the scenic mountain views and refreshing high-altitude air is an unforgettable experience, and something we should all be going out of our way to do. Personally, the winding roads make me motion-sick, but I can’t deny that it is beautiful. I am partial to the flat, relaxed experience of driving on I-26, but the mountains are the ideal place to go according to many camping enthusiasts. Packing as many friends and as much gear as you can into a car and driving for hours is a great way to bond with your buddies! You can take turns choosing music, play road games, and fight over where to stop for lunch.

I hope you take away from this article that camping will be your plan for the next long weekend, holiday break, or early release day. Even if you believe yourself  to be the kind of person who wouldn’t enjoy it just as I was, trust me when I say: try it. Not only can it bring you closer to nature, but it will bring you closer with your friends and family— whoever you decide to camp with!