Just got back yesterday from a sweet little camping trip with a group of about 19 guys, most of whom I hadn’t met before, but all of whom were really nice. I was fascinated by the various levels of familiarity with camping culture (and camp culture, we are all gay after all :)) in the group. For some, this is all old hat and I was impressed by how prepared they were with everything: All the equipment and setup, food prep, utensils, fire making and rain avoidance tarps. And it really made me question what the definition of camping is, and what it is for. I think it is safe to say the idea is to get out into nature, and reconnect with our more primal selves a bit, away from the artificial culture of the big city. But in recreating most of the comforts (sleeping bag, padded mat underneath, various utensils, music, lights, driving up to the campsite, etc) how far away are we from those creature comforts? Then again, we had no cell reception, abundant fresh air, hikes in the woods, and (with the sometime exception of the neighboring campsite’s blaring rave dance party soundtrack) we experienced the sounds you don’t hear so much in the city: the birds, running water and rustling of the trees. For me, the best part was getting to know a new group of really great guys and get out a bit from my freelance isolation. We laughed a lot, and took some really lovely walks (see a few pics below by clicking on the link) and I came back feeling pretty relaxed and happy.