Adventures of a Girl Scout Dropout

{{or, how to start a fire with bacon grease and a brown bag from Whole Foods...}}

So I have returned safely from my weekend frolicking with darling woodland creatures. I've not done much camping in my life. It wasn't part of my family culture, and I'm generally walking bug bait (an overnight in college left me with 50 mosquito bites on my legs alone, and I was too depressed after that to keep going), which makes the situation less than pleasant.

Friday afternoon was rainy, but the weather cleared around dinner time, so my best friend L and I decided to venture out into the wilds of Maryland. We got a later start than we had hoped, and it was pretty dark by the time we arrived. We set up the tent by the headlights of my car, and then bought some crates of firewood from the camp host. He said it was "kinda damp," but we were pretty much out of options at that point, not to mention we were hungry and it was late. L had some firestarter thingies, and I was a chemistry major in college, which makes me an honorary pyromaniac, so we figured we would be okay.

Ha. Hahahaha.

No amount of firestarters or leaves and twigs or lit napkins from my glovebox or even L's notebook paper would make the fire catch. I don't think I had ever wished for an arsonist friend before, but I was definitely wishing for one that night! By this point it was around 10pm, so we eventually decided to get dinner that didn't need to be cooked. I had several doughnuts and a giant can of baked beans. I hereby apologize to the state of Maryland for the several metric tons of methane that resulted from my dinner. L can thank me for the impromptu bear repellant.

Saturday morning dawned bright and early, but the damn fire still wouldn't start. L brought super-duper gourmet bacon from Whole Foods for our breakfast, and there was no way we were going to let that go to waste. So we went to the grocery store for some fake firewood and accelerant, looking like pyros with a serious grudge. I seriously debated adding a box of tampons to our loot just to see the reaction on the clerk's face.

The faux wood lit just fine, and we placed some of our sopping logs on top to dry them out. Then we fried our bacon and it was so yummy. The logs weren't lighting all that well, even with a generous squirt of accelerant, so we doused a brown paper bag with the bacon grease and tossed it in the fire. The porky magic did the trick, and from then on out, we had fire.

Aside from the fire fiasco, the weekend was wonderful. My cell phone had basically died by the time we got there, so I switched it off to save any remaining juice for an emergency. Nearly 36 hours with no emails, no phone calls, no texts, nothing. Just me and L. We sat and talked. We did crosswords and crochet and Bananagrams. We sang songs by the campfire. We made smores and banana boats (banana split down the middle and filled with chocolate chips and marshmallows, wrapped in foil, and placed on the hot coals).

It was exactly the break I needed. Not just a break from the stress of my job and all that, but it also ended up being a break from the ED stuff. It was an adventure in intuitive eating. I had hot chocolate and doughnuts and lots of other things that are either rare or off limits for me. I spent much more time in the moment because I couldn't fix anything I was worrying about, so what's the point.

L and I have already made plans for another trip next spring. Only this time, we'll come armed with faux wood.

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Charlotte UK said...

This has made me smile and laugh all at once. What a wonderful wonderful trip. I have had the pleasure of eating a smore - talk about sticky! So glad you had a good time. We have a saying over here "A change is as good as a rest". I think this applies to your trip. Love.

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great trip! I'm so glad you got that rest.
I have a chimney starter for my grill, and I always bring it along on camping trips and pick up a bit of charcoal -- I find it makes lighting the fire so much easier. It's another thing to pack though.

Mary B said...

Sounds like fun. Bananagrams (I am learning in my long days at treatment) are the best way to pass time:)

Carrie Arnold said...

I love Banangrams, but my favorite games are Apples to Apples and Taboo.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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