While cottagers may have access to more creature comforts than campers, there are undeniable similarities between the two activities.
Here are 10 ways that camping teaches you how to be a better cottager.
1. Camping teaches you how to prepare meals quickly and easily, for big groups of people. Power failure at the cottage? Not an issue if you know how to cook over a campfire. All of out one ingredient? Camping teaches you to improvise, or do without.
2. It teaches you how to make a fire, even with the wettest of wood. This skill, above all else, will ensure that you’re the cottage hero.
3. It teaches you to appreciate and relish even the simplest of pleasures. When you’re out in the bush, the little things may very well make your day, like end-of-the-day campfire treats. The cottage is no different.
4. It teaches you how to pack and how to be resourceful. You learn what you’ll really need and use. And if you forgot something at home, you’ll MacGyver up a tool to do the job.
5. It teaches you to work with others to reach common goals. Many hands make for light work. Camping teaches you how to delegate, chip in and work together so that more fun can be had.
6. It teaches you that there’s no need to look “put together.” While it can be easy to get caught up in social media images of a particular lifestyle, camping teaches you that if your hair goes un-brushed, nobody is going to care. (Teeth might be another matter, though.)
7. It teaches you to embrace circadian rhythms. Even if you’re not a “morning person” in the city, you might be surprised to find yourself getting up when the sun comes up. You won’t want to miss a moment of daylight — and you’ll feel better for it.
8. It teaches you to appreciate the finite nature of natural resources. Camping teaches you to be careful about your fresh water, as well as the amount of waste that you’re producing. Both are lessons that carry over to the cottage, particularly when you have to haul water in or garbage out.
9. It teaches you that mom is the boss. And by “mom,” we mean the mother of us all — Mother Nature. It doesn’t matter what you have planned — what she says goes. If it’s raining, you’ll just have to adjust to her mood.
10. It teaches you to go with the flow. Things are going to go wrong: You’re going to discover you forgot to pack something. It might storm all day. You’re going to get into a fight with your partner. Your boat motor or paddle might break. Whatever it is, camping teaches you to adjust your plans and expectations accordingly — a lesson that will make any cottage weekend run smoothly.