I just spent 3 days camping on Sebago Lake. I'm not a huge fan of camping, so before I went, I asked listeners, 'What should I bring to make it less miserable?' That top 5 is slightly different from MY top 5.

So, I'm not a huge fan of camping. I have never understood why people work so hard to bring so much to live like barbarians. Here are YOUR top 5 things to make camping less miserable:

5. A good book (sweet, but too many people to talk to)

4. A hotel (funny smart asses)

3. A camper/RV/5th wheel (after this trip - I agree!)

2. Booze (after this trip - I agree!)

And YOUR number one thing to make camping less miserable is....

     1. BUG SPRAY (damn straight!)

bug spray

Okay...I can appreciate all of those. Here's MY list I ended up with after 3 days at Sebago Lake.

5.  Booze (I was a tad uptight until I had a pina colada)

4. Bug spray (although the bugs were actually okay because it was so friggin' cold,  I                       I can see how this can be just torture without it)

3.  Winter parka (Seriously. I didn't feel my feet for the first two days. Those nights                             were ridiculously cold!)

2.  Sunscreen (Yes! When it was nice, the beach at the lakes edge was actually                              hot!)

And MY number one thing to make camping less miserable is.....

1.  Fried pork belly on fried polenta with a balsamic reduction drizzle.

Trader Joe's pork belly

Let me explain MY number one.

First, this was my first time camping at Sebago Lake. We went because friends of our do this yearly as a tradition. They invited us along. Wow - it's a very popular, very packed campground! You better know and like your neighbor cuz you are right on top of them.

We ended up spending most of our time over at our friends campsite, cuz they really know how to camp. Pop up on one side, camper on the other. We're talking they make coffee cuz they have electricity. They brought a smoker and made ribs! When I camp, good luck getting that hot dog to stay on the end of that stick, because I only brought 6!

Then Carrie (the pop up chef) whips out pork belly (from Trader Joe's) and says she's just gonna make a favorite of hers: fried pork belly on sauteed polenta, some roasted garlic cloves with a balsamic reduction. What the what?

I offered her a hot dog. On a stick.

Ya know what else changed my camping experience a lot? A camp stove. I had never heard of one let alone used one. This trip, we had one! Wowzer. You can do anything on a camp stove! Hence the creative pork belly amazement. I made pancakes and wanted a Pulitzer at the end!

camp stove from LL Bean

So the big question after 3 days with our friends was...'Do you like camping now?' That's a tough one. It's still not my favorite thing in the world. I'm pretty sure I got 5 hours total sleep. But the beach was delightful, the food was amazing and despite me - I had a good time with everyone. So the answer is...


I think we have 3 more camping trips planned this summer!


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