First-time Camping and Bailing in the Rain at Presqu’ile Provincial Park

Someone once said, “You should pitch your tent at home and try it out before going on an adventure.”

Well, who would have thought that was sound advice? Not me, obviously.

I was mentally prepared for the heavy winds and the pelting rain, but not the feeling of being trapped in my tent.

1. I should have learned how to set up my tarp and have enough rope to do it with – to have a makeshift outdoor shelter.

My tent was perfectly set up to weather the storm, with the slim end facing the wind.

However, the walls of my Big Agnes tent felt too close, even if the sound of rain pelting the fly was soothing to my ears.

2. I didn’t tighten my tent fly.

Had I made it through the night, the lack of tension in the tent fly likely would have become a problem, no matter how many tent pegs I had used.

Also, a peg mallet or hammer would have been handy – not every site has nice, soft soil to push pegs into!

3. I forgot my pee bucket.

I already had some anxiety, but after lying in my tent, I had more anxiety than before. I started crying.

I cried as I walked to the comfort station at Presqu’ile Provincial Park in the pelting rain.

I cried as I walked back to my tent in the gathering darkness, realizing how far it would be to walk in the pitch dark, in the rain.

I missed my pee bucket.

My wee bladder was working overtime, and worse stormy weather had yet to come; the dark clouds were covering the sky to the horizon.

4. It’s OK to say you’ve had enough.

Know your limits, so you don’t end up hating the experience.

I’m not ashamed to admit it, but my thoughts and stress got the better of me. As the rain came down, I tossed everything into the vehicle and drove off for home.

The contrast of dark clouds behind me and the light ahead made it feel like I was driving east into the dawn.

My anxiety eased, and I promised to practice tent and tarp setups at home before the next camping trip.

I don’t regret coming home, but I can’t wait to try again.

⛺️ Presqu’ile Provincial Park, Ontario

? Lands of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee-ga (Haudenosaunee), Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, Mississauga, and, Wendake-Nionwentsïo.

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