The festival season is upon us. All you Pagans out there know of what I speak: the circuit of art, dance, music, and religion fests that simply can't be missed. Entire campgrounds taken over completely by robed (and disrobed), henna-dyed, jewelry covered hippie types, frolicking over the fields and fens in all their tie-dyed and hemp bedizened glory. If you're a mid-Atlantic Pagan, you simply must attend a summer festival. My choice for this year is Starwood, the mother of all Pagan fests. Starwood is the east coast Burning Man, but with less dust and more love.
Not only is this my first Starwood, it's also my first camping trip of the year, and my first time going away with my 4-month-old. T (the husband), being the godless sort and not one for public nudity, will not be attending. Which brings me to the issue at hand - camping with an infant.
I've been a serious backpacker for a few years now. I own enough equipment for two backpackers to be comfortable at any time of the year. But can I attend Starwood with the equipment I have? Of course not. In order to have a comfortable and successful trip with the wee one, I need enough gear to fill a Babies R Us and a Cabela's. (Note to self: start up a new store, "Babies R Camping," and make a fortune off your first customer) New tent, camp chair, cooler, diapers for over a week, toys, stroller, carriers... You name it, I had to buy and/or pack it. And because I'm riding up with two friends - one of whom has a 19-month-old - space in the car is limited. I've been sorting the pile and sorting again, tossing back everything that I don't absolutely need for the trip. Guess who's things make up the majority of the toss back pile? Two guesses. If you guessed N (the babe), you're wrong. Because apparently a 15 pound person needs five times more camping gear than a 130 pound person does. Go figure.
So, the car seats were installed today (borrowed car), the gear will be packaged by Friday, and Saturday morning I make the long drive out to Brooklyn to pick up my friends, and then onto points unknown. A nice, simple, relaxed camping trip. Just me, N, and a mountain of large and expensive camping gear.
Gods help me...