We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Camping is one of my favorite subjects. Costs vary, now that I'm over 62 I can get the golden age card which allows me free entrance to national parks and half price camping. We go to half a dozen national parks twice a year, usually a week each but sometimes reservations are hard to get and we do a shorter stay or stay outside the park. Have been doing this for almost 20 years now. The thing about going to national parks so often is you both get more accustomed to what is available and you get bored with the well known places/hikes and search out something new. In the last 20 years attendance at national parks has doubled or quadrupled. So finding that less traveled trail or spot is necessary and fun. The travel is more expensive than the camping but the travel is a lot of fun too.
It's been a long time but I used to walk off into the White Mountains of NH / Maine with a bedroll and some granola/nuts and stay in for 2-3 days at a time, hiking and loving every minute of it, especially when the blueberries were ready. Or in the winter, on snowshoes dragging a toboggan with all my gear. Last summer we hit the Boundary Waters for 5 days, northern Minnesota and it was brilliant: Over a million acres and no machinery allowed. Canoes and lakes, portages and carry everything in and out. Late summer, so no insects. Absolutely brilliant. It doesn't take that much money if you take the sparing approach.
Re Camping (and mental illness): My daughter and her family profess to enjoy camping (although now that she and my SIL are on the wrong side of 43, they seem to not do it as much as they used to).
I don't know where they got it from. As as young man, my attitude was take it or leave it. My wife, on the other hand, refuses to spend the night any place "that doesn't have a nicer bathroom than I have at home".
She used to insist on traveling with her own pillow, box fan, and supply of scented candles. I would protest saying, "Memsaab, camel cannot carry so much!" She relented and no longer insists on the candles.
I retired from the Army, and so did my husband; 5xGulf between us. My father in law and uncle both served (Korea and Vietnam respectively). And we're all in 100% agreement: no camping unless somebody is paying us, maybe threatening us with a gun if we don't go.
And also: modern plumbing is a fantastic blessing, which nobody with a lick of sense would voluntarily do without.
I'm a wimp about climate control and biting insects, and it's no longer easy for me to crawl around on the ground getting in and out of tents, but otherwise I enjoy everything about camping. We always enjoyed building a fire and cooking over it. It's good to be outdoors and away from electronics. Peeing outdoors is no big deal. I sure as heck don't need a fancy bathroom. In fact, hotels lost their appeal for me decades ago.
Haven't done any camping in years- with the exception of the Feb 2021 Texas Freeze when I slept indoors inside a down sleeping bag. Temperature inside in the 40s. Not that different from winter conditions inside the old NE house I grew up in.
'80s.: hitching from DC to Florida. Slept outside in the Atlanta area in freezing weather. Same down sleeping bag as above.
70s. 10 days hiking in the Peruvian Andes. Lovely country. Fortunately, during the dry season.