HIKING IS FINE BUT CAMPING IS HELL. Spending the night in a tent out in the open, surrounded by suspicious sounds and unknown creatures with claws and sharp fangs, that I am happy to leave to people braver than me. I once spent four days on the Appalachian Trail, sleeping in a tent in the rain, and after several nights of that I was ready to pack it in. “Camping,” Dave Barry once said, “is nature’s way of promoting the motel business.” So, over the years, especially while living in beautiful Utah, though I spent many worthwhile hours hiking in the wilderness, I always made it home to my own comfortable bed by nightfall. My small backpack, with water, snacks, and a few trail necessities (e.g. for emptying), was way preferable to the fifty pound behemoth that I carried on the A.T. Notwithstanding that I have hiked many miles over the years, I am not an “outdoorsman.” I have no desire to traipse through the woods looking for something to kill; I’m much more inclined to sniff native flowers than shoot native fauna. So, even though the hiking boots that I wore on the A.T. are still stuck away somewhere, I wear lighter, less serious looking shoes these days. And the hiking poles that have poked plenty of ground in their time are gathering cobwebs where they hang now in my garage.