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Since moving to Huntsville in 2007, I’ve been invited to go camping by everyone from co-workers and classmates to new friends and virtual strangers.

I’ve explained time and time again that as natives of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, my husband and I don’t camp. We rarely even discussed camping until two years ago, except to mock or feel sorry for those who felt the need to brave the sticky humidity, frequent rain, biting insects and frightful fauna of Southern Mississippi and lower Alabama.

Usually, these victims were fathers of Boy Scouts, lured into the wilderness by well-meaning but misguided troop leaders. Those who ventured out once got our pity, but those who went the next year after lodging a week’s worth of complaints about the first year’s mosquito-ridden disaster got nothing more than a good mocking.

Seriously, hotels are all around us. Use them. Love them.

The weather in Northern Alabama is admittedly more hospitable to camping. The humidity is lower (don’t even bother griping about the humidity here – I’ve been to Nicaragua in August), and at night, the temperature actually stands a chance of dropping below 85 degrees. There are still big checkmarks beside the boxes for biting bugs and snakes, however, plus coyotes seem well-represented up here.

There are, I suppose, a few events that could be made more fun by camping. I could get a really early start at the really awesome Tyrolean Traverse in Desoto Falls State Park. I could make it to some caves in Tennessee that local grotto members start exploring at ungodly times on Saturdays. Heck, I might even find myself at Bonnaroo next year.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m talking myself into camping. My love for indoor plumbing supercedes many adventure possibilities. You’ve got more selling to do, North Alabama.

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