Being from Manhattan I don’t often get to go camping and hiking. With all the great things the city has to offer, I rarely get the urge to travel off the island. But last week, that changed… for the first time in my Manhattan life, I traded pumps for hiking boots.

Because fighting tourists for a cab is as rugged as I get, I didn’t know what to expect. A girls’ weekend… (whose idea was this?) resulted in me packing our Coleman tent and sleeping bag (these actually get used fairly often as we have been known to pitch a tent outside of our favorite store before a certain item is released). Snug enough to fit 2 people in a zero degree weather, I started to think this could be fun in a camping out for sample sales kind of way… I guess.

Well I survived. And to be honest, it was actually quite fun. In retrospect (seeing that there were no grizzly bear sightings and I still have all of my limbs) camping was an adventurous excursion. Reading our magazines in the quiet of the night by lantern light and chatting about guys was a welcome distraction from street lights and honking horns. My urban jungle was replaced with real trees and grass. And when in the morning my friend pulled out a 10 cup coffeemaker to my surprise (our other alternative was to hike to Starbucks as we all get cranky if we don’t have at least 2 cups bright and early) I was hooked. Perhaps next week we will replace Peter Luger for a meal cooked home on the range style with some good old fashioned pots and pans.

-Dara King