Ever since Adam and Eve, men and women have performed the most natural of acts al fresco. It’s fun! It’s surprising! When you’re camping there’s not much else to do after dinner!
But how to do it well? There are so many inconveniences waiting to spoil your assignation, and unless you know some very talented Sherpas, you can’t just set a candlelit table and wave on the jazz combo. No, for a proper randy romp in the backcountry, you must prepare.
This starts with a trip to the store, where you can stock up on provisions—a candle lantern that puts off a warm glow, a shareable king-size down pillow, chocolate-covered cherries. Like frequent flier miles, you can never have enough chocolate-covered cherries.
Anticipation will begin rising at this point, but Dr. Ruth-types advise you tease this feeling. Don’t floor your pickup straight into the mountains shouting “4x4play, 4x4play!” Instead, lay out some maps on the kitchen table and say something to your sweetie like,
“Where do you think we should go camping this weekend? I thought maybe we could go here,” as you point to a scenic peak, “or here,” a pristine beach.
When your sweetie asks if this is just a ploy because you really don’t have enough money for a hotel, queue the secret weapon.
“No, I don’t,” you say. “But I do have this.” Produce from behind your back a coeur torsade de Cartier necklace. Or a bottle of Whistlepig. Or, if you’re actually broke, the pillow.
Continue the fun with an upbeat road trip CD and both of you will arrive at the trailhead feeling a certain animal magnetism. If you are a man, do the traditional manly thing—stuff the contents of her backpack into yours and carry this obelisk valiantly, head bowed, musky pheromones fogging the air of what hopefully isn’t cougar country, until your knees give out and you confess that you think you might actually be having a heart attack. If you’re a woman, let the natural surroundings amplify your beauty by making one of those flower crowns you made in grade school.
When you arrive at your campsite, there’s no need to make some hackneyed attempt at “setting the mood.” You've prepared. Just set up camp and jump in the water. A plunge into a lake, a creek, the ocean, whatever, has a way of combining personal time and eternal time, of squeezing now and forever into a single exhilarating moment. And anyway, when you get out, you’ll probably be so cold you’ll be dying to zip your libidos together.