I’m so excited, as we begin to ascend up into the mountains. When they said Montana was beautiful, they were not kidding. The abundance of mountain tops mixed in with the beautiful floral of oranges, reds, and yellow, as the Autumn trees begin their change from Summer into Fall. I think Autumn is my favorite time of year.

This is my first time camping in years. We have our sleeping bags, tents, knives, and plenty of food. I do believe we forgot our flashlights, but that is okay, we will have a fire to give us light. As we unpack our things, I comfortably settle into my sleeping bag, munching on a bag of potato chips.

I hear someone standing at the entrance on my tent, starring at me. It is my boyfriend. “Why are you starring at me like that?” I ask.

“Are you crazy? Why are you eating in our tent?” He’s scratching his head in bewilderment.

“Why not…what is the big deal.”

“Bears!” He exclaims. “Have you never camped in the wilderness before now?”

“Yes, many of times.” I tell him. We used to camp all the time in Big Bear.

Big Bear is a small, quaint ski town a few hours north of Southern California.

“We always ate in our tents. Actually, we would bring our food into our tents at night so that the raccoons won’t eat our food. Can you imagine how screwed we will be if the raccoons eat all our food…then we won’t have anything to eat tomorrow.”

I am sure that I am making complete sense. But by the look on his face, I don’t think I am making any sense to him. Maybe he hasn’t gone camping in awhile and needs a refresher course on the what not to do’s of camping 101.

He starts laughing. I’m confused.

“What?” I ask.

“Babe, we have bears and mountain lions here in Montana. We are not in California. Raccoons are not our worry. Our worry isn’t that an animal is going to eat our food, the worry is that they will eat us. We do not keep any food in our tents or in our cars or anywhere around our tent site.”

He laughs a huge bellowing laugh. “My god girl, what do they teach you out there in California?”

Now it’s my turn to scratch my head. I crawl out of my tent with my bag of potato chips, as we gather up all our food, including my three-hundred dollars worth of cosmetics and face creams…guess where? Yep, you got it, it is all getting tied up in the tree.

Damn, Montana sure takes their camping seriously.