DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I were invited to go camping for a few days with one of his favorite couples. We have only recently started dating seriously, and I am just getting to know him. I have learned that he loves the outdoors and things like camping, but I don’t.
I have never gone camping, so I don’t know what to expect. I want to be a good sport while not misleading him. I need a complete tutorial, and I’m afraid that my boyfriend doesn’t understand how green I am. How can I prepare for this trip? -- About to Camp, Darien, Connecticut
DEAR ABOUT TO CAMP: Start researching this trip in particular right now. Look up the campsite to see where it is and what is available there. Contact your boyfriend’s friends and tell them you want to be ready for the trip. Explain that you have never camped before, so you need a step-by-step list of what you need and what to expect. Talk to your boyfriend about your desire to go and your trepidation about never having done this before. Ask for his input and suggestions for how to make this a successful and safe trip. Ask for help in making a list of the gear that you need. Find out if your boyfriend or his friends have any gear to share with you. Equipping yourself can be expensive, but it’s wise to have the right shoes, outerwear, sleeping gear and flashlights to stay safe and warm. Keep asking questions until you feel comfortable that you are ready to go.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)