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This is the first of a series – so we’ll get to see more of this upcoming Smith Family camping trip, for sure! My family hasn’t gone camping, because my mother is a bit like Chapel’s mom, without the attitude. She’s not crazy about the idea of being without common commodities. I’ve only been on a camping trip once – three years ago – and it was certainly an adventure. I went as part of my school’s end-of-year trip system, so everyone in the 7th grade got split up into four trail groups and we went backpacking with our group in Yosemite for five days. I have…mixed feelings about the trip and camping in general! I don’t know if any of you read Calvin and Hobbes, but some of my favorite storylines are Calvin’s forced camping trips by his father, and one of my other favorite comic strips, Patrick McDonnell’s Mutts, also features the characters camping – so I wanted to put Chapel’s spin on it as well!

I’ll elaborate on my personal camping experiences more next week, but first I want to hear about all of YOUR camping experiences! It seems like almost everyone falls into one of two camps (pun intended) and that there’s very little ambivalence when it comes to camping. Are you more of a Chapel or a Chapel’s mother when it comes to your opinions about camping trips?
"Calvin, tell your dad any judge would take this trip as grounds for divorce."
"Dad, Mom says--"
Peanutsfreak 6/1/14
Oh my god, haha.
 Emma  6/3/14
This reminds me of a family camping trip I went on once. It was in Yosemite, so naturally it was pretty, but after three of the five days we stayed, I was homesick and missed computer games and non-canned food. Then, I experienced the unpleasant sensation of being glad to leave, but missing the trip once I was home.
...Sorry. Do I sound whiny?
Clockwork Wombat 11/12/12
Oh, I've been to Yosemite too! And you don't sound whiny. :)
 Emma  3/8/13
This reminds me of my grade's much anticipated, very recent 5 - day camping trip in Connecticut. too much rain, and we bothered each other, and there were ticks there, but we still managed to have fun (somehow.)
Me again.
Ginny Weasley fan 10/13/12
Oh, that sounds like a tough trip! I still had fun on mine, even if we left most of the food behind...
 Emma  11/1/12
i'm gonna be pippi longstocking for halloween! how about everyone else?
lala 10/5/12
Katherine Pulitzer from Newsies.
I'm not dressing up...
 Emma  11/1/12
i'm gonna be pippi longstocking halloween! how about everyone else?
lala 10/5/12
I'm not dressing up!!
 Emma  11/1/12
Soooo, Emma, what are you going to be for Halloween?
coco 9/26/12
I haven't decided yet! I may not dress up...but what about you?!
 Emma  9/26/12
i have dressed up as many things for halloween (my favoreit time of the year btw). everything from fankienstine, to a cyborg, to a poor version of a Ring Wraith. My most favoreit one was when i was working in a professional haunted house show production for a couple of years. my role of "Dr. Pain" (no relation to my screen name) is so far my magnum opmus of fear giving.

how scary was i? lest just say a few of them were glad they had easy to clean leather seats in their cars on their way home those night. ;-)

as for this year, i think i might try to be candlejack, he's a good one that the interne
Dr Taxil Necrobane 9/26/12
i'm going to need more rope...
CaNdLe JaCk 9/26/12
Well, I have a few ideas... I think I'm going to be Effie Trinket from Hunger Games.
coco 9/29/12
Katherine from Newsies.
So far I've only been on school camping trips. Being pretty much allergic to nature I'm not really a big fan. Though I did meet my best friends on a school camping trip so... kind of torn about which side to be on.
Also, I must say that I love, love, LOVE the art on panels 2 and 3! Especially the sunset and zombie-like Chapel.
Fangirl of Everything 9/25/12
I concur, the sun(set/rise) is quite spectacular! as is the 'i just fell down a hill' Chapel lol
evilrizwiz 9/25/12
Thank you so much! I wanted to have a little fun and show off a bit with those panels :)
 Emma  9/26/12
I'm so glad you like the 2 dream panels! And that's a shame about camping, but I'm also glad you met your best friend on one of those trips. I met my best friend six (almost seven) years ago at the beginning of fourth grade, when she was the new student in class!
 Emma  9/26/12
camping sounds scary.
CJ 9/24/12
It's a great experience to try once in your life, and it's a lot safer than skydiving, which can also be very fun as well ^^; and believe me, it's easier to trust a group to go camping with than people to skydive with lol
Just remember to be prepared! I'm a little more lucky, as the NW as REI (which is great) but you can get preparation help from the internet or even something like a Cabela's, assuming one is close by.(Or any local oriented outdoors stores, if the staff is friendly/ knowledgeable)
But the main point is try! you won't know if you like it or not until then!
evilrizwiz 9/25/12
Very good advice! And I don't think I could ever go skydiving. I'm not too afraid of most things, but heights are not a thing I can do very well -- so skydiving, while nice in theory, would probably give me a miniature panic attack.
 Emma  9/26/12
lol That's the point though =p The more fear is created, the more adrenaline and endorphin your brain is willing to give you while performing it. The best, or rather most common example is a scary movie; low risk (excluding fright level and heart conditions) with ample adrenaline if it's scary enough.
evilrizwiz 9/27/12
It's not always that bad! You should try it!
 Emma  9/26/12
I go to Yosemite every year for about two weeks and stay in a tent. I love it! But of coarse, there are a LOT of bug bites involved! and also, i was wondering when you will be sending that package you promised?
coco 9/24/12
Ah, I'm sorry it's been a while since I said I'd send it! I have everything ready on my desk, but I've been so busy that I haven't gotten around to putting it all together and mailing it. :( Thanks for reminding me, though -- I'll make sure I have time to send it out this week!
 Emma  9/24/12
Thank you! I got worried that it had gotten lost in mail :p
coco 9/24/12
Nope, not at all! Sorry about the delay!
 Emma  9/26/12
Oh, I forgot; I love the tree in panel three!
coco 9/24/12
the truth be told, i never really went camping like that way out in the wild. i have slept out in a tent. oh, and Used an RV as well.

the forested mountians where i live in are perfect for camping in, more so we have the famous Appalachian trail to camp out at.

To Miss Emma's Mother: don't wimp out about camping! you brought miss emma into the world, staying in a tent outdoors can't be as hard as doing that. You are a mother! Mothers are tougher than other women who are not mothers!
Dr Taxil Necrobane 9/23/12
on hind sight, i don't NEED to go camping at all, i basicly live out in the woods where my house is at. I am more of a country boy than city boy.
Dr. Taxil Necrobane 9/24/12
My mom's house is not woodsie, but is far closer to country than city.
blaidd gwael 9/25/12
That sounds wonderful that you live so close to so much nature! Actually, once in college, my father spent a year building a log cabin in New York and lived there.
 Emma  9/26/12
Hi Emma! I'm having trouble finding the link to the Chapel drawing contest on facebook. Could you tell me where to find it?
Ellie 9/23/12
As I mentioned earlier, it's not starting until tomorrow, which is when I will make a post about it there (and also link it here).
 Emma  9/23/12
I've been on more camping trips than I can even begin to count. I love it, even though there are times when it's definitely "less than fun". My worst one was camping in the mountains: we set up camp during a rainstorm only to find it had dropped below freezing by the next morning, so we had to break camp with everything (including the tent) covered with ice! I'd still do it over again even with that memory.
Nefariousdro 9/23/12
Oh my gosh, that's HORRIBLE! A similar thing happened when I went camping. Despite it being spring, there was still snow everywhere, and one night it had also dropped below freezing and our tent was frozen over, too! Despite the fact that we were wearing long underwear and everything, we were still incredibly cold!
 Emma  9/23/12
We were fortunate, we had actually didn't get cold at all until we were up and trying to break camp. My parents knew that it'd get cold up at the higher altitudes so our equipment was amazingly warm. Unfortunately our schedule did allow us to wait until the sun warmed things up though, so we were trying to brush the ice off of everything as we broke camp. That's the only part I didn't like about that trip.
Nefariousdro 9/23/12
I've never actually gone camping before, but I would love to. It seems like so much fun, aside from the obvious inconveniences. Aand, I have to agree that third panel is wonderful.

I can't help but notice that the number of comics is climbing... this is the 85th, correct? Will there be a special comic for #100?
Emily14 9/22/12
Wow, thank you so much for liking the third panel! I had fun with it. And I think you should try camping, you might adore it!

This is actually only comic 82, because I've sometimes posted small Chapel doodles on off-days that don't constitute the weekly update. All the comics are planned out months ahead of time, so I'll have to see which one will be the 100th and see if i can put in something extra-special in celebration! You have a sharp eye as always!!
 Emma  9/23/12
This comic is totally my nerd-candy. Too cool! :D

I think I remember that Calvin and Hobbs strip, too. "YOU'RE GOING TO ENJOY THIS TRIP WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT"
The Merry Lurker 9/22/12
I'm so glad you like it! And yes, Calvin and Hobbes is wonderful -- I own the whole collection. I don't believe you've commented before, but if you want to, please keep on commenting -- I love to hear from you and everyone here is very inclusive!
 Emma  9/23/12
You're right, I hadn't! First time commenting, and first time visiting, in fact. I'd gone from the beginning, and couldn't pull my eyeballs away from it till the end-- got through it all in one go! I plan to be coming back for more, too. :D
The Merry Lurker 9/26/12
OH! One question, though. How do you pronounce Chapel? Is it "Chapel" rhymes with "Snapple", or "Chapel" sounds like "Sha-pelle"?
The Merry Lurker 9/26/12
Hi! It rhymes with "Snapple," although I've had many people pronounce it "Shapelle" in the past. Surprisingly, Chapel pronounced like "Snapple" is actually a real female first name (albeit an uncommon one). And I chose it to have alliteration, for "The Chapel Chronicles"!
 Emma  9/26/12
I like it! It's cool an unigue.
The Merry Lurker 9/27/12
It's been a few years since I've gone camping, but it was a little bit of both of those aspects. Crater Lake was fun, except for the mosquito's, camp fire with berry cobbler via kettle, hard ground under the sleeping bag, and rain (which is relaxing at night, but sucks during the day lol)

All in all it's great though! I met tons of new people, deepened some friendships, and had some great food. If your mom doesn't like camping, I'd recommend an air mattress, a good camping location with a shower, and a season where you won't get caught in the rain (lateish summer?)
evilrizwiz 9/22/12
Oh my gosh, yes, those are definitely the difficult aspects of camping...My mom isn't too crazy about camping regardless of what amenities are present.

When I went camping with my class, we were way up in the mountains of Yosemite (it took 7 straight hours of hiking to get to our campsite on the first day) with no bathrooms or showers, and huge banks of snow everywhere! Not the most comfy camping site, to be sure.
 Emma  9/23/12
I take every opportunity to go camping when I can get the time off work for it. My favorite part is late at night, when everything has quieted down and you can just sit by the campfire and look at the stars. There are so many that you just can't see in the city.

Also, there's no reason for camping to be uncomfortable. My roomies and I have the whole thing down to a science of comfort. Air matresses, camp stoves, coolers and even a camp shower that we take along so that all we have to worry about is the enjoying ourselves part.
Marikalay 9/22/12
Ah, that sounds wonderful! Seeing the stars is amazing.

That sounds like a really good setup -- but it's hard to invest in it unless you're going to go camping frequently! Still, I think it's great that you go camping so often.
 Emma  9/23/12
I LOVE camping. to me, its a lot of fun, even though I have only gone a couple times...
Miss L.S.P 9/22/12
Oh, where have you gone? I think it's fun under better circumstances, when I went it was very strenuous because we did a lot of hiking with heavy backpacks...
 Emma  9/23/12
Yeah, we go camping in Santa Cruz.... it's a lot of fun, especially since we go on a train ride!
Miss L.S.P 9/23/12
First time commenting here, though I've been reading for a while. I just have to say that panel three is absolutely gorgeous. Love the lighting from the setting sun, especially on the tree.

The only time I've gone camping was when my family had nowhere else to go for a while. It took away a fair amount of the appeal, I'm sure you understand why. Still, I hope to go again sometime now that circumstances are better. I enjoy hiking and new things in general, so it seems like it'd be fun.
Strangelet 9/21/12
Thank you so much, I'm so glad you commented! I hope you keep on commenting because I love chatting with all my readers! Anyway, I really enjoyed doing the lighting on panel 3. I normally keep the lighting on Chapel pretty minimalistic because the tone doesn't require any over-dramatic lighting, but once in a while I like to have fun. :)

I understand your anecdote completely -- still, I'm SO glad things are better for you now. I hope sometime, you'll be able to go camping and make some happy memories related to it that way!
 Emma  9/21/12
Thanks. :) I think I probably will keep commenting. The atmosphere here is really friendly in general.
Strangelet 9/21/12
I'm so gad! Please do keep commenting, we will all appreciate you here!
 Emma  9/21/12
this is very similar to calvin and hobbes...
Not really! The Calvin and Hobbes camping strips were a character-building exercise by Calvin's father, where Calvin is the reluctant victim of various dramatic camping mishaps courtesy of his overeager dad. In this, Chapel and Chapel's mom are just imagining what they think the trip's going to be, and Chapel's actually really EXCITED for the trip, as most kids her age are!
 Emma  9/21/12
YESSS I adore Calvin and Hobbes!
 Emma  9/21/12
Wow, my first day of classes in college was yesterday. It still all feels kind of weird.

I love camping. Tons of fun and always somewhere in between the two portrayals you have shown.

Btw if you are interested I started, maybe two months ago, putting some of the artistic stuff I do up on deviantArt as etybyte. That would be etybyte [dot] deviantart [dot] com
blaidd gwael 9/21/12
Wow, HUGE congratulations on starting college! A family friend of mine just started Stanford, so I sort of know the feeling through association. Are you comfortable sharing what you'll be studying?

Camping is fun sometimes, but it's also easy to have bad experiences...And I'm in class right now (don't worry, my tutor lets me take a 5 minute break to answer comments, I'm not breaking the rules) so I can't look at your dA at the moment, but in a few hours I'll definitely take a look at it!
 Emma  9/21/12
I am majoring in computer science, but I got stuck with only general ed classes this quarter. biology, history, and math.
blaidd gwael 9/21/12
Ah, that's so cool! My father also majored in computer science!
 Emma  9/21/12
computer sciences? meh. too many people have them and there is not enough jobs. electrical engineering? now THAT is where is jobs are at.

our nation is EXTREAM need of a infrustructure over haul and growth. that is where the jobs will be in the future.
Dr Taxil Necrobane 9/23/12
Well, I would prefer to major in everything. . . but that isn't allowed or possible and would require far to much time if it were. I'd rather teach myself everything and do the things I want to do. I do all kinds of things in my free time and many of them fall into engineering categories.
blaidd gwael 9/25/12
As a scout leader in the UK I love camping and have loads of stories.
A few years ago some local hooligans set fire to the woodpile at the campsite we were on and we had to call the fire service out.
A couple of years ago we had several injuries that required trips to hospital. So far this year (fingers crossed) we haven't had to take anyone to hospital.
Being in the UK we don't have anywhere we can wildcamp like you do in the US so most of our camps are on scout campsites although we do know someone who owns a couple of acres of woodland that we use for survival camps.
I film most of the camps and other stuff we do and put it on our YouTube channel, 1st Dinas Powys, have a look if you've got time.
Tom 9/21/12
Oh, you're a scout leader? My grandmother used to be a Girl Scouts leader, which is kind of similar! (Also, wow, another UK reader, I'm constantly surprised by how many of you there seem to be!)

That's strange that there's such a difference between the types of camping grounds available in the States and available in England. And it's a shame that so many people got injured! I mean, I suppose there's always a risk of that when you're camping, but it's still a shame when it does happen.

I'll take a look at your Youtube once I get a chance, thank you for telling me about it!!!
 Emma  9/21/12
The injuries were nearly always caused by messing about. Cut by an axe (that was me!), cut by a penknife, burnt by hot oil, falling off a log, falling out of a tree, head injury in a pool, that sort of thing.

Well, we are in Wales (but you wouldn't have known that so I forgive you :) ) but we still camp in England fairly often.

In the UK we have Scouts and Girl Guides, but Scouts in the UK take both boys and girls, we've got quite a few in our troop and it wouldn't be the same without them.
Tom 9/21/12
Oh gosh, cut by an axe and head injury in a pool, your troop must be cursed!

Oh, and I totally assumed you were in England, mistakenly! I have a friend who lives in Wales, although she never did any of the Scouts activities. I think it's nice that the Scouts take both genders, here in the US we have Girl and Boy Scouts which are obviously separated out.
 Emma  9/21/12
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