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Why watch … Laid-Back Camp?

Rin solo camping by Mt Fuji in Laid-Back Camp

I wish I could have been a bit more like Rin when I was her age. She knows solitude doesn’t have to mean loneliness, or boredom, or helplessness. Getting away for a solo camping trip gives her time and space to reflect, warm up by the cheering light of a campfire and treat herself. In those times, her internal voice reveals some of what she’s thinking, but probably not all. She isn’t indebted to share everything, give the world a warm smile and welcome everyone into her private mind. She knows there’s nothing wrong with that, and so doesn’t find herself duty bound to join her school’s outdoor activities club, even when she happens to make a friend there.

Laid-Back Camp doesn’t think a single one of these girls owes any audience an apology for how they have fun. It shows its cast the same respect that the fizzy bubblegum-headed Nadeshiko shows Rin in acknowledging she prefers to solo camp, leaving it at that. They can still connect as themselves, sharing pictures of the night views from their separate camping grounds. Rin is always included in Outclub’s activities, whatever they’re each doing, and made aware that she’s always welcome at their camp without being pushed.

It’s all for the better, as the anime can display two campers’ views, two wonderful ways of spending down time watching clouds around Mt. Fuji, or cooking up spicy hotpot. The pleasures of eating with the cold air sharpening every sense are crystallised in soft winter mist, the ice blue hue of the girls’ surroundings as safe as their sleeping bags. This is their world to enjoy, and nobody is out to intrude. In nature, at night in the woods, they can feel scared in the shadows, but in full security from prying eyes unseen.

Nobody is telling these girls, least of all Rin, to be wary of danger. In Laid-Back Camp, there is no danger in any girl camping alone. They can all fall asleep uninhibited, with nature standing guard outside their tents. By phone light, together or alone, they are peaceful, safe, happy and free.

Yes, I want to be more like Rin. Wise enough to know there’s no fear in going alone.

About Elisabeth (1333 Articles)
Otaku blogger, mum and hyper-pixie of the cosmic realms. Might have made that last part up. Or did I?

4 Comments on Why watch … Laid-Back Camp?

  1. As an Australian, solo camping just isn’t something I’ve ever been encouraged to do. Not because I’m female, but because there are far too many situations you can get into where you will absolutely need assistance and there’s a long distance usually between where you are and where help is. Having been on camps where we’ve dealt with spider bites (not me), snake bites (again not me), flood, a broken ankle (not mine), nettle stings (unfortunately me) and animal food theft (real issue), I have no intention of ever setting foot into the wilderness without someone I trust nearby.

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    • Elisabeth O'Neill // February 24, 2018 at 09:50 // Reply

      Hahaha, oh man, camping in Australia sounds hilarious in the worst way. Like even if you just wanted a weekend enjoying the outdoors, you’re putting yourself in a survival show situation 😆 And we think we have it bad in Blighty when it drizzles a bit.

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      • Yes, what starts out as a fun adventure can quickly become more than a little bit of a disaster without good planning. Which is why you go with other people, and have people back home know where you are and when to start sending out a search party if you aren’t back. Mostly you’ll be fine and won’t need it, but between animal bites, stinging plants, horrible and quick weather changes, not to mention just breaking down in your vehicle in the middle of nowhere, it isn’t exactly something you should be doing by yourself. I know some people do, but when that emergency hits you want to be ready.

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  2. It is funny as I can relate to both ends of the spectrum. I have traveled alone quite a bit and can certainly understand Rin’s perspective and that feeling of enjoying the solitude and the freedom it gives. I can also understand where the club members are coming from as well- I have had a few of those amazing moments in my travels where I wished I could share it with someone. You are right- the series treats it’s characters extremely well. I like how they aren’t bogged down with unnecessary baggage or drama. They can just be who they are and enjoy what they want. This series is certainly the biggest surprise for me this season. I never thought a show about camping could be so fun to watch.

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