This weekend we took our first camping trip as a family. We spent one night at a site about 2.5 hours from town, with another family (with 3 young boys) that I know through my local MDC Tribe of mamas. We considered this a trial run, since the other family was there with a camper and they are more experienced than us, making it more likely that they would bring whatever items we’d forgotten.
I wasn’t sure if this would turn out to be a vacation or a workout. I’m happy to say, it was wonderful. I suppose having the other kids there was the real kicker. DS didn’t wander off as much as usual, though it being a small campsite there wasn’t far for him to go. I got to sit and relax and enjoy the fresh air. There was a lovely river by the site that we went for a dip in (this was the hottest weekend on record!). I didn’t feel like I was chasing after the kids all the time, I felt like I got to sit down and talk to the other grownups and have fun. The only down side was that DS slept the whole trip out there so he was awake until 11:30! Still, our hosts are night owls so we stayed up for a game of Texas Hold’em Poker and drank White Russians (I can’t get over how refreshing that was; lots of ice of course). The next day we went up river to the “watering hole” and had a lovely swim before heading home.
Sleeping in the tent brought back all the memories of why I love camping. It was breezy and beautiful and quiet and…just lovely. We were very comfortable in the big tent my dear friend lent us and what little sleep I got was deep and restful.
SO…it was a success, and now we want to do more of it and become a camping family. We are debating a tent trailer versus a traditional tent. While I like the idea of having your own toilet (I hate outhouses!), I really prefer to sleep in a tent. The tent trailer offers a stove, but a camping stove works just as well. A refrigerator would be nice, but since we’d be hauling this with a standard sized car, I doubt we’d have the power to keep the fridge running (and going to campsites you can “plug into” just doesn’t appeal to me). Finally, lots of campsites have flushing toilets, which solves that problem, too. We are so blessed here in Super Natural British Columbia to have more campsites than you could try in a lifetime.
So, I think we’ll go with a tent and maybe one of those screen gazebo things, a camping stove and we’re good to go. Oh, and this is car camping we’re talking about, too. Maybe we’ll get into back country camping when the kids are older, but I’m not that dedicated to the sport kwim, lol.