This past weekend we had a great time camping at one of our favourite places. It’s a place we go to year after year, because of the kids’ programs, the atmosphere and the facilities. We’ve stayed at many other places, but this one is our first choice for a weekend away. We were able to go at the same time as friends of ours, so that made it even better!
Many people wouldn’t choose to go camping, especially if there was a hotel close by. But there are some things that you really can’t beat when it comes to camping.
Exploring new places
We’ve been going to this place ever since I was born. My oldest first went when he was six weeks old, and we’ve been going almost every year since. But we had never taken the time to explore the rapids nearby that so many people had told me about. This weekend, we finally did. I can’t believe we didn’t go sooner! We had so much fun, and the kids had a blast. But it just goes to show that even when you think you know a place, there’s always more to discover.
There’s something to be said for learning to share your space with the animals and insects around you. As much as we hate mosquitos, we were in their territory. My kids learned early on how not to attract raccoons and bears, and that’s a valuable lesson! Interacting with wildlife, even though we live in a small town, isn’t something that we do that often. But when we’re camping, we get to experience it up close!
Cooking Over The Camp Stove
When you’ve simplified it as much as our family has, cooking while camping becomes super easy, even easier than at home. And with far less clean up ;-). We plan meals that are as quick and simple as possible, without alot of prep, and that can be cooked with only one or two pots. We also use disposable and mostly burnable dishes and cutlery. There’s nothing quite eating outdoors and then only having one pot to clean afterwards.
We love S’mores and roasting hot dogs over the fire, but the best part of the fire (besides the fact that it drives away the bugs) is that smokey, woodsy smell. You know you’ve been camping when you come home smelling like a campfire.
Many people don’t like camping because they think it involves more work than at home. It does involve work, but it’s not more work, it’s just different work. And the truth is that the more the kids are able to help out, the easier it is. Our boys have finally gotten to the point where they can set up and take down their own tent without help from me (I’m the resident tent builder). It’s great to see them working together, and even more importantly, it’s great to see them showing a little bit of the self-sufficiency they’ll need as they grow older.
My job involves a lot of computer work, which means that I’m pretty sedentary at home. But when you’re camping, even a trip to the bathroom involves a hike, so you can’t get away without getting in a workout. Add to that the actual hikes and exploring you’ll be doing, and you won’t even need to worry about the extra calories in those S’mores!
At home, we all have different bedtimes. Seriously – five different people means five different bedtimes. And when the kids were younger, when we were camping, hubby and I would often stay up later than the kids. But now that they’re older, they stay up around the fire with us, and we all head to bed at the same time. When it’s dark outside, and everyone is snuggled in their sleeping bags, the silliness begins. We tell “ghost stories” (which really end up being suspenseful stories with silly endings), joking around and occasionally singing (my daughter put herself to sleep once while singing the alphabet song).
What about you – do you go camping? If so, what do you enjoy most about it?