Family bonding. Weenie roasts. Getting back to nature. The lullaby of crickets’ chirping. Lifelong memories.
Screaming toddler refusing to sleep in the tent, punting all other family members in the guts while thrashing through a tantrum at 3 am. Mosquito bites the size of dimes. Burnt marshmallows. A whole lot of work for not a whole lot of fun.
We have not camped as a family before. (In case you couldn’t tell.) My husband is a lover of the great outdoors but we haven’t done much traveling with the kids since our lives have been so busy with him running the apple orchard (the spring and summer are his most demanding times of work) and with me always being 76 months pregnant each summer. We have stuck close to home, which isn’t so bad since we live in the Okanagan Valley and spend the whole summer break at the beach.
That being said, we’re getting to the point where we’re thinking about traveling with our kids and I know that camping is a cheap, wonderful way to spend time together. I am just a little scared about it, that’s all. I grew up with our family vacations consisting of crossing the border into North Dakota to hit up Target, then staying in a hotel and eating at a buffet. (We liked to party.) Since I didn’t grow up camping, there are parts of it that I find really intimidating: the packing, the cooking, the “our kids are monsters, why did we DO THIS?!” question that is bound to come up.
I think that the best way for me to transition into a positive camping experience would be do rent or borrow a fifth wheel, go and park at a site with some friends who have kids the same age as ours, and bring LOTS of snacks. Then I think I’d be OK.
Do you camp with your family? Is it awesome or do you secretly dread it? Do you tent or diva it up in a trailer? Any tips for a camping rookie who might be ready to take the plunge?