“I really want to go camping this summer. Preferably” by myself in hotel with a spa and room service.”
I have to admit, this was me.
My family didn’t camp when I was younger. I was the bottom of 5 children and quite a bit younger than my siblings. The boys went camping, with my Dad, in the scouts. By the time I came around, no one went anymore. Oh, and we lived in the middle of the city in Chicago.
Now, we did do some low maintenance cabins and such. I remember them fondly, LOOKING BACK. At the time, I was very afraid of the, what seemed to be, HUGE spiders (daddy long legs)! And hotels seemed just so much more fun….THE POOLS!!
I married a camper and had two boys.
My hubby grew up camping with his family in Oregon.
So what’s a girl to do?
Now I will admit there are times where I am tempted to just send the boys on their way for a guys weekend. “You guys can bond.” Sometime I do, but most times, I go and here’s why………
10) GOOD WORKOUT
Hiking, biking, water sports, and more can be found out there. They are a great workout and generally you are doing them with other people, not in a hotel workout room, which makes it more fun.
9) LOWER STANDARDS
When I am on a regular hotel vacation my standards don’t change nearly as much as they do when camping. No makeup, spit cherries seeds on the ground, and easy paper plate dinners. There is an element that you are dirty, or going to be, anyways so “If the food falls on the ground, Oh well!” attitude. This, I think the boys love the most.
8) CHALLENGE MYSELF
I push myself a little harder. If the trail seems a little harder, I am going to go and try. I’m not going to be the only one that didn’t make it. I also believe my boys can see that I am going a little outside my comfort zone and hope they will as well (like maybe antique store with their mom).
There are a lot of things that can go wrong on a camping trip. If for instance, your son gets stung a bunch of times, husband falls on some rocks, another son burns his hand, and you inadvertently fall over the handle of your bike, there’s plenty of time to be compassionate toward each other. Not that we would know or anything. But seriously, when I need to stop, my kids stop and wait. I think that it’s good for them to learn how to wait for others.
6) FACE FEARS
Member the spiders I was talking about. Yeah, I still don’t like them. In fact, I could do without a lot of bugs to be honest. The more I go camping, the better this becomes. In fact, many years ago, on a “glamping” type trip, I got freaked out about a spider The Mister hit with a stick. I couldn’t see where it went and had nightmares all night. Believe me, this is a story that will go down in family history. The last time we went camping, I think I had a dead spider (be it small) on our little mattress thing we sleep and I was like oh well! For me, that is one step toward conquering this fear. But even if spiders aren’t it, there are other fears that get conquered in the great outdoors like heights, dark, water, wildlife, hot dogs.
5) SLOW DOWN
There can be a lot of down time in camping. Sitting around the camp fire, sitting by the lake, sitting after a meal, sitting after a bike ride, etc. It’s a great time to enjoy nature, your family, and God. When we are still we can hear the voice of God.
Speaking of enjoying nature….
Let’s face it, camping is in some awesome parts of the world. You are surrounded by amazing birds, flowers, sunsets, sunrises, trees, lakes, rivers, on and on. You can hear the birds in the morning and the insects at night. It’s peaceful. You can see a short video we took on our most recent trip, HERE.
Yeah, you can’t match this kind of unplug anywhere else. When you go on a trip, you have your cell phones to take pictures and guess why, free internet from the hotel. When you go camping, no free internet. In fact, no internet in a lot of places. All we could do was take pictures! NO EMAIL, NO FACEBOOK, NO INSTAGRAM! Sorry guys..love ya but need a break every now and again.
You can’t beat the cost. We have a VERY OLD pop up tent trailer!!! It was $300 10 years ago old. If you break that down plus the cost per night of the spot and gas, we paid about $25/night. Plus, we didn’t have the air on or use the water at home so there is savings there. Can’t beat that! And if I went on a traditional trip (in a hotel) we would have all the eating out expenses.
1) FAMILY TIME/MEMORIES
Camping is something that brings you close together as a family. I don’t know if it’s the fresh air, games, injuries, no electronics, or what. The stories we can tell from these trips are invaluable to me.
So the next time someone wants to go camping and you say, “At the Hilton?” try to face your fears and give camping a try!