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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Camping – A vacation or too much work?

Camping – A vacation or too much work?

Are you a camper? Last week we ran a story about camping like a champ. It offered some great tips on ways to make the whole camping experience more enjoyable. We also shared some campfire cooking recipes that many of you seemed to enjoy.

Camping was a popular vacation for me when I was a child. My mom, dad, three sisters and I would all fit into one huge (or so it seemed back then) tent, most of the time at a state park. And while some may cringe at the thought of sleeping all together in a flimsy temporary housing structure, it was in fact one of the most endearing parts of my camping memories. The feeling that someone was right next to you to tell stories to or to continue the Walton’s tradition of saying good night to everyone over and over again was fun, comforting and has stayed with me.

I have camped as an adult too, both with kids and without. Most of the time they were tenting experiences, that always included a night or two of what seemed to be a torrential rainfall. One time we borrowed a pop-up camper. That was a lot of fun and especially enjoyable to be off the ground, since the rain came down in buckets.

Reconnecting with nature and shutting off electronics are two of the appeals of camping for me. We play cards, tell stories, catch up on reading, and play a few board games. There was one night I recall when my daughter was probably 4 or 5 and went to get her pajamas on in the tent and started screaming at the top of her lungs! Yes a bug was in her pajamas and it was crawling on her in the dark.

I’ve also been camping with the Girl Scouts, but ever since a bear invaded a local scout camp (even tried to pull a girl out of the tent), the girls in our troop have been a bit leery about spending the night in a tent.

I haven’t been camping with the kids in awhile. One of the drawbacks to me (besides the biting bugs and that nagging worry of a bear sighting) is the amount of work that it takes to prepare for the trip. Unless you have a box or area where you can keep spare pots, pans, utensils, spices etc., getting ready for a camping trip can be quite the chore. As is the cooking and cleaning up after meals without running water, and the keeping food cool without refrigeration.  So sometimes the idea of a camping vacation is more like a working one.

But then again, I do think it’s a wonderful experience for everyone, especially children, to experience the awe of camping and nature, and to reconnect with the wonderful outdoors.

What do you think? Is camping too much work? Do you enjoy it or is your type of camping similar to my sister’s — done at the local hotel down the road?

4 comments

1 Christy M { 05.18.14 at 8:08 pm }

I am a single mom to my now 3 yr old! I took him camping just 2 weeks ago for the first time. It was a lot of work to get us packed. But I made all my purchases to be useable and pre-packable for our future trips. The lock down lid on the tote contains the tube to wash dishes in which holds the Coleman pots and pan inside it, as well as utensils and a strainer for pasta! It is ready at the drop of a minutes notice! So…it is work at first, but if you place everything small in totes, and set in a corner, it will be very little work in the long run! Plus these days, if you stay at a State Park, there is always a Camp Host and Ranger available to assist you. And unlike most retail store associates……these wonderful people actually WANT to help you have a great camping adventure!

2 Elizabeth { 07.08.13 at 9:55 am }

It can be a lot of work. Especially if you are planning to take a long trip, like the one we took to Yellowstone last week. It’s well worth it though. I know all the hard work I do before leaves me extra time during camping to enjoy the precious time with my boys.

3 Kathy { 07.08.13 at 9:29 am }

We enjoy it but coming home I find I am so tired after every thing unpacked and put away. .

4 stormy { 07.08.13 at 9:28 am }

the kids and wife and I love to camp. nothing better for close family time.

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