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Camping – A vacation or too much work?

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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.

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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?

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1 Shirley Churchill { 06.27.16 at 6:16 am }

We consider ourselves fair weather campers. We are in our 60’s and never camped until last year. We bought a travel trailer. We prefer to only “camp” in full hook-up sites so we certainly do not experience a lot of the trials most of the rest of you do. However, it’s still camping with all the pre-camping work. Having the TT makes it so much easier since we just keep everything in it so no moving stuff around. It takes us about an hour to set up for every trip and about an hour to tear down. All worth it for us. I realize it’s a lot more work when tent camping. Not our thing but I get it.

2 Donald Neighbors { 06.27.16 at 5:01 am }

camping is my escape ; yes it can be work but it is also lots of fun ; I camped with my family growing up and I continued though my twenties ; my daughter was only a couple weeks old when I took her camping and fishing to give momma a break ; she loves to camp also now she even was a counselor for a boy scout camp for almost eight or more years; she still gets children to run up and ask if she remembers them.and now that I am older sleeping on the ground is harder to get up from but I still go to escape ; IT IS GREAT!

3 Lynda schock { 05.04.16 at 8:08 am }

I have camped all my life, we’ve done it all from a tent to a motor home… The most important part to remember is your really DONT need half of what you think you do. Keep it simple and have a few containers designated just for camping, just The basics. We have a camper van now ( totally packed and ready) BUT I find it funny that when we are pulling out of the yard to head out its in the tent, the cards, backgammon board we are packing…….Scavenger hunts, made ahead Dino eggs and some pintrest ideas and little ones are ready to go. My dad use to say KiSS –( keep it simple stupid) and you will have the most fun, ENJOY!!

4 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!

5 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.

6 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. .

7 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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