Camping on the beach
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What is it about….Camping?!

I had meant to post this closer to the beginning of summer, which seems, sadly, like sort of a blur… School was finally out, tests had been taken, and the boys had been blissfully launched into mental shut-down. Now, it’s mid-July, and — of course — the summer has scarcely started, and there they are: back-to-school shelves in the stores, already stocked.

Meanwhile, there has been an ever-growing pile of miscellaneous outdoorsy items collecting in our living room. For the last month or so, in our family, there has been a brewing interest in getting out to a more or less woodsy area, and eating and sleeping in the great outdoors. To nature-lovers everywhere, this is the thing known as camping — specifically, tent-camping. Sleeping on the ground. Cooking from a camp-fire or camp-stove. The kind of adventure that is unmistakably primitive, yet still strangely enticing…especially for young male humans. 😉

In the words of Someone — I’m not sure who — but whoever it was, so eloquently put it: “Camping — when you spend a small fortune to live like a homeless person…” Very adequately put.

Our First Family Camping Experience:

I have camped on and off growing up, but our family had never camped together until the summer of 2010 — when our youngest was just a mere three months old! Yes, you read that right — three MONTHS… We must’ve been insane…

Seriously, though, we prepped, made lists, packed relatively light — I think — and as much work as it was, we had a pretty good time. That is, except for the few mishaps that we encountered. Specifically, the tent leaked, the truck battery drained from leaving the lights on, and last, but not least, our three-year-old backed into the fire pit…while it was lit!

It was terrifying for us, and even more so, and very painful, for little Anthony, who was not only scared to death, but acquired a nasty, three-inch burn on the back of his thigh… Even so, we all survived, grateful we still had ice in the cooler, and relieved to be heading out the next day.

Since then:

Needless to say, we were in no hurry to re-live our camping nightma– I mean, adventure. 🙂

After we had moved to Oklahoma the following spring, we attempted to find a lake or two to see if we wanted to chance it again. Well, with the storms, bugs, floods, heat, humidity, and getting used to completely different territory, we gave up rather quickly. The first year or so, we quite literally just focused on trying to keep the kids relatively healthy for longer than a month at a time.

Those days have since passed, and it was not long before we acclimated to the climate and environment of the South. We drove to, and enjoyed, different scenic areas, but never ventured into the camping venue. The unpredictability of the storm seasons was a definite deterrent. Finding a scorpion lounging in my laundry as I took sheets off our clothes line didn’t help either, I suppose.

Moving on…in Anticipation…:

And here we are, eight years later, back in the Great Northwest, and ready to tackle the camping thing again. I keep reminding myself how much work it was… But then, the boys are older, and are more helpful and self-reliant. They barely even remember the first camping adventure. Anthony has some memory of his moment with the fire pit, but the scar is gone — at least the physical one. We are looking forward to the experience — especially the boys. And we are especially excited to make some new memories; notwithstanding the weather, or any creepy crawlies.

We will maybe try the lake first…take notes…and pictures…and then inventory. Very important.

Then we will plan to camp on the Pacific Coast…where the temps are more mild…finally!

Just imagine falling asleep to the constant repetition of ocean waves caressing the beach! I can just hear them now…

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