I really felt a follow up on my weekend o’ fun camping extravaganza was warranted. Despite the floods, pestilence, mosquitos which attempted to carry me off, car dying, and heat stroke induced couple of days, I really did have a wonderful time camping with my girls.
Which is somewhat surprising, considering that I’m a reluctant camper. It was just a few short years ago that I swore never to be caught dead in a tent. Motel 6 was my idea of roughing it.
But then I looked at my children, and remembered wonderful camping trips in my youth. Well, mostly wonderful, considering all of my scouting was done in the frozen tundra of Ohio. So we bit the bullet and bought a tent that attaches to the back of our van.
And after a good 5 or 6 camping trips over the last year or so, I’m thinking I’m a fairly seasoned camper. Especially considering some of my finest camping has been done at Fort Wilderness in Walt Disney World. Wherein electricity is just an extension cord away, and water comes with the turn of a faucet. It should be noted that the bathrooms are cleaner than my own at home. But still, it’s camping. If you stand back and squint.
We did discover that camping is at its best when shared with friends, so we don’t leave home without them. Our children function best when distracted by other children, and the adults enjoy the camaraderie, so we make it a point only to camp with a gaggle of other people that we like.
There are two more such trips planned over the next couple of months. In November we camp with Emme’s Classical Conversation group. Fingers crossed we speak nothing but Latin the entire weekend. In December we head back to Fort Wilderness to camp with about 12 of our closest friends and their children.
The secret I’ve discovered with regards to successful camping (besides taking reinforcements in the form of friends) is list making. I have an extensive checklist on my computer, and it has aided me every single time in making sure nothing crucial is forgotten. Of course my list spoke nothing of camping in sweltering heat, so I must make a note to render myself unconscious with my camp frying pan should I ever consider that again.
What is a must have item that makes your camping trip a success? And room service does not count!