Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Ideal U.S. Family Vacation - Camping

We are such huge camping fans!  
These are my top five favorite things about a camping vacation.

1.  When you travel by car or rv, you see so much of the countryside.  I love to see the ways that different parts of our great country live.  There are subtle but fun differences in the way people design and maintain their homes.  When we travel, we always talk about the similarities and differences in architecture, food, decorating, etc.

2.  Enjoy the silence.  Camping takes you away from the noise and business of home.  Until you experience "unplugging", you don't realize how much buzz and noise there is from the things in your home.  With your family, you'll find that the silence is cozy and presents opportunities for you and your children to talk - really talk.

3.  Appreciate nature.  The great outdoors is amazingly beautiful.  Wherever you live, whether it's mountainous or flat; cold or hot; nature is beautiful.  There is nothing like a starry sky, away from the lights of a city.  I love the woods.  Around us, the seasons change, and it is amazing to see what the woods look like in spring, summer, fall and winter.  Hiking is a great exercise and gives you more chances to talk.  For some reason, it's easier to approach big topics, like life goals, when you are faced with the greatness of nature.  The "little things" tend to fall away and leave room for discussing the big, important things.  And your patience increases when you are not watching a clock, timing this and that.
4.  Hard work.  Okay, are saying, "she's lost her mind".  How is hard work a "favorite thing"??  Did you see the special with Oprah?  She and Gayle didn't love their trip, but that's because they didn't go with us.  Yes, camping is hard work - but it can be fun, because it's a challenge and it's something you are doing together.  Hey, anybody can cook a meal in a gourmet kitchen somewhere.  But when you are pretending to be pioneers, crossing the plains, cooking your meal over a fire - it's fun!

5.  Cozy, cozy, and cozy.  When you are out in the elements, you tend to draw together.  If it rains, you'll find yourself inside a cozy tent, playing games and listening to the tapping of the drops on the canvas.  Can you tell, I love that sound?  If it's a chilly morning, cozy up around a fire with your first coffee of the morning....  Ah, it's so awesome!  I want to go camping!

A bit of advice - listen to the Boy Scouts and "Be Prepared."  Having too many gadgets (ie electric frying pan) can take the fun out of camping, but you do want to make sure you have the essentials.  Know ahead of time that this is not an escape to a five star resort.  Change and adjust your expectations to be real for a camping trip.

Our favorite places to go?  We live in the Midwest and tend to go within a day or two drive.  We love State Parks.  The scenery is beautiful and the people are kind.  The campsites are usually well-tended and the co-campers are family oriented.  Public campsites are also great.  Usually we find the best by word of mouth, asking other campers but there are also lots of great blogs out there, as well.  

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (

1 comment:

  1. Camping is real fun and challenge and if you are doing this with your family, happiness would even be doubled! Thanks for these insights about camping. It is also a way to de-stress with your family.


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