Saturday June 23rd is the Great American Backyard Campout, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation. This would be a great way to take a baby step into camping if you haven’t taken your family camping yet. Or if you are avid campers you can take this weekend to jump into the summer camping season.
Since camping is one of our favorite family activities I thought I would share some of my favorite reasons to go camping.
1. Being outside – At home, would you spend most of the day outside? I know I probably would be stuck inside working or doing household chores. Fresh air and sunshine have a great way of lowering your blood pressure. It is great to get the whole family out and enjoying our beautiful planet.
2. Seeing beautiful parts of the country – We have a beautiful country, so diverse in topography. I love waking up and stepping outside in a new place to see the ocean or the mountains. The boys also get to learn about the different environments and natural beauty our country has to offer.
3. Spending time with friends – You really get to know people when you go camping with them — three days without washing your hair will do that. It is fun to sit and talk about random subjects that you probably wouldn’t get to at other times.
4. Watching your kids play – How often do you watch your kids play at home? I know I usually head off to get some things done. When we are camping there are only a few things I have to do, so I get to watch them play and marvel at how much energy they have.
5. Campfires, red wine & smores – What is it about campfires? Nothing goes better with campfires than red wine and smores (well maybe peanut M&Ms too). Jim is obsessed with making great fires, so we always make sure we have enough wood. At each campground he also searches for the perfect fire poker.
6. Cooking outside – You know you are a cook when you can make an entire dinner on a campfire or camp stove. We have fun planning the menu to see what creative ideas might work. I think food tastes better when eaten outside, especially breakfast.
7. Making new friends – Campgrounds tend to be friendly places. People are more likely to walk up to you and start talking about something, like your trailer or what you are making for dinner. Your neighbors can easily become new friends, especially if they have kids, because the kids tend to easily jump into games together.
8. Playing with your kids – Camping can turn adults back into kids. We ride bikes, fly kites, play board games and catch. At home we tend to just go about our days. When camping we don’t have projects to do, so we can just enjoy being a family.
9. Afternoon cocktails – Is there anything better than sitting on a beach watching the kids play while enjoying a margarita and not feeling guilty about it? There aren’t chores to do or projects to complete, so you can just enjoy life and the company you are with.
10. Laughing until your sides hurt (or you pee yourself) – Campgrounds are also really great places to people watch. All sorts of humanity goes camping. Then there are the silly things that you do or say. At least with our group those never seem to go away. Someone is always telling a funny story or making a joke. I think laughter is the best medicine, melting away our stress; that and a few cocktails.
Hopefully this summer, if you haven’t tried camping yet, you can at least take a baby step into camping and try a staycation in your backyard. It is an experience like none other.