If you know me at all, you know I love camping. I grew up camping, my husband grew up camping and our boys are growing up camping too. There are so many reasons why it is the perfect way to vacation with your family, but here are just a few…
#1 – First and foremost, I think your sleeping accommodations are a huge part of what makes camping the best as far as family vacationing goes. Whether you have a tent or a travel trailer, cabin or motorhome…whatever. The reason is because you are in closer quarters than you are at home. If it rains, you are in a small space together. This means you are pretty much forced to interact. Not only that, but it’s like a special sleepover every night too. We lie there and talk and laugh about things before bed. It’s just a special time in special surroundings. We tent camped for years and then were greatly blessed by Brian’s aunt and had a motorhome that we used for years and last summer she allowed us to sell it and trade in for a travel trailer that would be a better fit for our family. We absolutely love it and are super excited about how much time we are going to get to spend in it this summer. Check it out…
Isn’t it awesome?! We LOVE it!!!!
#2 – Little to NO technology/screen time. We occasionally allow a little time to play games on iphones or ipads if there is a lot of rain and we are stuck inside for a couple of days. Otherwise, when it rains, we play board/card games. When it’s not raining for days on end though, there is NO REASON to be spending time on electronics. Truthfully, my boys are usually so busy swimming and playing outside that they have no desire to be on that junk. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. We are all so much more present in our interactions and just enjoy life, without all of the distractions. This is such a blessing for any family.
#3 – Special meals/treats. There is something so fun about making food that you don’t typically have at home. Of course there are s’mores, but we sometimes have them when we have a bonfire in our backyard. I’m talking yummy things like using the irons you can buy and cook things in over the fire. We love pizzas and reubens made that way and don’t forget taking a can of pie filling, putting it in one of the irons between two pieces of bread and then sprinkling powdered sugar over it when it’s done cooking. YUM! Simple things, but things we never have besides when we’re camping (and actually haven’t done in a while, so I think we should plan it for some of our upcoming trips).
#4 – Water fun. Whether it’s the pools at the campgrounds, the beaches or the river…every campground we go to offers some sort of water fun. We love to spend days at the beach with games like cornhole and horseballs, a cooler packed with drinks and sandwiches and a bunch of snacks. Watching the kids play in the water and laugh is the best and it’s so relaxing to just lie on the beach. I particularly like the days when there are some waves on the water. I love to go out and play with the kids and it totally makes me feel like a kid again. The pool is ok. The kids like it, so that makes it tolerable, but I definitely wouldn’t say that that’s my favorite water fun while camping. My absolute favorite though is when we go up to our favorite campground on a river and we tube down the river a couple of times during our stay and also the kids swim in it and my Mom and I love to stick a chair down in the sand and sit in the water and watch the tubers, canoers and kayakers go by. So relaxing, so fun.
#5 – Nights spent around a campfire. I think there are few things that feel as blissful as taking a shower in the evening after dinner and then going and sitting out by the campfire with family. There is just something about being in the water or doing things all day that make you feel a little grimy and then getting all cleaned up and snuggling down by the campfire. There is so much laughter that happens around the fire. Who knows where conversations will go or when we’re camping with my parents, what kind of weird game my Dad will make up that will have the kids and adults all cracking up. Such an incredibly simple thing, but there is just something magical about nights around the campfire. They are my favorite kinds of nights.
#6 – Experiencing new places/things. There are so many new things to experience as a family when camping. Sometimes we venture out from the campground and visit new towns we’ve never been to before. To keep costs low, we will plan to just go out and explore and have ice cream or something like that and everyone loves it. Then there are cool things to experience while at the campgrounds. Depending on where you go and what kinds of amenities they have, you may be able to rent fun kinds of bikes or kayaks or paddle boats. Some of the campgrounds we go to have organized craft days, karaoke nights and things like that. No one in our family has been brave enough to sing, but they love to watch. Some really cool things we’ve experienced are while tubing down the river. We’ve come to rope swings over the river and a mudslide down the river bank that has afforded many laughs for not only our little family, but tons of our extended family too. I have done some seriously hard laughing at some of my cousins on that thing. There’s also a place where the current goes fast and everyone likes to jump off a big rock and ride the current to the nearby landing, get out and do it all over again. So many things that don’t cost any money, but bank up awesome memories.
Most of my best memories of being a kid involve camping, as do my husband’s. I have a really good feeling that my kids will say the same some day. If you’re looking for a great way to really connect with your family that doesn’t require a bunch of fancy entertainment and expensive hotels, camping is absolutely the best way to go. Rent a cabin at a KOA, borrow a tent from a friend, you can even rent a travel trailer or motorhome. Whether you go for a weekend or a week, your family is sure to experience some great times together and I must insist that for the best experience possible, you LEAVE THE ELECTRONICS AT HOME or at least keep them put away and only allow an hour of screen time each day at most. It’s time to unplug and enjoy your family and camping is an awesome way to do it!
So, do you and your family like to camp? Does this seem like something you’d like to try? If not, why? If you do camp, where are your favorite places? Please share!