Category Archives: Camping

Please Don’t Hate Me…

But I officially want a camper.

Some of you who are hardcore campers might strongly dislike this statement. However, hang in there with me for a moment as I explain.

You might notice that Jason and I didn’t take one camping trip this summer (our backyard campout doesn’t count), or for that matter, this year. Camping has become too much work given our current home setup. No garage means that all of our gear is stored in our basement – our nasty, old, limestone basement with a narrow staircase. Bringing our gear upstairs becomes a major ordeal.

While I have enjoyed camping in our tent (surprisingly), it does take a little more time to set up our campsite. When we go camping, we don’t want to go just down the road – we want to travel. However, we don’t want to get stuck setting up in the dark, so we have to get on the road earlier. This usually means taking a day (or two) off of work. Don’t get me wrong – I have no problem using vacation time. The issue is that Jason and I have different vacation policies at work (I have more flexibility and time than he does), and we have to be careful to not wreck our bigger summer vacation plans.

It would be lovely to leave work on a Friday, go home, grab our duffle bags, hook up a camper, and hit the road. Having the ability to store some (if not all) of the gear we need right in the camper sounds fabulous, too.

Jason and I plan to start saving soon so we can camp more often.

Did you know they make A-frame campers? I didn’t…until now. 🙂


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In my dreams…


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Speaking of dreams…Minimalist and very cool.


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I’ll keep you posted on the future of my camper dreams 🙂

Great American Backyard Campout 2011

Even though it was a night in advance, Jason and I took part of the Great American Backyard Campout with our niece, Reagan, on Friday night. It was Reagan’s first time “camping,” and it has been something we’ve promised to do with her for several months now.

Our campsite for the night.
Backyard Camping

Inaugural use of our new fire pit.
Campfire

Nothing like hot dogs roasted over a campfire.
Dinner Time!

Bailey joined us in the campout. She has camped a couple of times with Jason and I, so we knew she’d handle it well. Thea, our flight risk, had to stay inside and miss the festivities (more on that later…). Bailey was in all of her glory. Typically, Reagan gravitates to Thea since Bailey can be a bit much with the licking and need for attention. With Thea out of the picture, Bailey took full advantage.

Focused on a bug.

Campin’ Buddies
Buds

I have to say, our backyard is ideal for camping. Even though we live in town, the wooded creek area along the backside of our lot means seclusion from houses on the other side. None of our neighbors ever seem to use their backyards, so it’s perfect.

Looks Like We're in the Woods...Kind Of

We had a couple of “wildlife” sightings. First, Bailey and Reagan spotted a cat a few yards over. The cat disappeared into the wooded area of the yard…and then we heard the insane meowing. The cat was obviously battling something. The cat won – we saw it headed back to its house a bit later.

The other prominent wildlife were birds, particularly a pair of bluebirds nesting in our neighbor’s birdhouse. We all enjoyed watching them fly around.

Of course, no campout would be complete without s’mores. I really enjoyed REI’s The Art & Science of S’mores, and I was sure to share my favorite variation: fudge stripe cookies in place of graham crackers and chocolate. I found the idea online a couple years ago, and I have to say that I prefer this version to the original. I’ve never been a big fan of graham crackers, but fudge stripe cookies…that’s a different story 😀  Reagan likes these “marshmallow cookies,” too.

Marshmallow Cookies!

Once it got darker out and we had our fill of s’mores, it was time to catch fireflies. Reagan started out wanting to catch 49 of them…but she settled for five.

Catching Fireflies

Our Bounty

Jason and I were a little perplexed. The fireflies wouldn’t light up while they were in the jar. We remembered catching fireflies as kids, and the bugs always continued to blink in their prisons our containers. Anyone know what would be going on there?

We headed back inside to clean up and, by that point, I just wasn’t feeling it anymore. I felt terribly guilty leaving Thea by herself in the house while we were having fun outside 🙁  We considered leaving Bailey inside with her, but I think part of Reagan’s excitement was over Bailey camping, too. Since today was Thea’s birthday, so I wanted to be good to her. Jason, Reagan, and Bailey got settled in the tent while I headed into the house and up the stairs to my bedroom.

Jason and Reagan woke me up around 6:00am. Jason was freezing all night – Reagan was perfectly comfortable with only her thin sleeping bag. Lying niece or wimpy husband – You decide  😉

Overall, Reagan did great! We’ll try another couple of backyard campouts with her (and me), and we might try taking her on an actual camping trip sometime if she’d like to go.

Question:

Did you get out camping this weekend?


Feelin’ the Love

My Monday started with a small rant on Twitter:

[blackbirdpie id=”52444351942508545″]

 

Where did it come from? Well, there were two sources. First, about a month ago, I shared a link over Twitter from Glamping Girl about an amazing glamping resort near the Great Smokey Mountains. Well, a random on Twitter didn’t think so. I was scolded for my desire to “glamp” and was told it was “time to embrace the dirt.” Ok  😕

The second kick came via Facebook. Jason and I had just been to the travel agent to get our flight booked to California in July. Since this pretty much immediately followed our big purchases at REI, I shared on Facebook that this had officially become the most expensive camping trip ever. Keep in mind that I tend to be a little sarcastic and snarky, and that’s all I meant to convey. Of course, an old high school acquaintance felt compelled to tell me that I should “quit now and go 100% native.” Thanks for the unsolicited, judgmental advice  😡

To my great joy and, dare I say, surprise, I had a wonderful outpouring of support from some of my fellow outdoorsy Tweeters. And then came this…

Daily Inspiration #16

Today’s inspiration is courtesy of Laura…

Read the full post on The GearCaster!

I was so flattered and touched. It brought a much needed smile to my face.

Remember, people, it’s all about getting outdoors and enjoying nature…in whatever manner and style works for you  🙂

 

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