“Huh?” You may be thinking. “Why would the co-writer of a camping-themed blog say she doesn’t go camping?”
It’s not that I don’t go camping—because I do, and since marrying Jarrett I’ve done a lot of it. But there are several factors surrounding the camping experience that could easily squelch my appetite to engage in any more such trips—that is, if not for the reasons that make it all worthwhile.
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So why don’t I go camping?
1. Well, I don’t go camping because I enjoy all the preparations necessary before we even get in the car to leave.
With three young children, the amount of planning and packing involved can be rather overwhelming. I’ll admit it: I’m a bit neurotic about not wanting to forget anything. I’ve created checklists (which you can access for free when you subscribe to TheTouringCamper.com) that have streamlined the packing process, but it still takes time to gather up everyone’s gear and prep all the food that we bring with us.
2. I don’t go camping because I think it’s going to be a completely relaxing experience.
It’s not like getting away to a spa or bed and breakfast. Meals still need to be prepped. Dishes still need to be cleaned up. Dogs still need to be walked. Children still need supervision. And so it goes.
3. I don’t go camping because I like being eaten by mosquitoes.
Jarrett insists it’s because I’m so sweet, but whatever the reason, mosquitoes flock to me. I try to steer clear of strong bug sprays, and natural repellant products rarely help (although I’m open to suggestions! :)). Even wearing long-sleeved shirts has been to no avail since the pesky creatures have frequently bitten me through my clothing!
So why, then, do I continue year after year to push through the preparations, look past the lack of relaxation, and come home covered in bug bites so I can go camping?
1. I go camping because I love making memories with my family and friends.
Our children absolutely love the time we spend camping, and I know years from now these trips and experiences will rank among our favorite family memories. We spend our days playing and exploring together. And at the end of the day, there’s nothing quite like gathering around a campfire to roast marshmallows while listening to stories and reminiscing.
2. I go camping because I enjoy exploring new places.
I’m not sure if I will ever get many stamps in my international passport, but that’s OK, because I’m having a blast exploring our own amazing U.S. of A. Aside from the obvious natural wonders and historical landmarks throughout this country, it is also filled with a lot of fun, and random, Americana. (We have a few books—this and this—that we like to reference to find those hidden gems.)
3. I go camping because it provides an opportunity to unplug.
Life moves at such a frantic pace, and we are constantly bombarded by digital distractions. Camping allows for digital detox. Although I like to have that cell signal just in case of an emergency, it’s incredibly freeing to lay the phone aside on our trips and embrace more “quiet.”
So that’s why I don’t–and do–go camping. What about you? Share your reasons below.