Camping: It’s Hard Work! Why We Love it and Would Even Extend our Trips

There’s just something about camping that connects me to a place more than just staying in a hotel or rental home.

Camping: Kalaloch Beach, WA |

Yes, the differences are pretty obvious: Outside vs. Inside, Cooking on a barbecue or fire vs. Just eating out.  The cost savings is also quite significant.  What I love most though is being surrounded by and experiencing the nature that we seek out so much in our travels.  We never have to leave it either.

Camping: Kalaloch Beach, WA |

At the same time though, all those positives come with a heck of a lot of work.  Hard work without kids involved; even harder with a toddler in tow.

The work starts well before we pull up to the campsite too.  Meal planning, packing lists, organizing supplies, then figuring out how to fit all the gear, food, and supplies in the car.

Next comes a road trip.  Fun? Yes, but there’s some stress involved with navigating (to an extent), and in our case keeping a nearly 2-year old from completing losing it during the drive.

Camping: Kalaloch Beach, WA |

Upon arrival at the campground, it’s bitter sweet.  On one hand, we’ve arrived at a beautiful destination.

On the other hand, we have work looming over us: The chore of setting up tents, tarps, and chairs, then organizing the food, starting a fire, and eventually preparing and cooking that food so deserving bellies can become full.  We can’t get too comfortable though because clean-up, dish washing and putting it all away is just around the corner.

Camping: Kalaloch Beach, WA |

It’s funny, given all this hard work you’d think we’d just throw in the towel and resolve to stay in a cabin next time.  That’s not out of the question, but what we’re really actually considering is extending the camping trip by a night or two!

2 nights is just too short.  It’s too soon to pack up and go when really, we feel like we just arrived, and just started feeling relaxed and connected to our environment.  For all the labor involved, it only seems fair that we get to reap some of the benefits of life outdoors for a longer period of time.

Camping: Kalaloch Beach, WA |

What’s your ideal length of time for a camping trip? 3 nights? 1 week? No camping at all? Tell us all about your choice in the comments! 

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8 thoughts on “Camping: It’s Hard Work! Why We Love it and Would Even Extend our Trips

  1. Oh I remember those days of camping with little ones! Like you said though, it was all worth it. With our summer life we miss the good months of camping in WA and lately have resorted to renting a cabin on Orcas 🙂 We do LOVE camping though!

    • That would be tough to miss our amazing Western Washington summers, but I think you’re pretty much living the good life up in Alaska too! Ahh, Orcas. I’d love to visit in the summer, and do some camping in Moran State Park. Might have to cook up a trip there next summer 🙂

  2. We just took our 3 and 6 year old camping for the first time for a 2 night trip. The younger one got sick and we packed it up by 5PM the second day to head home (joy of living within an hour from the Adirondacks). It was an insane amount of work for one night and next time we’ll definitely stay for 2-3 days – but the kids did love it.

    • Bummer that the little one got sick! That is tough–so glad they had fun though despite the sickness & having to leave early.
      As we drove out we kept making pretend plans when we passed little motels or B&B’s along the way…saying that’s where we’d go if the whole sleeping thing didn’t work out. I think our little guy slept better than we did though!

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