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