You’re a little surprised.
Because you’re having trouble imagining why I – of all people! – would be writing about camping.
As I don’t exactly have the reputation of being a happy camper.
And it’s true. I’m not very enthusiastic about camping.
Of course, I have good reasons for this.
Here, I’ll list a few of them for you.
- I don’t like dirt.
- I like to sleep in a soft, cozy bed at night.
- I don’t care for bugs.
- I love my hot shower. Every morning.
- I can never seem to find a plug-in for my hair-dryer.
I could go on and on, but that’s really enough to give you the idea, don’t you think?
But I Married a Mountain Man
Apparently, I should have spelled all this out to my husband before we got married because, as it turned out, I got myself a regular Mountain Man.
Let’s put it this way: I was raised in the comfortable Southern California suburbs . . . while he was growing up in the great wilderness of northern Canada.
Think civilized, warm sandy beaches vs. sub-zero temperatures and grizzly bears.
Think Ritz Carlton vs. a pup tent.
Basically, I tell people that we have a cross-cultural marriage. Although this did not become fully evident until the day we went . . .
While I was searching for that cute little cabin in the woods (preferably providing fresh linens each day), he was off somewhere digging a flat spot in the dirt where he could pitch our tent.
By the time I figured out how that (stupid – don’t tell my kids I said that) rickety camp stove worked . . .
he had built a fire….caught a fish…and had cooked it to perfection over the hot coals.
But the clincher. And this really was the clincher . . .
Was the red plastic cup that had been innocently set out on the picnic table in front of our camp.
Our darling toddler had somehow escaped my careful watch and grabbed the bright red cup and drank down every last drop.
Which was when his Big Sister screamed.
Screamed good and loud and nonstop.
Entire campground-alarm screaming.
Personally, I found it a bit of an overreaction. I mean, yes, it was her red cup, but it merely contained water and the last I checked, water was readily replaceable.
But when Big Sissy finally calmed down enough to explain her outburst, she told me the problem wasn’t so much the water . . .
but what was in the water.
You see, this was the cup she had used to go “fishing” in the lake that morning. And so this brightly colored cup was full of lake water and . . .
Basically, my sweet baby boy had just swallowed about 147 tiny lake fish.
Raw and wriggling.
Bunches and bunches of bitty fishes down the hatch.
So then it was my turn to SCREAM.
Something of a screaming duet.
And now you can see why I’m not a huge fan of camping (that, and about 93 other stories just like it).
And why camping with kids is not for the faint of heart.
But also why I’m the perfect person to write up a list for Camping with Kids.
Because, friends, I get it.
You know I do.
Camping With Kids – A Checklist
So I’ve put together a short list of things you might want to pack if you’re up for the adventure. Just a few items – not more than a hundred – that you’ll want to throw in the back of the truck.
And while your husband might complain that you’re “packing as if you’re going up the Amazon,” don’t pay him any attention.
Because, I’m telling you, that this is the stuff that you’re going to need.
Download the printable of first page HERE:
Download the printable of second page HERE:
The End of the Story
Now, in case you’re wondering, there doesn’t seem to be any lasting harm to eating over a hundred live lake minnows in one gulp because the little guy never complained once. He’s reached 12 years old and appears to be just fine. I mean, he’s turned out to be a very strong swimmer, but I think that’s just a coincidence….?
So with that, I hope you have many wonderful adventures on your camping trip!
*Just don’t let your babies drink lake water out of bright red cups, okay?
Blessings on your summer,
P.S. Would you believe that on our walk together this morning, my husband began planning this summer’s camping trip? Said he wants to go back to some hidden lake—some secret camp-spot that you can only reach by canoe. Oh my. I was afraid to ask him about the bathroom facilities….Pray for me? 😉