If we don’t go camping at least once in the summer, I feel like it’s a wasted year. This year, Girl Child is home from college & starts work in a week. She works harvest, which has taught her so much about our area & the agriculture we depend on, but it is a fast & furious season where people work from sun up til sun down in 100+ temps, so to go camping, we have to make hay while the sun shines, before they start making hay. 😉
Camping resets my heart. It resets my motherhood & my sense of self & my stress level & my marriage. It reminds me that I have in me all the skills of my foremothers. I can make fire & cook on fire (with blessed modern amenities that make those things faster & easier!) & reminds me to be grateful for my excess. We can fish & provide our bodies with protein that never saw a grocery store. We can pick berries & mushrooms & stretch our brains’ legs by identifying plants & insects & trees that have important jobs to do. We are reminded that we should leave small foot prints.
It’s also just too dang hot to stay home. And I really like s’mores.
This trip, we traveled to a lake my husband’s grandfather helped create. It’s a man-made lake in northeastern Oregon & my husband’s grandfather helped log it to make way for the dam that created it.
We took Girl Child’s best friend. She’s newly vegetarian & that threw a wrench in my normal camping menu. But we are happy to eat vegetarian meals, or add our protein after dishing up hers, & it’s important to me that everyone has food that makes them feel welcome & nourished.
I cooked a couple meals that will become permanent parts of our camping routine now, because they’re shelf-stable & traveled well.
It was also my niece’s very first camping trip & wow was she adorable. She’s nearly 4 & was such a trooper. Hiked, fished, played in the water, ate s’mores, ate camp stew, got some one on one time with my husband, whose beard & hat used to freak her right out!
We always took our kids camping when they were little. It’s not really as much of a hassle as people think. They ARE indeed old enough to camp, even as tiny babies. We packed our son’s toddler potty all over Oregon with us because dangling a 2-year-old over a portapotty or pit toilet is not fun for anyone involved. As a young family, camping was our main source of vacation. You eat as cheaply as you do at home, you buy the gear once & not too much is actually required. Then the fun is all free & the memories are priceless.