Camping in Theory:
It's not that I don't like camping... The whole idea of camping is wonderful, I love it... getting away from civilization, all the pressures and stresses of everyday living, the opportunity to commune with nature and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, the chance to contemplate life and your relationship with the great creator ...I love the idea. The reality of camping is sometimes a whole different thing.
Getting Ready to Camp:
Have you ever been getting ready to move, and you have the nightmare where your loading the moving van, and no matter how many times you pack and rearrange all the items you just can't get them all in? ...welcome to Camping.
Getting ready to camp is the worst part of camping...I'm reminded of the Disney cartoon when Goofy and his son go camping, and they have everything they own strapped to the top of their car...as we were heading up the canyon, we passed a van towing a trailer to hold all their "Gear", and I found myself thinking. "maybe I should consider getting a trailer"... How much Stuff do you have to take to spend one night in the wilderness?
I think I must have been spoiled as a scout, we used to camp in the desert, and we would throw some food items in our backpack, bring a ground cloth and a sleeping bag, and we were good to go for a couple of days at least. If we got hungry, then we knew to bring more beef jerky next time.
Once your married though the whole camping dynamic changes, now there's diapers, and formula, collapsible cribs and blankets, the list goes on an on... (luckily we've made it past that part of life, so now we have twice the room that we used to.)
And if we're keeping it real the whole age factor definitely does come into play, gone are the days where you scoop a little sand out of the ground to make a depression for your butt, and you roll up your jacket for a pillow, now you've got Air mattresses, blankets and real pillows to bring, you'll need chairs to sit on, and a table (or two) to put stuff on, flashlights, lanterns, and glow sticks (ostensibly to keep the bears away) and bug spray to ward of the bugs attracted by all the lights...and last but not least a cooler large enough to double as a small refrigerator with enough food and treats to feed a small army.
Somehow we managed to get it all in the Van...and we were Off to find Nirvana.
We arrived at the camp ground around 5:00 pm, and there was only 5 other family's there. I did some quick math (okay, I did some math) 5 families, average family size around 4 or 5 so that means 20-25 people, considering that there are 530 people in our ward, not a very good turnout. I didn't take into consideration that most people don't get off work until 5:00 so by 7:00 pm I had to redo my math... there were about 20 families, and 90% of them had children under the age of 5.
(Justin obviously didn't go hungry)
I've decided that camping and babies don't mix really well...they are kind of like land mines that are set to close to each other...one goes off, and it sets all the others off. Needless to say I'm pretty sure there was a baby crying sometime during each hour of the night... (I have to take my wife's word on this, as I was so tired I fell asleep on my nice air mattress, with my warm blanket and soft pillow, and didn't hear a thing)
(First law of Camping: "You can't call it camping unless there's a campfire")
When all was said and done... we had a great time...Randie and I got to meet some people that we didn't know, Sarah got to play with her friends, and Justin had time to relax with some of his friends.
(Second Law of Camping: "You have to wear a hat")
...next year I think we'll be packing it all up to do it again... I might even bring the Dutch oven this time.