Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thoughts on Camping... Or Am I Going Soft?

I am giving serious consideration to purchasing a tent trailer or small travel trailer for family campouts.


You read that right.  I am actually considering this type of purchase.  Lindsay and I got to talking yesterday and when the family goes on campouts together, we want to be able to have something easier and a little nicer.  It's not about minimalist survival when I take my wife and children along.  It's about getting away for a couple days, enjoying the wilderness, smores, campfires, and fun.

I'm getting tired of setting up our big-ass tent each time we go camping.  Moreover, I'm tired of trying to figure out sleeping arrangements with babies and toddlers.  For me, I want camping to be more about getting outdoors in comfortable fashion rather than busting my hump just to sleep out in the woods. 

Man, am I getting soft or what?

Hold your horses, there Jack!  Before you accuse me of going soft, let's put some things into perspective here.  My wife has no interest whatsoever in survivalist camping.  She doesn't go out to the woods to prove herself.  She goes out to the woods to enjoy the sun, the trees, and to poke a campfire with a stick.  That's her idea of camping, and it's not a bad one at all.  When we go camping, we usually have an activity we are going to do, be it swimming, hiking, shooting, or whatever.  It's not a bad thing to wake up the morning of the big hike without sore shoulders or an aching back.  Plus, the ease of just setting up your tent (trailer) wherever you park is kind of nice.

But James, what about backpacking and minimalist camping?  Why aren't you a bad ass anymore? 

I still am a bad ass.  Don't think for a second that all my camping days will be spent sleeping in a comfortable tent trailer or travel trailer.  Oh no.  I'm not selling my backpacker tent or my Osprey uber pack!  But right now, I can't really camp like that with my family - not for some years to come.  Michael and Rory are too young to understand the pure awesomeness of going out into the woods and sleeping under the stars, or in a snow cave you just dug, or under nothing but a tarp to keep the rain off.  There will be plenty of campouts with my children where we take nothing more than what we are wearing and what food we can haul in a small backpack.

But I want to do a lot more camping with my family.  Having a tent trailer or travel trailer will just make it easier with small children and babies.  Rory is still going to be a little baby for the next year and a half, and even after that, she will be but a toddler, and her first memories are going to be based around powerful memories, same with Michael. 

Michael is starting to get older, and in a couple years, he will be able to go out alone with Dad on some pseudo minimalist trips, but that is still a couple years off. 

So, does anyone have a small camper or tent trailer they'd like to sell?

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