At the start of the Summer, we bought an older camper trailer thinking that it would motivate us to do more camping. By the end of Summer we realized that we had done more campouts than any previous year, however, 80% of it was in our backyard and not in the trailer. Between my work commitments, Nikki’s boutique and the kids sporting activities we could never commit to a weekend in the mountains, not to mention that it’s crazy hard to get a reservation anymore.
I love camping and I want my kids to love camping but I didn’t want to go another year without giving them more outdoor experiences. Then one night out of the blue the kids asked about sleeping out in the backyard and it happened. We got a fire going in our fire pit and set up a tent in a small grouping of pine trees near our backyard. We were camping! I almost decided against the idea because I worried that they would all end up wanting to go back inside after the sun went down but they ended up loving it. We roasted hot dogs, told mildly scary stories and ended the night by talking about the stars we could see out the top of the tent. Through their comments and smiles, I could tell they were going to remember bits and pieces from that night for a long time.
After that night my kids wanted to camp out in the backyard almost every weekend. It got to the point where my two oldest boys would even make “tarp tents” and camp out in the backyard during rainstorms because they wanted to feel like outdoor survivors (they refused to use a tent). We didn’t camp out every week but my kids love for the outdoors had grown and I was now on a mission to grow our camping arsenal. I bought a small camping stove, a sleeping pad, better sleeping bags and upgraded our tent to a Sting Ray by Tentsile. This new tent took my kid’s outdoor experiences to the next level. Our Sting Ray is a tree hanging tent so we hung it up in the small forest behind our house. It quickly became a gathering point for my kids and their friends. My two oldest boys ended up sleeping out in the new tent for a week straight! It made me so happy seeing their light out there in the forest at night as I heard them laughing and talking in the tent.
Last week we took down the tent in anticipation of rain and snow all this week but not before we braved one last campout. Temperatures got down to 20-degrees that night but it was a perfect test to help us learn what we will need for our colder campouts. This winter is going to be epic!