Remember when we decided we would try camping? Not long after that, we took a deep breath and gave camping a try for one night at a local campground. Well, we went camping again last week.
Our home school group organizes two camping trips per year — one in the fall and one in the spring. This time we took our little family about two hours away and spent two nights in our tent.
See? We’re really getting into this camping hobby. Two nights! Hours away! No, not really. We have a long way to go before camping is something that we are really good at doing as a family. But I did learn a few things…
1. Camping is still so new to our children that they will be so keyed up and anxious (in a good way) about everything that it will not be very fun for Karl and me that first night. FIRE! TENT! S’MORES!! They really calm down after a two-mile hike, though.
2. Camping with a group (or at least one other family) is a lot more fun than going it alone. The kids had a great time playing with their friends from our home school co-op. I really enjoyed getting to know the other parents. And I really, really enjoyed giving the children freedom to run and play as long as they stayed with a buddy.
3. Don’t forget the heavy duty extension cords.
4. A fan really does help drown out all the nature that goes on at night. Karl convinced me to use the fan and I slept much better the second night (see #3 for why we didn’t use the fan the first night). That first night I heard every hoot owl and coyote within five miles. I won’t mention the raccoons or other critters I heard walking in the woods beside our tent. All the sounds are just unnerving. Fan, rigged in any semi-safe way = good.
5. I was so right to precook the meat for our stew. Precook as much as you can when going camping.
6. We like hiking.
7. If Noah slips on the rocks in Little River, it’s o.k. to laugh. It’s so hilarious that he will do it again and again.
8. If Hannah slips on the rocks in Little River, it’s o.k. to laugh. She will learn from her mistake and be more careful.
9. If Abbey slips on the rocks in Little River, it’s NOT o.k. to laugh.
10. If everyone slips on the rocks in Little River, Ben will watch and decide to stay in one place.
The first two photos are of Lost Falls in DeSoto State Park. The third is of Little River Falls. The fourth is a portion of Little River Canyon.
If I don’t post much this week, it’s because I’m still putting away all of our gear.