This week, we went on our first camping trip, ever, as a family! My husband and I only went once (in our entire lives), 14 years ago, but that’s another story. Anyhow, this time, we decided to take the girls and tent-camp out in the Olympic Mountains. I found that it wasn’t that different from our normal hikes through the mountains, except for the sleeping part…and the taking ten times as much stuff part.
We squished in close in our two person tent. Yup, all four of us. Along with that came all the challenges you could imagine. We had snoring and rolling and even a 3 am (40 degrees out) “Mom, I gotta pee” moment. But what I didn’t expect to also come with that was a deep quiet satisfaction knowing that we are all together and safe. I really enjoyed being close to my family. We often spend our lives apart. Work and school and friends and activities and even the girls having separate bedrooms keep us all apart. This one moment was pure bliss because of that. If we had to do it all the time, the novelty would surely wear off within a day or two, I am sure. Once in a while is joy.
We awakened to patches of sunlight and brisk cold weather, and the loud call of birds. I had the kids gather kindling, so I could make us a warm meal.
We discussed what to do differently next time (like bring a slightly larger tent and maybe a small toilet for use at 3 am when it is just too cold and dark out to pee on a tree). We also discussed what we liked about this time: the kids liked roasting just about anything over the fire, even strawberries, and I liked the quiet. We were all unplugged. No computers, no radio, no movies, no books on tape. Silence. Fantastic, temporary silence.
In the morning, after breakfast, we packed up our gear and went for a 6 mile hike to Sol Duc Falls. It was an incredible walk of such beauty. It was only paused every half mile or so when Falafel would shout “Beetle crossing!” or “Centetipede crossing!” and then proceeded to allow said bugs to get where they needed to before we could move on.
We got to the incredible falls (finally) and that’s when I dropped my water bottle, INTO THE WATER. Luckily, The Bee’s reflexes were very good and she grabbed it *whew* before it was swept away.
I was so impressed that both kids did the entire hike with no problem! When we returned to camp, we were done.
Everyone was exhausted and it was time to go home.
We will go camping again, soon. It was a lovely way to recharge our souls. We live in such a magnificent place, it would be silly not to. We’re hooked!
What about you?
Have you camped as a family? What are your tips?
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