10 Reasons Why Camping is the Best
Updated: Aug 7, 2018
Every year, we head out for a family camping trip. Even though it is usually just for a few days every summer, our camping tradition is one that we all look forward to. Our trips are usually fairly close to home and we've had the opportunity for friends of ours or our kids drop in to join for a night or two.
But, this year, we almost cancelled. The forecast was rain everyday and a fairly good amount of it. Maybe this was the year to do a hotel trip instead. On the cusp of cancelling, we had a family meeting to discuss the options. The consensus - "Let's do it! We're hardcore campers." Although this is pretty far from the truth (we are more of the car camping kind with all of the luxuries packed in).
And wow - am I glad we decided to persevere. Not only were we fortunate to avoid most of the rain, it was pretty much the best camping trip to date. Here are my top ten reasons why camping is ALWAYS worth doing (despite the planning, buying equipment, packing, actual camping, dirt, sap, wet smelly stuff and all the cleaning up after).
1. Climbing trees - at home, we have trees but none have branches and layers like the ones in the woods. What a great way for kids to learn their limitations (especially after getting stuck and can't get down).
2. Making gadgets - I bring/buy bungee ropes, cord, twine, rope and whatever else I can find around the house. They make practical things like clotheslines and discover how to make pulleys and lifts to cart stuff up into their perches in the trees. The older ones learn how to use a knife to whittle sticks for roasting marshmallows.
3. Learning how to build a fire - from collecting tinder to building a tent or log cabin fire, they are fascinated with how their own creations go up in flames!
4. Exploring on their own - with trail maps in hand, they are tasked to find the nearest washroom, water station, playground, stream, etc. Then they show us how to navigate the campsite.
5. Going on expeditions - checking out new trails, plants, rock formations, animals, we make up stories of being the first explorers or new arrivals to earth.
6. Making sandcastles and moats - full disclosure, I am one of the first to get down and start digging in the sand to make rivers that we fill with water and watch them flow back to the lake.
7. Learning new skills - every trip, our kids learn new skills and improve on old ones. All to build even more confidence and independence. Whether it is learning to put up their own tent, how to ride their bikes over roots and rocks or how to paddle a canoe, our kids tackle new challenges without fear or distraction.
8. S'mores - need I say more? Yes - please!
9. Giggles, flashlights and late night trips to the washroom - all the kids, parents or combinations of above packed into tents on air mattresses always leads to whispering and the stories that our kids will remember for years to come.
10. And the best of all, while all this is going on, the joy of just sitting back in a camp chair and taking in the beauty of seeing my kids enjoy the simplicity of outdoor real world play, iPads long forgotten (of course, until the ride home!)