Thursday, March 7, 2013

My future kids will eat dirt, and I'm ok with it.

This past weekend, KGK and I went camping with his Dad and a friend of ours Heidi. KGK loves cold weather camping. And when I say love, I mean, he is disappointed when it gets too warm. TOO WARM. He wants it to stay below 50 degrees during the day and down in the 20's at night. And if it snows--bonus. Yeah, I don't understand it either. I like warm. No, correction: I LOVE warm. Warm is a wonderful thing. Why would you want to be cold when you can be warm? I married a wonderfully strange man:)

Well, the weekend was actually a tolerable cold. It was chilly, but it was easily remedied by a large fire, hot coffee and plenty of layers. Whenever we have one of these chilly trips, KGK and I have a deal. I will go camping in the cold as long as I do not have to move from my parked spot by the fire. I do not have to gather firewood, do extensive cooking or do anything that will require me to leave my warm spot by the fire. I get to be lazy. He thinks this is great because I will at least go, even if it means I won't venture far from the radius of the flames.

Don't be mistaken though, I am an avid camper. I love all that is involved with camping. I am not typically a lazy camper. The preparations of packing just the right clothing and equipment to make the trip just right is fun to me. I love going out and gathering firewood, using my hatchet to split the larger pieces into kindling for the best fire starting, and setting up the tent so that your stuff is in just the right spot in case you need to grab anything during the middle of the night and you don't want to emerge far out of the cocoon of the mummy sleeping bag. All of it. It is fantastic. I like being a part of it all. But when it comes to the cold, warm wins. :)

Now that I am married, and getting a little older, my mind now dreams of trips KGK and I will take with our kids one day. They will get to experience the great outdoors just like KGK and I like to experience it.

I didn't do any camping growing up except for once in a great while when we would setup the tent in the backyard. But to me, that's semi-fake-camping. True fake camping is setting up your tent indoors (yup, been there, done that too).  Those are not real camping.  My parents weren't big on real camping. My dad would take us on all types of hikes and do a lot of projects outdoors. So I definitely got a LOT of fresh air as a kid, but we just didn't do the roughin' it camping. This is something I am excited to do with my kids. I want them to know what it is like to turn off all cell phones, tablets, computer, video games, and just be outside. Enjoy the day and be creative--talk by the campfire and play 20 questions while you cook hot dogs over an open flame on a stick that you twiddled down yourself. I want them to accidentally eat dirt from their hot dog they drop on the ground and have a couple days where they have to go to the bathroom outside. Yes, I really want these things. They should know what it is to be roughin' it! They will know a comfortable life, I am sure, but I want them to know the glory of being outside. Of relaxing and just taking in the quiet and adventures and possibilities that come from being in the woods. I can't wait to share this one day with them.  Oh, and I want them to go camping with their Auntie Heidi too. Heidi and I have been camping together for years now. They need to go camping with her. She always goes on fun little adventures, and they will love that too.

I am so glad that I started participating in that outdoors club in is now so worth being able to love the outdoors even more than when I was a kid. Thank you college clubs:)

It is funny, I always want to take pictures of our outdoor excursions, and I have had people ask me why I don't have more pictures on fb from these trips. Honestly, I think about taking pictures when I am out there. I want to document all of it. Every minute. But, being outside, in the woods, by the fire, huddled with my camping coffee mug, and breathing in the fresh air, I want nothing to do with electronics. And, why leave the fire to go get your camera that you stowed away in your bag, which is in the tent, when you could be soaking up all the warmth from the fire?

Each trip, the ones where it is chilly, and I don't leave my post by the fire (I told you I love warmth).  After these trips, I come back with a glow about me. Not a glow like, wow, the woods did me so good that I am beaming with happiness. Well, maybe some of that, but really, I actually get pink, like sunburned from being by the fire. It is glorious.

Camping takes a lot of prep and a bit of roughin-it spirit, but it is so worth the mounds of laundry after and the disaster of your home with all your gear to put away from that short weekend trip into the woods. You should try it if you haven't ever done it. What's stopping you?

Happy Camping!


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