Roughing it – or not

Last year our kids developed an interest in camping, so we thought we’d try it–in the back yard. They had a blast. We vowed never again. Of course time heals all wounds, or soothes all stiff muscles, and we tried it again last week. My conclusion? We are not ready to rough it. Or rather, we’re not prepared to make roughing it less rough.

For one thing, all we really have is a tent. The kids, who are young and flexible, sleep on blankets. We tried using an air mattress this last time, but it leaked, so by morning we were sleeping on the ground and in a banana shape. And, to be honest, sleeping isn’t entirely accurate for the waking-up-every-half-an-hour I did all night.

We need decent sleeping bags at the least. We had quilts, and it didn’t colder than the 60’s, but we were all chilled in the morning. Sleeping bags would likely have provided more padding than our blankets and quilts, too.

We need the means to cook outside. We ate all our meals in the house and only slept outside. We need a cook stove or something at the very least.

We had a couple flashlights, but nothing more than that. And that was rough enough, as our dog loves to chase flashlight beams. The mere presence of flashlights made her crazy and try to jump all over sleeping people. I’m hoping a good lantern would provide much better light without making the dog nuts. That may be too much to hope for.

There are, of course, lots of other little items and amenities that we would need were we to try camping completely independently of our home. Even if we never try camping in the wilderness, even if we had to live in an evacuation camp we’d be in pretty bad shape. The fact that we can’t even camp comfortably in our own back yard is probably a good sign we’re not quite prepared in that area.


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