Camping by the Numbers

lake_titleOne camping trip under our belt so far this year. Just the one.

One 3,783 foot increase in elevation from home to our camp site, 131 miles away.
One 12 degree difference in temperature.
One camp trailer that weighs as much as the Death Star.
One tent in addition to said trailer, because 2 boys will no longer sleep in the same space.
7 hands of poker while waiting for fireworks to start (after 5 hands, both parents are cleaned out and kids are demanding to play with real money).

One moderately smelly outhouse, which forces me to relearn I can’t hold my breath as long as it takes to pee.

One 3.5 mile hike.
16 minutes before first kid says he wants to turn back because his legs hurt. And he’s tired. And this is stupid.
12 photos of wildflowers taken with my phone and one pause to delete 27 blurry pictures of fireworks to make room for more flower photos.
flowers320 acres burning 25 miles away leading to one slightly panicked phone call from my mom after a Boise television station erroneously reports “raging wildfires and evacuations” in our area.
One gagillion bugs that for some reason aren’t biting me, so I try to be chill.
One spider hanging with her nest of one gagillion gestating spider babies in a corner of our trailer with which I am most certainly not chill.
One full day before first kid announces he’s BORED, and scoffs at my suggestion he read a book, play checkers with his brother or walk the dog.

One distinctly untidy latrine that makes me happy I have the quadriceps to hover over the toilet for an extended period of time.

poker4 naps taken by bored child on his first full day.
One argument during which one kid proclaims this the worst weekend of his ENTIRE LIFE, and one normally rational adult declares that’s fine, because it’s also the LAST FAMILY CAMPING TRIP EVER.
One trip to town for ice cream, during which kid and adult make up and admit they weren’t serious about what they said earlier.

One late evening trip to the outhouse during which I recall with perfect detail that scene from The X Files where an alien is hiding in an outdoor toilet.

SUPOne trip to the dog beach, where the dog decides she doesn’t hate swimming as much as she thought she did.
One paddleboard rental to be shared by 2 kids for 2 hours. Miraculously, 0 fights ensue.
One outdoor concert with some guy playing an accordion like a boss, 7 drunk bikers who clear out before someone makes a fuss, and a bunch of sunburned kids playing frisbee.

3 clear and starry nights.
3 quiet mornings with strong coffee.
Zero computer screens, televisions or tablets (but there were a couple of cell phones… on which we post some photos to Facebook. We’re not perfect).

Not one good poop in 3 days.


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  1. Oh, Manicmom, that was hilarious and yet horrifying. I have never been camping in my life. Sometimes I wondered if I should try to borrow some tents and take my kids camping so they wouldn\’t miss out on some important childhood experience. Thank you for assuring me that camping is not really anything we need to try, especially not with an inexperienced camping parent like me.

    1. If you were to camp with the kids for the first time, definitely tag along with an experienced camper to show you the ropes. I wouldn\’t be concerned with them missing out, though. Camping is just kind of the thing here.

  2. I\’m not sure I\’d be brave enough to camp where there\’s an outhouse. Kudos to you and your family. 😀 We just finished our first camping trip as a family (I have a five year old and a two year old boy), though we went the plumbing route and booked at a campground.

    1. We have a site reserved later this summer at a campground with flush toilets and showers. People like to think of me as a wimpy camper, but some of those creature comforts will certainly make for a longer trip for me. This was especially true when the kids were younger.