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Old 05-03-2013, 08:15 AM   #61
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We LOVE camping, but it's not for everyone. Some things that make it more enjoyable:

Having all the right gear. We gradually accumulated all the things we need to make a few days in a tent more comfortable. Individual, self-inflating camp mattresses are the best things we ever bought. If it were a first camping trip or something you're not likely to do again, I would not spend the money. Instead, I'd borrow or rent.

Having a SO who helps with all the set-up, cleaning, cooking, etc. My DH and I both love camping and we've gotten into a groove as far as who does what, so one person doesn't feel resentment at doing all the work.

Going for three nights. It's the perfect amount of time. Two night means you set up day one, enjoy day two, then break down day three. Really only one full day to enjoy the outdoors.

Going with good friends. Our kids have playmates and we get to have adult conversations around a campfire plus someone to share the work with. We usually split up meals, so they'll handle breakfast for everyone, then we'll do sandwiches for lunch, then we make dinner.

Taking bikes, scooters, etc. Our kids love having the freedom to ride around the campground without adult supervision (but always with a buddy).

Picking the right place and time of year to go. We usually go to a nearby lake campground in April, before the bugs are out and while the weather is nice, then to a mountain campground in August. So nice to enjoy the cooler mountain air when it's 100 degrees back home.

Food--we found that food seems to taste better when we're in the outdoors and we love cooking over a fire. Pre-made and convenience items really help. E.g. eggs in cartons, just-add-water pancake mix in a pour bottle, pre-bagged salad, twice-baked potatoes from the prepared food section, etc.

I think a cabin is a great compromise. You'l have a comfortable place to lay your head at night, hopefully your own bathroom, maybe electricity, shelter from bad weather, an escape from bugs. But you can also sit on the front porch and listen to the crickets, cook on the grill, hike some campground trails, and so on.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:17 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Iforgetmypassword
I hate when I hear people say "I hate to camp." They invariably mean, "I hate sleeping on the ground with all the bugs, and hate squatting over a smoky fire, trying to cook, and hate walking to a disgusting bathroom in the middle of the night with a flashlight."

Why not try camping in a nice camper, that has a real bed, just as high and comfy as yours at home? Eat sandwiches, or-gasp-eat out? Most campers have bathrooms now, with showers, so you only need to take a few steps. And why not get furnaces and/or air conditioners in them too?

For us, a fire is part of camping. It just adds a cozy element, and cooking over it seems natural. Usually, it's as simple as a hot dog on a stick. Pre-purchased potato salad, fresh fruit. Beer, or wine. No one is making me cook if I don't want to!!

Why didn't you make your husband do all the packing, unpacking, and camp chores? Why does the fact that you're "the mom" mean you had to do it? That's sexist. If he wants to have all the fun, make him do the work.

I love camping, but even I would not be thrilled to do a long trip in just a tent. And again, who says that "camping" means being in a tent, and nothing but a tent?

I always thought "camping" meant "sleeping directly on the ground, with just a sleeping bag". I don't camp like that. I have a nice, thick mattress with a memory foam topper, and a real pillow, and real blankets. Inside my pop-up camper, with a real sink, hot water, and a real stove. And a fridge.

That's not camping. That's backpacking. Very different.

When we tent-camped, we kept almost all the stuff you list in the trunk of the car, all summer. Then, when it was time to go, we packed the clothes. Having a truck, or a big SUV would be better.

Of course!!
1. Where r you supposed to get this "nice" camper with the thick bed from? Lol, pretty big investment. Furnaces? Air conditioning? Sorry most first time campers do not do this.

And sexist or not, the reality is most women still do the bulk of chores.

And unless some one does cook, a week of premade potato salad and hot dogs is still not my idea of vacation.
Sure it sounds wonderful if you've got an RV a la "meet the Fockers" but most peoples initiation is far less.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:27 AM   #63
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1. Where r you supposed to get this "nice" camper with the thick bed from? Lol, pretty big investment. Furnaces? Air conditioning? Sorry most first time campers do not do this.
I agree. I already said upthread that I didn't know you could rent tent-camping supplies, or I might have considered renting. But I couldn't justify spending $$$ on camping "furniture" or air mattresses for two overnights a year. My husband is allergic to anything that grows between May and October, which is why it was me, instead of him, on the Cub Scout campout. (This would not be a "family vacation" even if we loved it.

And probably our cub scout campouts were not the ideal place for an uninitiated tent camper like me. No electric. (How would you blow up the air mattresses even if you had them? Manually?) We also had to carry all of our camping supplies about 3/4 mile into the woods. Me and a 6 year old. We packed light. I did impress the dads by setting up my own tent though -- little did they know I'd spent a week practicing in the back yard.

That said, camping in an RV or trailer is much different (and although I knew you could rent those, I don't think either my DH nor I would be very comfortable driving one). I have many happy memories of camping in a trailer with my family when I was a kid. But, now that I think about it, my mom did most of the packing, most of the cooking, etc. Although she used more boxed/prepared food than she did at home, it would have still been work. I'm not sure I would remember it so fondly if my responsibilities had been much more than "go play and don't fall into the campfire."
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:43 AM   #64
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Awwww, we love camping!! But before I went I thought I would hate it. I only went that first time for my kids who really wanted to go.

We sleep in tents (we LOVE ours!! It has a ceiling fan and light!!), we cook over the fire....gotta love blueberry pancakes cooked over the fire with bacon!! (made doughnuts too one time)

We spend our days reading, fishing, splashing in the creek, etc.

I miss it.

For any other campers on the East coast, check out Abram's Creek in West Virginia....GORGEOUS!!
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:56 AM   #65
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I take a full sized broom these days Used to take me 10-15 mins with the tiny brush. Now 2 mins and my tent is all swept out!
The friend I mentioned up thread who hated camping, now has one of those swifter mop things that folds up. She LOVES it a whole lot more than her broom. She gets the pad wet, goes around the tent, then tosses it into the trash. Uses it in the camper too.

In the years since they first started camping, they have built up their gear. Like someone else said, for the tent, she has rugs in there. These plastic 3 drawer dressers filled with medical supplies, tissue, cards, yatzee, flashlights, all likes of stuff. They always got electric sites, even before they got their pop up camper. Now, they get two sites side by side. That way they can spread out. With 5 kids, they use the camper, the 8 person tent, plus 2 screened dinning tents. It's now a running joke about how much she hates camping.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:57 AM   #66
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I would sooner never take another vacation again. Camping isn't for me..and I've tried it in all it's many varieties (tent, RV, rustic cabin). I'm just not that into nature (bugs, dirt, fire, pollen, etc), or outdoorsy activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming in a lake/ocean, boating, fishing, hunting.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:20 AM   #67
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1. Where r you supposed to get this "nice" camper with the thick bed from? Lol, pretty big investment. Furnaces? Air conditioning? Sorry most first time campers do not do this.

And sexist or not, the reality is most women still do the bulk of chores.

And unless some one does cook, a week of premade potato salad and hot dogs is still not my idea of vacation.
Sure it sounds wonderful if you've got an RV a la "meet the Fockers" but most peoples initiation is far less.
Rent a motorhome.

Most people who try camping start out small, and usually after a few years, buy a bigger and fancier set-up.

"Sexist or not"? That's sad. A man wants his wife to enjoy something he likes, and he makes her do all the grunt work? That's really sad. Thank God my husband isn't like that. I remember our first trip camping last year, in May. I had to work on Friday, he drove up with our daughter-only an hour away-and he and she did all the hooking up, setting up, cooking, etc., and I just drove there after work. We use the idea of what needs done, gets done, by whoever can do it. That sexist stuff doesn't fly in this house.

Why does everyone insist that camping means cooking hot dogs only? That's like saying a trip to Disney World means eating ramen noodles only. You're only limited by your imagination. We eat things like tabbouleh, fresh fruit, fajitas, soups, pasta salad, bacon and eggs, spaghetti, wraps, grilled veggies, hummus, muffellettas, baked potatoes, all kinds of salads, etc.

We only camp for 2 or 3 nights. I would only camp for a week or so, if I had access to plenty of restaurants too.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:21 AM   #68
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I only read the OP and a few below. I would NEVER camp for our vacation. We have done a ton of traveling out west and we have always stayed in hotels every night.

I have always been a SAHM, so have had lots of time in the summer, so we got into tent camping. My guys are older, but when they were younger, we would camp 2-3 nights EVERY single week all summer until our three week real vacation in August.

I grew to love it, because my kids LOVED it! I watched the weather and would not go if solid rain was forecast. We were never more than 1 1/2 hours from home, so if need be we could pack up and go home. We would eat simple meals as I am not a big griller, however, I could throw a hotdog on a stick and roast it over a fire. There was usually a McDonalds or other eatery nearby that would count as a few meals.

To the OP, if your husband really wants to camp, while you may never really like camping, you will most likely get some enjoyment out of it, because your giving your husband an experience that he enjoys. I often find that for myself, some of my most wonderful times are doing things my loved ones enjoys that I may not. The joy I get seeing them happy is often enough for me.

I have to say though that there is no joy in tent camping in the rain. I would watch the weather and change my plans to give the experience the best chance of success!!!
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:27 PM   #69
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We all believe that you're roughing it when the hotel doesn't have free breakfast and at least two premium channels on the TV.

Mrs. Tex and I both made it through the Army, where "camping" means sleeping wherever you plop down, and all three of us made it through Tex Jr.'s Boy Scout career, and did as much tent camping as we absolutely HAD to do, Our actual "camping" experience is entirely Boy Scout (with Tex Jr.) and SCA, but we learned that it's mostly about your attitude. And how many bugs you get inside your tent, too. And how hot it is. You can almost make it not suck, but not quite.

I'll second that you're MUCH more comfortable in a tent with a floor that lets you stand up and has enough room for cots or air mattresses plus your gear, neatly arranged. Do NOT do all the housekeeping work, period. That's to be shared, or it's time to walk away and check into a Best Western. Or just do that in the first place!
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:49 PM   #70
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I can't wait to go camping. Never had the chance but it's always something I wanted to do! To just be out in nature in all of its glory.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:02 PM   #71
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Why does everyone insist that camping means cooking hot dogs only? That's like saying a trip to Disney World means eating ramen noodles only. You're only limited by your imagination. We eat things like tabbouleh, fresh fruit, fajitas, soups, pasta salad, bacon and eggs, spaghetti, wraps, grilled veggies, hummus, muffellettas, baked potatoes, all kinds of salads, etc.

We only camp for 2 or 3 nights. I would only camp for a week or so, if I had access to plenty of restaurants too.
Good point. You can make almost anything at a campsite that you can make at home. We camp about 40 nights a year and I bet we haven't had hot dogs more than twice. We camped in a tent for many years. The things that helped us when we were tent camping were: separate air mattresses, camping where there is electric and water so we could plug in a little heater or fan, cooking on a two burner hot plate, and really good sleeping bags in the winter. We also strung up a laaaarge tarpaulin over the tent to keep the rain off.

We are way past the days of sleeping on the ground now. On our last camping trip with the tent a cold front moved in and the temp dropped to 28 degrees. On top of that, Christian chose THAT weekend to figure out how to unzip the tent so I spent the night with my arm across him so I'd know if he got up. Miserable trip, let me tell you. So we bought ourselves a camper! Our RV has A/C and heat. We have a good therapedic mattress on our queen bed, a sink, microwave, fridge & freezer, and oven. We have a full bathroom, with hot showers. When we camp we take our TV and laptop so I can do alittle work on the road. I do NOT do all the work! We eat out, we buy ready-made stuff at the grocery store, make margaritas, and kick back. I bring my books and my sewing with me. Only once have we be inundated with bugs, but we were camping in the marsh near Savannah, sooo....Nothing some good bug spray couldn't handle.

I would say for anyone who wants to try camping, consider renting a motorhome and pay someone to set it up for you. Camping in an RV is totally different from camping in a tent.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:17 PM   #72
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My boys and I love camping. I go to every council and pack Cub Scout campout we can - we had 5 weekends this year and look forward to 5 nights in July.
Attitude and gear is the key as many have already mentioned.
Our Gear:
Tent - 8 Person Coleman Instant Tent - sets up in 1 minute and stakes in 5 - roomy, can stand, and has a screen room for summer breezes: http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-14x8-F...instant+tent+8
Cots - 2 large ones for the adults and 2 regular size for the kiddos - Yes they all fit in the tent above with a nice walkway down the middle. Great thing about cots is they set up in a about 20 seconds (no blowing up) and have room to store gear underneath at a stable sitting height. http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/st...an+cot&Ntk=All
table - Folding Picnic Table. Camped 1 too many times without tables. Love this suitcase. http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabel...h-All+Products
other table - perfect near the campfire for s'mores set up http://www.amazon.com/Rio-Brands-RA-...=folding+table
Battery Powered Fan - lifesaver when camping in 100 degree July heat http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Propane Heater - again, lifesaver when camping in freezing temps (keep tent at 50 degrees in 28 degree weather) - http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Heater-F232...ds=tent+heater
Propane Grill - Haven't gotten a 'camp stove' but use this tailgater grill at home as well as camping http://www.amazon.com/Weber-1520-Pro...tailgate+grill

A Cooler, folding chairs and a car to pack it all up in makes us very happy campers

The most annoying to me about camping was setting up and breaking down. With my gear now - it takes about 30 minutes to set up and another 30 to break down. Got it down to a science. I have rubbermaid bins to keep clothes and gear. They stack nicely in the trunk and slide under the cots with lids to keep the elements out.

When we started camping we did the hot dog thing, but now we make fajitas, pizza, bacon and eggs and more. Just some prep work at home and you are good to go. And with my ipad - a good movie is never too far away.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:51 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by eliza61 View Post
1. Where r you supposed to get this "nice" camper with the thick bed from? Lol, pretty big investment. Furnaces? Air conditioning? Sorry most first time campers do not do this.
Google "camper rentals". It's not super cheap, but it's a good chance to see how you feel about trailer camping for a reasonably small price (as compared to buying one and finding out you hate it).


I've tent camped in all sorts of conditions:
Nice campgrounds
Wilderness areas with no facilities
108 degrees
-15 degrees
8 miles from the nearest road in grizzly country
Heavy snow

Without a doubt, the ONE thing that will ruin anyone's attitude about camping is rain. Rain sucks the fun out of camping REAL fast even in a nice campground or a nice trailer. My advice for anyone who has an aversion to camping is to INSIST on going when there is zero chance of rain forecasted. You can learn to deal with the rest, or figure out ways to make it better, but not rain.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:07 PM   #74
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I hate when I hear people say "I hate to camp." They invariably mean, "I hate sleeping on the ground with all the bugs, and hate squatting over a smoky fire, trying to cook, and hate walking to a disgusting bathroom in the middle of the night with a flashlight."





Why not try camping in a nice camper, that has a real bed, just as high and comfy as yours at home? Eat sandwiches, or-gasp-eat out? Most campers have bathrooms now, with showers, so you only need to take a few steps. And why not get furnaces and/or air conditioners in them too?

For us, a fire is part of camping. It just adds a cozy element, and cooking over it seems natural. Usually, it's as simple as a hot dog on a stick. Pre-purchased potato salad, fresh fruit. Beer, or wine. No one is making me cook if I don't want to!!




Why didn't you make your husband do all the packing, unpacking, and camp chores? Why does the fact that you're "the mom" mean you had to do it? That's sexist. If he wants to have all the fun, make him do the work.



I love camping, but even I would not be thrilled to do a long trip in just a tent. And again, who says that "camping" means being in a tent, and nothing but a tent?



I always thought "camping" meant "sleeping directly on the ground, with just a sleeping bag". I don't camp like that. I have a nice, thick mattress with a memory foam topper, and a real pillow, and real blankets. Inside my pop-up camper, with a real sink, hot water, and a real stove. And a fridge.



That's not camping. That's backpacking. Very different.



When we tent-camped, we kept almost all the stuff you list in the trunk of the car, all summer. Then, when it was time to go, we packed the clothes. Having a truck, or a big SUV would be better.

Of course!!
Well sorry but I HATE CAMPING. All kinds. I did it as a kid with my BFF and they had a very nice camper. Unless it is a hotel, I don't go PERIOD. Sorry but there are those of us that do hate it.

I even toured the super expensive campers/busses and was in there for 5 minutes and couldn't stand just being in there. YOu can have my share, trust me, there isn't a camper big enough for me, it is too skinny and to cramped. And there is no room service or maid. I don't vacation often at all and when I do, I want a hotel and a nice one.

Oh and luckily my DH feels the same way. In fact if our boys ever asked about Boy Scouts we told them no, once we explained camping to them, they saw no need to ever get involved in that. Not knocking Boy Scouts at all, but it just isn't our thing. It would be like a cat loving a bath, oil and water, good vs evil. It just doesn't work for us.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:16 PM   #75
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I'd never camp. We live on 3 acres with a 5 acre pond, so I already feel like we're surrounded by wilderness anytime we walk outdoors!! I love living here, but really enjoy having my comfy bed and bathroom and kitchen.

Having said that, when we lived in Virginia Beach, there were awesome cabins in the state park down there. It is in a heavily wooded area, yet you're close to the ocean. I'm not suggesting trekking all the way up here, but do your state parks have similar type accomodations? They book up fast down there, but I've heard they're very affordable. That would be my idea of a compromise.
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