Even though camping can be hard work, there are fourteen (if not many more) reasons to take the family camping before the summer ends! If your family needs to unplug before you begin to gear up for the fall, camping is a cheap way to go and endlessly rewarding!
Last Saturday, I finished my book (insert a huge HOORAY!), hit submit and sent it off to Random House, then put the dog in the backseat and headed to the mountains to meet Brian and the kids for a week of family camping. Every summer, I LOVE how incredible it is to unplug, escaping all the noise, emails, texts, schedules, carpools, you name it. And just gaze at the stars and swim in the river. I wouldn’t consider myself a serious REI girl, but I’ve come to appreciate the simplicity of a cozy tent. In fact, we found this great collapsible frame so our bed is off the ground, feeling that much cozier with flannel sheets, down comforters and all!
Adventure awaits when you take the family camping. We’ve been doing it for years. Since 2007, I’ve been writing an annual blog post with my top reasons for taking the kids camping. If you have preschool age kids, you’ll appreciate 10 Reasons to Take the Kids Camping. If you have gradeschool kids AND a dog, one of my favorite blog posts ever was Top 10 Reasons to Take the Kids (and Dog) Camping. The kids are in such a different stage of childhood now with Blaze being a tween and Pascaline’s pre-teen emotions, but the joys of camping have only grown! No question, family camping is the kind of adventure that replenishes everyone’s soul!
1. Jumping into a Glacier River…Tough to Beat! 1 of 15
A short walk from our campsite, we found the most beautiful swimming hole. The river is fed from the mountain's glacier and shocks your body when you first get in. But once your body adapts, you could jump off the rocks all day!
2. Discover Unexpected Shots 2 of 15
Brian wanted to capture Pascaline's fearless jumps and ended up finding the unexpected shot. I LOVE how photography always offers these kinds of opportunities. You set out to capture one photo, and then you stumble across a moment that takes your breath away. The sun glistening on the river's surface, sparkling like diamonds--cheering Pascaline on was amazing!
3. Exhale. You are in the Great Outdoors! 3 of 15
I love the simplicity of a tent, cooking stove and rope to dry out the towels and swim suits. My whole self--body, mind and spirit all experience the exhale.
4. Reading versus Video Games 4 of 15
Need I say more?
If that isn't reason enough, I'm not sure what is!
5. Cozy in the Tent 5 of 15
After a day of swimming in the river, the kids cozy up for games inside the tent. I even kicked the kids out one afternoon and took a two hour nap! I NEVER nap!! But lulled by the wind blowing through the trees and the river's song...I couldn't resist!
6. Inspiration for Your Journal 6 of 15
Finding a lone log to sit on that overlooks the river's path, written words come almost effortlessly.
7. Fishing Time 7 of 15
Right before sunset, when the sky begins to turn shades of blue with hints of pink and the reflection of trees stand tall--stretching across the river's width, you can find a boy with his fishing pole--hoping to catch something that can be fried up for dinner.
8. Campfire Magic 8 of 15
Whether you are roasting marshmallows, telling each other spooky stories, or simply mesmerized by the dancing flames, a campfire is magical.
9. Star Gazing 9 of 15
And when the campfire has burned down low and the lanterns are turned off, the night sky shows off all it's glory with stars abounding.
10. Hashbrowns! 10 of 15
One of our favorite parts to camping is cooking meals over the camp stove. Hashbrowns never tasted so good!
11. Bonding Time 11 of 15
With all the normal distractions removed, it's easier to sneak those hugs and snuggles from your pre-teen!
12. If Dogs Could Speak… 12 of 15
I think it's safe to say that the one who enjoys camping the most in our family is Rosie, our Golden Retriever. The moment we pull out our camping crates from the basement, she is over-the-top excited to hit the road!
(Rosie can’t resist joining the fun!) 13 of 15
13. Where Else Could Your Dog Go Swimming with You? 14 of 15
I didn't grow up with dogs and have learned a LOT about owning a dog. But I have to say that swimming in the river with your kids and dog is way more fun than I ever imagined! Kind of dreamy actually. Not sure why, but it just is.
14. Refreshed 15 of 15
If bathing in the cold river doesn't refresh you, EVERY THING else will. The simple act of unplugging from emails, texts, and everything that involves work is worth the effort to go camping before the summer is over. Camping is work. Setting up tarps to protect all your food when an unexpected thunderstorm rolls through is no joke. But the thrill of jumping off rocks, the shock of icy waters, the laughter from trading water with your dog, the naps you took, the unexpected photos you shot, the stories you told around the campfire, and your appreciation for that hot shower when you get home...makes camping worth every bit of effort!
Please feel free to share your own favorite camping photos on my FB page! I LOVE to see the results my viewers capture and give you comments and feedback!
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