Camping 101 | Lessons Learned . . .
We went camping for the first time 2 weeks ago. Up to this point, my only experience with camping was sleeping in a tent in the backyard of a friend’s house for a few hours when I was 9. (It got too “chilly” and we decided to come in and reclaim her bedroom). Our friends, Tandalaya & Warren are avid campers, and they invited us up to their campsite to hang out with them and their kids. All of us were really excited to experience nature up close and personal. We drove up to Leo Carillo State Beach, in our car packed to the hilt with snacks, a tent, blankets, pillows, changes of clothes, bathing suits and towels. When we got there it quickly became apparent to me that we were camping novices!! Upon walking up to the campsite and viewing the cozy layout, 2 things were made very clear to me:
1. Our tent was pretty small for 4 people.
2. Camping requires ALOT of packing, planning, unpacking and organization!!
So here is my camping experience in bullet form, to briefly share our trip:
- Overall feeling: Love camping; Underlying feeling: Camping is not as fun without the right stuff!!!
- Don’t skimp on the blankets: Didn’t bring enough blankets so Rob and I froze all night.
- Must. Get. Larger. Tent. -preferably one with 2 rooms (Yes! they have those, even ones with 5 rooms and screened porches!!)
- Always check to be sure the ground where you are setting up your tent is LEVEL. I awoke with a pretty bad back ache because I had spent the night trying to keep myself from rolling onto Nadiya! The slightest incline makes a world of difference in your sleep.
- You can have a blow up bed to sleep on in your tent??? WOW!!! Note to self: must research . . .
- Get Warren’s rib recipe!! Total mouth-watering yumminess!!
- Eating ribs with a plastic knife and fork (due to braces): not so fun.
- Hatred of public restrooms: CONFIRMED. My natural aversion to public areas of waste deposit is in tact.
There were many highlights of our trip, (funny Jamaican ghost stories, good conversation & of course, good food) but I think the one that stands out most is being awakened at 4am by an overly-excited bird I had never heard before. It made the most interesting sound, and was very adamant about doing it right outside our tent. I don’t know what he was singing about, but it sounded ALOT like “McDonalds! . . . McDonalds! . . . McDonalds!” I’m not a fan of McDonald’s food at all, but that bird could make alot of money if the McDonald’s PR peops found out about him!!!
We had a fantastic time and we are going to do it again next year. But this time, we will invest in a larger tent, and be sure NOT to set up our tent on an incline!!
Have you ever been camping before? Did you like it?