We are about 2 days away from our most ambitious road trip ever. It will be about 8500 miles across the USA with my girls, my husband, and our camping gear. I should be packing. Actually there are about 1000 thing I should be doing but instead I feel compelled to write about why I love camping and road tripping with my family. Jay and I were celebrating our 19th anniversary this week and I found myself going on and on about all the things I love about camping so I thought I would just write until I exhausted myself. Hopefully this will lead me to wanting to pack soon.
1. I love the sounds of camping. The sounds in the morning that are so distinctly camping. The dusk sounds that you won’t hear anywhere else. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the sounds of camping.
2. I love the programs given by the park rangers at the National Parks. If you have never gotten the opportunity to go to one of these things it’s a must.
3. I love the smell of a campfire.
4. I love the silky feel of my red sleeping bag.
5. I love walking back from taking a shower by flash light.
6. I love walking in the woods and not seeing people for hours.
7. I love not looking at a clock or my cell phone.
8. I love time with my family in the outdoors.
9. I love the smell of deep woods off.
10.I love buying patches from all the state and national parks that I have visited. Sometimes when I feel like I might be losing my mind I will pull out all my patches and sort through them. They make me happy.
11.I love looking at ground for whatever happens to catch my eye. There is something special about just walking around and looking for that one magical object that wants to be taken home by you.
12.I love eggs made on a Coleman camp stove. I love how they are always a little over done and taste like the bacon that was cooked in there before. The best most decadent eggs ever.
13.I love walking back from the showers with no bra on.
14.I love wearing a head lamp. I actually own 7 head lamps. I LOVE head lamps way more than my kids or my husband. This might make me a dork but I don’t care I can no longer hid my love of headlamps.
15.I love eating sour gummy worms on our camping trips. I will let them warm up a little on the car dash board. They are amazing when they are a little melted.
16.I love my hat that has a mosquito net built in.
17.I love getting into my sleeping back with a t-shirt and undies. I sleep best on a sleep mat with my trusty red sleeping bag.
18.I love that when I go camping I can leave the sleeping pills at home.
19.I love taking quarters to go take a shower.
20.I love putting up our tent. I love that slightly musty smell when you unzip it for the first time.
21.I love that when you go camping you get to ‘BE’ in the outdoor. Not just visit but ‘BE’ in another spectacular place.
22.I love that every place is new, unexplored by us, ready to show us something special.
23.I love cooking with our Dutch oven.
24.I love the little black grills that are cemented into each camp site. It doesn’t seem to matter where I go those are standard protocol. I love this. I love that if you get too close to them they will leave an ugly greasy stain on your clothes.
25.I love that I don’t feel like I have to wear makeup.
26.I love that my kids will hang out with us around the fire.
27.I love the smell of trees. If you don’t know this smell you need to go camping.
28.I love that my kids have still promised to do the Junior Ranger program one more year. This makes me very happy. I am holding onto these last little pieces of our long standing childhood traditions.
29.I love feeling connected to the past. There have been times when I’ve been hiking where I could swear I would run into an Indian on horseback around the next bend. I love this feeling of being close to the past.
30.I love going to the camp washateria and talking to strangers while waiting on our clothes.
31.I love rocks, this is not news. I love sand and dirt to. I actually have baggies of pebbles, sticks, and other little treasures that remind me of the many adventures I have had. Love, Love, Love this.
32.I love getting to bust out my Columbia shorts with all the pockets. I love each and every little pocket in the shorts. I love that I can stuff all sorts of things in those pockets.
33.I love holding hands with Jay on the ride to our destination. I hate my new fancy car because it does not fit our hand holding stance. I love Jay’s car because it is the perfect hand holding adventure machine.
34.I love the bookstore at the front of the National Parks. I can come in there spend literally hundreds of dollars. Jay doesn’t usually let me but everyone once in a while I get lucky.
35.I love trying to see how many thing I can cook Hobo Dinner style.
36.I love HOBO DINNERS!!!!
37.I love reading to my husband and kids by campfire, by lantern, by basically anything.
38.I love not setting an alarm.
39.I love the ability to be still in a peaceful place.
40.I love the feel of pine needles below my bare feet.
41.I love getting soaked by surprise rain showers.
42.I love that camping brings my family together in one place with no cell phone reception.
43.I love camping in places cooler than Texas in the summer. I had no idea there was such a thing as waking up to 50 degree weather in the middle of the July.
44.I love the wildlife. We go driving around after dinner with a spot light to see animals. I think this might be illegal but we don’t hit them with our car or shoot them so I feel like it is okay.
45.I love any excuse to use the bathroom outside.
46.I love finding new swimming holes
47.I love fishing, even if we don’t catch a thing.
48.I love that when I’m camping my brain slows down just enough for me to feel normal.
49.I love the Death in The Park series. I read them when I am not camping just to remind me about camping.
50.I love that every morning and every night when we’re camping it something new. A new story, a new animal to see, a new place to explore, a new rock to find. I love the new and renewing of camping.
I still don’t feel like packing. J So I guess this is the first blog post for my new still unnamed blog. Hope it wasn’t too boring and you made it through all 50 things I love about camping. I also hope this inspires you to get out there and explore.
There are 58 National Parks and 6,624 state parks in the United States. Think of that as your personal invitation to visit and to leave the other stuff behind if only for a minute.