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Ready ... Set ... Camp!

It was only May when we'd been to our camper, readying it for the summer. In the past, I have not spent much time there because, quite frankly, it hasn't been my favourite place.

I am not adverse to the idea of a "home away from home" but in my dream of that, mosquitoes and wasps the size of tiny birds are not in the picture. Like ... at our camper.

I've never found camping appealing, except of course when I was child and had never gone. Many of my cousins, however, got to stay in tents and trailers at a nearby campground while our family was "stuck" in a hotel room. I was so jealous, and stupid, but children are often naive and I -- the most of all. Then I married a man whose family consisted of "tent" people and before long, I got to experience it all, up close and personal. It didn't take long (maybe an hour) before I suspected that my parents had been the wiser ones but by then it was too late.

Some of our experiences have included: a skunk who scared a little too easily, finding the snake pit we'd camped over only the next morning, the constant cooking (especially fun in the rain) and, of course, the endless crawling and biting of insects. I'm sorry but ... I'm just not a fan. None of this is either relaxing, fun or the "best time ever" that it is often portrayed to be.

I could go on ... telling you about how we almost froze to death from unseasonably cool temperatures, which drove us to spend a ridiculous amount of money on sleeping bags labelled "good to MINUS 40 degrees Celcius. I could continue, thinking back to the time we bought every available umbrella in the whole of Banff National Park because of "unusually" rainy weather. The nightly mosquito hunts also brought our family of five together as a team, as we competed to see how many we each could slaughter before attempting sleep.

James Dobson once wrote that he felt it was a necessity for families to go camping. After a brief explanation he ended with something like this: if for no other reason, it is essential that families bond together and during times of anxiety and strain is when this often happens. Thus ... camping.

Camping has been the epitome of great stress for me, regardless of the thirty minutes of R&R I actually accomplished with three small children running around, but when our family gets together now, to sift through our memories, James is not wrong. The experiences we've had with camping have given us the biggest laughs!

So ... if you think you're not really the "camping type", you're probably right and you're not alone. I still would advise going with your gut and get booking on a Hotel website! But if you want something to laugh about for the rest of your life? Go camping!

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