Thoughts on camping

29 April 2015

I did not grow up camping. (I would famously sign up for girl scout camping trips, get all the way to the parking lot, then refuse to get on the bus with everyone else.) NO ONE would mistake me for a tomboy (even though I grew up playing outside most of the time). So when John first started expressing an interest in camping, hiking, and backpacking our junior year of college, my first thought was, oh HECK no. No, thank you. You go do your thing; I’m great right here.

However, a hallmark of our relationship has always been quality time together. We do almost EVERYTHING together, minus the eight or so hours per day we’re at our jobs. If John is mowing the lawn, I’m probably out weeding something. If I’m working on stirrers, John is probably researching a trip in the chair beside me. We do have our own interests and hobbies, but we love being together and try to maximize that as much as we can. So this new activity that I was vehemently not interested in caused a tiff between us for awhile… until I eventually gave in :)

And gosh, I’m so glad I did! We’ve had some amazing adventures over the last few years and seen so many beautiful things by traveling on foot and sleeping away from civilization. By far the most impressive was our post-graduation hike in the Presidentials, summitting Mount Adams (the second highest peak in the Northeast!) and Mount Jefferson.

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Yes, that photo is showing you we hiked on our own two feet ABOVE the clouds!! The beautiful thing about camping and hiking, though, is that you can have equally fun, challenging, and inspiring experiences closer to home and without as much time commitment (or sweat!). We’ve had some great adventures in North Carolina, too:

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These days, we do less backpacking (where we carry everything on our backs and hike out to a campsite) and more car camping (which still involves sleeping in a tent, but there are usually bathrooms and running water and you don’t have to carry all of your supplies with you!). Both are fun; the main trade-off is convenience for breathtaking vistas! If you want to spend quality time with friends, I can’t think of a better bonding experience than sitting around a campfire with no distractions and hours together stretching in front of you. It’s like the grown-up version of a sleepover!

I wonder if any of y’all were surprised when I mentioned camping on EFM for the first time. Either way, I hope my experience encourages you to give camping and hiking a try if you’ve been hesitant in the past!

In my next post, I’ll share some of our camping favorites. Once you have a basic stock of supplies it’s a delightfully inexpensive and beautiful way to travel, but it can be intimidating and expensive when you’re just starting out!

10 Responses to “Thoughts on camping”

  1. Melissa C.

    Yay for coming around to backpacking! It’s such a great way to double up on exploring and spending time with your favorite person. Do you have any favorite camping or backpacking recipes? I’d love to see those!

  2. Elizabeth

    My love of camping stems from my grandparents. They had a motorhome, which I know may be considered “glamping”, but we did hike, cook over a campfire and enjoy the outdoors. As I got older, my girlfriends and I camped out in tents, and now there is a group of moms/daughters that go camping every year. It’s our fall tradition. Camping can teach so many things about life and each other. Plus, I read once that it is the number one activity that brings families together! I look forward to your posts on camping.

  3. Audrey

    What a fantastic article! We used to go camping as a family, but I haven’t been in ages. Please share if you have any recommended camping locations!

  4. Ellie

    How fun! I love camping. I can’t wait to see your lists and favorites. Thank you!!

  5. I have always wanted to go camping! I love anything that has to do with the outdoors. This summer I’m actually going to a running camp with my cross country team and we’ll be spending a week out in the woods. I’m super excited! We’ll have running water and electricity, but all the runners will be sleeping in tents. Did I mention that I’m super excited? Cause I am!

  6. Rob

    Remember, we “camped” as Indian Princesses…

  7. Em

    @Melissa For backpacking, we usually buy the ready made packs from REI. I do have some thoughts on car camping cooking and will share those in my next post! :)

    @Audrey Where are you located? John has written about many of our hikes and trips on his blog, John Takes a Hike! (http://johntakesahike.blogspot.com/)

    @Alyssa So fun!

    @Rob That’s true!

  8. I do not have much experience with camping. I hope my husband and I can do much more throughout our marriage (we’ve been married for four months). This summer might be the perfect time to start. The only camping I’ve done so far is church camp and girl scout camp in cabins. I have never done tent camping, so I look forward to seeing your camping supplies post next!

  9. Ah, a fellow non-camper. My husband is a big fan of camping, and as a compromise, we bought a tiny pop-up camper. Though we haven’t used it yet, we are planning a trip this fall to Charleston, Beaufort SC, Savannah, and lastly Jykell Island. Any insight you can share would be greatly appreciated! P.S. Love the last photo! You could have fooled me that you once disliked camping. :)

  10. Audrey

    We live in Georgia, so John’s blog is perfect! Thanks, Emily!