We're a camping family.

Beautiful sunset we saw on one of our camping trips.
When we first got married, we camped in a small tent - just the two of us.  It was a great tent.  It never leaked, which was wonderful since it seemed to rain EVERY TIME we went camping.  Everything was fairly nice and tidy and easy camping with just the two of us. 

Then we had Emilia and we still used that small tent.  She was 3 months old when she first went camping.  She slept in a Tupperware container next to our bed.  Don't worry, we poked holes in the lid.  (just kidding ;))  Things were still fairly nice and tidy and easy camping with the three of us in a small tent - especially when she wasn't moving. 

Then we had Jonny and we couldn't fit very well in that small tent anymore, so we bought a large tent (a.k.a. asked our parents for a tent for Christmas).  We felt like this was a portable house.  It was so BIG compared to our first tent.  This tent was tall enough for us to stand up and there were two rooms with dividers.  It was great!

Until it rained.  This tent wasn't quite as waterproof as our first tent. 

One camping trip, it rained so hard that there was a river running under our tent.  I put my hand on the ground and felt the water flowing underneath.  Not only was it flowing underneath, it was flowing through the walls and dripping in through the top.  The next morning, we had to spend the first half of the day drying out.  The next night was the same as the first, but the river wasn't quite as flowing.

We ended up buying something to spray on the tent so it could be a little more waterproof, but it never stood up to our small tent.  And it always seemed to rain - at least a little bit - on each trip we went on.  

One day, as I was packing for a trip, I was thinking about the rain and our kids covered in sand and mud and just the general dirt of the trip (great thoughts, hey?!).

I told Nathan, "Camping is an exercise in being content in all circumstances."

He always tells people that this is when he realized something needed to change so that I could actually enjoy our vacations and not just think of them as a way to work on building character.  :) 

Since we both agreed that camping is something that we wanted to continue to do, we started shopping for a trailer.  We finally found an older trailer that was in our price range and took the plunge.

While others may not call it "true camping" anymore, I'm okay with that.  I don't have to practice being content so much (I get enough practice in other areas of my life!) and I do enjoy camping much more.  There's still rain, but it's not inside, and there's still dirt, but it's less inside.

This year, the sleeping arrangement will be a little more interesting since we now have 4 children (including a baby who needs a pack and play so he doesn't fall off of the bed), but we've come up with something that should work pretty well.  We'll see!

Over the years, I've tweaked a camping list that makes packing so much easier.  Although, I still forget things and get to hear, "don't you have that on the list?"  Like I've said, the list gets continually tweaked.  Anyway, I thought I'd share it here since I've been asked for it in the past.  It's pretty handy!

Touching a snake with the park ranger.


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