When I was younger, camping was how we spent our family vacations. Or just random summer weekends when we wanted to get away. My dad would pack us up, and the gear, and we hit the road to our (semi) local destination. Whether it was in the hills, mountains or by the coast, my dad always knew where to go. (He still does.)
I would never, ever, say that getting five kids to go camping was easy, but my dad kept things simple and, well, to the point that you could almost imagine that it was a simple undertaking. Uncomplicated food choices. Minimal packing, only the necessities. All we needed were the basic camping gear to make it a successful trip.
This weekend I was reminded how awesome an impromptu camping trip could be. I haven’t been camping in years thanks to our busy schedule, but we found ourselves with an open weekend perfect for a quick trip to the mountains. And luckily my dad was up for the challenge.
With it being so last minute, an open reservation was hard to find. But my dad knew of a few “first come, first serve” campsites up above Foresthill and we decided to take the chance. We took the simple hour and a half drive up the hill, making sure to grab some dinner on the way, and found just what we were looking for: an open campsite.
Once the tents were put up and the mosquito repellent heavily applied, we sat around the campfire pit chatting. There wasn’t a fire in the fire pit (thank you, drought and fire restrictions) but being completely unplugged and away from it all was just what we needed. Not bad for a very last minute camping trip.
At the end of the day, I’m just so glad that we did it. It made our kids happy. It made us feel like we actually “got away” from our every day insanity. We definitely couldn’t have done it without me dad (we don’t have *all* the gear) but keeping it so simple meant that we also kept it pretty stress free. Which means, I hope, that we can find our way back very soon.
Do you have a favorite place to camp? How do you keep it low-key but still fun?