Camping despite the Shack

I have a romanticized view of camping.


Despite the fact that I really don’t like bugs and prefer to keep my hands clean and unencrusted with dirt, I always imagine that camping trips will be great fun.

Though I haven’t done a lot of camping in my life, all that I have done has been really enjoyable.


There was the trip in college with my sister.  We discovered the joy of campfire cooking and almost blistered our hands getting the aluminium foil-covered buttered potatoes
out of the fire.  Oh, but that tasted good!


Then there are the miscellaneous youth group camping trips.  I always enjoyed the company and opportunity to go to bed and wake up with the birds, though the romantic drama was kind of a bummer.  People can totally hear a cry-sniffle through the thin fabric of a tent.


And there were the campin

g trips with my RA staff! Now, that brings back genuine good memories of good people, good food, fun experiences, excellent campfire conversations, and a lovely smell of woodsmoke wafting through the air…


I also have to be honest and admit I really like saying “Winnebago.”  There’s something truly excellent about that word the brings up visions of s’mores and family bonding and a Great Out
door Adventure.

We are considering introducing the girls to camping.  We have a trip to the Grand Tetons lined up for this summer.


This afternoon we drove through several campsites in our area and I immediately forgot about all the fun, positive camping experiences I have had in the past and instead began to re

play the entire text of terribleness of the Shack.  Great book, intriguing insight… but the stuff terror is made of when it comes to the paranoid reader.


(In fact, reading the Shack is singlehandedly responsible for me locking my children in strollers in public places.  I live in terror that they will wander off while I’m distracted and I’ll be left with out a child holding a small ladybug calling card.)


Despite my current state of fear I need to pick your brain on camping.  In fact, I’m desperate for some advice.  Lizard’s hot for a VW bus and I have to do something to rescue our family from dirty fingernails and hippy-lovin’ bug life.


Please let me know your advice in the comments:


1. Is/was camping a good experience for you?  How about your family? Why or why not?

2. Pop up? Hard side?  What type of camper do you recommend?  Are there any essential elements like a toilet or tv that the novice camper might overlook?


3.  Are there any manufacturers that you particularly love?  Ones you hate and would avoid at all costs?


Thanks for you help – I look forward to your responses!

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5 thoughts on “Camping despite the Shack

  • April 10, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Loved, loved camping as a kid. Although we had a camper with a kitchen , toilet, and shower. I’ve been tent camping with kids and have only one thing to say- DIRT. Strongly recommend bringing the toilet training potty if you don’t have a camper. Big stinky port a potties are not cool with preschoolers!

    • April 10, 2011 at 8:39 am

      Oh! Good to know! We looked at pop-ups and right now I’m kind of freaked out because they don’t seem to be very secure… but maybe that’s better because a hard-sided one would be hot?

      • April 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm

        I don’t know. My sister got a pop up last year and they are loving it.

  • April 20, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I loved camping and still love camping! I only ever did tents on the floor, roughin’ it old school Oregon Trail style and I would never camp any other way!! Bring on the snakes, bugs, and dirt!! 🙂

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