Some of my fondest memories as a child, prior to my parent’s divorce, was going camping. When we went camping, it was almost always in a tent. It always wound up being a family event with my uncle, cousins, and grandparents. After the divorce, and everyone growing up, it sort of became a thing of the past. For the first time since my parent’s divorce (which occurred in like 1999) we went on a Glamping Weekend Adventure with the whole family. I, however, felt like we were cheating by sleeping in a cabin. I really want to go full on tent camping.
However, there is a reason why we don’t.
That reason is based on the event that occurred sometime in the spring/summer of 2012.
We were living with my husband’s parents at that time, trying to save up money for a house. We decided to take a weekend trip to go camping. We invited others to go, but the only one who wound up saying yes was my younger brother Robert. We went all out buying camping gear; a brand new tent, sleeping bags, chairs, a little grill, fishing gear, a battery powered fan, an emergency alert radio, those roasting sticks you can buy, and even some hot dog baskets. Needless to say, we had everything. We packed everything up in to Chris’ dad’s truck. My brother and his friend wound up coming along with us. If I remember correctly, Chris had to work that day and we didn’t wind up leaving until later in the afternoon. It was maybe an hour or so drive away, but by time we got there the sun was starting to set.
I knew we didn’t have much time to get the tent set up in the daylight. The guys had started drinking pretty much as soon as we parked (I did not drink then either). I remember we were all cracking up trying to get the tent figured out. We thought it seemed pretty sturdy once it was up. By this point I had noticed the wind was picking up (yay, storm anxiety making me aware). I think we started a little fire and the guys continued their drinking. It was not long before they were all 3 passed out in the tent. As soon as they all fell asleep I started to realize that the wind was getting progressively worse. I knew that wasn’t a good sign. I remember waking them up to put the waterproof thing on top of the tent (because why would someone do that when putting the tent up?). I think Chris wound up putting it on and then went back to sleep.
Within an hour, it started POURING rain. The winds were intense and I knew it was not going to end well. I turned on the radio to see if I could figure out what was going on. Of course, they use creepy voices for the weather alert stations. It did not help my nerves at all. The next thing I know our tent is flooding with water. I was soaked, the sleeping bags were soaked, literally everything was soaked. The guys, well, they were STILL ASLEEP! I was screaming at Chris to get him to wake up. They all woke up in a panic and started fumbling to get things to the truck to dry area. That is when our tent started to collapse and try to blow away in the wind. Chris was already very ticked off at the situation. We literally had nothing dry left. He decided we needed to go stay at a hotel. So we loaded everything up in the truck and pulled away. On the way out, Chris stopped at the dumpster, and very angrily threw the brand new tent away. I was not amused.
We found a super 8 motel down the road and stayed there for the night. We did wind up going back to our spot at the campsite that next morning. We had a fun time in the lake, except when our paddle boat was broken in the middle of it. My brother and his friend had to come rescue us. My brother got in the lake and pulled us back to the dock area (where he wound up losing his shorts and wallet to the lake). I was laughing the whole time. To this day the entire thing cracks me up. My husband, however, refuses to go camping in a tent ever again. Maybe one day I will convince him to.
In the mean time, I will take what I can get with camping. This weekend we are leaving town to go camping in a little cabin that does not have a bathroom or kitchen (only a microwave and fridge). I guess that is as close as he will let me get to actually camping. I know Pickle is super excited about it, as am I. It will be a good time with our friends. I can only hope my children will have good memories of their childhood like the few that I have of mine.
Do you go camping? Do you prefer a tent, cabin, or camper? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,