Since moving to Utah weekend camping has become a much more normal way of life. If we are not camping I know at least one other person who is.
And yet, I also know so many people, in Utah and all of the U.S., that make excuses for not going camping. Their words first say, “I wish we could go camping” and then finish up with, “but we just don’t have the time.”
FALSE! Go to Google Maps right now. Search “National Forest” or “Campground” near you. How far away is the closest one? A few hours?
Kenon and I have had the most incredible experiences by willing to drive four hours for a weekend of camping. Everything we need gets packed up Thursday night. We get home from work around four pm on Friday and load everything into the car. We each buy a coffee or energy drink from the gas station as we fill up the gas tank. Then we drive the four or so hours it takes to get to our destination (our limit for a weekend is eight hours but for something REALLY amazing we are willing to go up to ten). We roll into camp around 10 o’clock, just in time to set up camp and go to bed.
This gives us all day Saturday to relax, hike, or do whatever activity that location is famous for. We sleep in on Sunday, enjoying the peace of being in the outdoors, then head home in time to get home for supper.
One of my favorite memories is the Saturday night we stayed at Monument Valley National Tribal Park. We stayed in The View Campground, in the wilderness camping area. We woke up to freezing cold temperatures but rolled ourselves out of bed anyway. Setting up camp chairs and starting the JetBoil to heat water, we curled into blankets. Slowly, serenely, the sun came up as we sipped hot tea. We cancelled our hike for the day and spent the entire morning watching the landscape change with the rising sun. It is one of the memories I hold most dear, so simple. Imagine if I had missed it because I was “too busy”!
A lot of people stay “busy” on the weekends. Social outings. Taking care of the kids. Yard work. Projects. If camping is your dream make it your project. Take the kids outdoors – you will not regret it. Yard work can wait! And if you take another couple, family, or friends with you than you can check “socializing” off of your list as well. I teach elementary school full-time during the week. Along with my husband I run this blog and two Instagram accounts. I like to keep my house clean and my social life fruitful. I have experienced first hand how taking the time to camp can rejuvenate my weekly responsibilities.
Simplify your idea of camping. Leave the cast iron skillet and carton of eggs at home. Bring things that are easy to use, cook, and keep clean. I have an entire series of blog posts with tips about making camping easier. Follow along by signing up for our email to get all the latest.
Look at this view. Do you really want to live your whole life making excuses to miss this?
It is worthwhile to drop everything, tune it all out, and get outside. You are worth it. Your family is worth it. Go back to work on Monday finally feeling refreshed.