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Camping for Dummies

Back before we had kids, the hubs and I had lots of extra money to spend on whatever we wanted. One weekend we decided we wanted to start going camping, so we ran out to REI and spent hundreds of dollars on fancy camping gear. We went home and promptly forgot about our camping aspirations (we were going through a yuppie phase). The camping gear sat in our basement for the next seven years until I remembered it was there and decided to drag it all out.

We have a four person tent, a rain cover for the tent, a footpad for the tent, super cozy sleeping bags and inflatable mats to make sleeping on the ground more comfortable. We have most of what we need to do some basic camping at a national park. However, before venturing out into the wilderness, I decided to give it a trial run in my own backyard. I wanted to make sure I could set up the tent all by myself and that everything was still in working order after seven years in the basement.

You cannot camp without s’mores. Even though I am a health nut about food, a concession must be made for s’mores. You cannot have a classic American childhood without roasting marshmallows and smashing them between graham crackers and chocolate. So I borrowed a fire pit from some friends and stuck it in my driveway, so as not to set the grass on fire in the backyard. Both kids LOVED making s’mores.

After making s’mores I put my two year old to bed in his crib because I wasn’t sure he could make it all night in the tent. My husband decided to sleep inside, so Elle and Heidi (the new dog) and I headed to the backyard to bed down for the night. We took a flashlight and read stories until we got sleepy.

It got down to 50 degrees but our sleeping bags were nice and cozy and we made it all the way through the night in the tent. As we were falling asleep, we listened to the crickets and the wind blowing through the trees. For me, that was heaven. I can’t wait to do it again- next time in the great outdoors!

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