Monday, April 28, 2014

Breaking Camp

A vacation should consist of the following things:

- Meals I don't have to cook
- Dishes I don't have to clean
- Comfortable beds I don't have to make
- A shower every morning
- An indoor, flushable toilet that is clean and easily accessible
- Sleeping in as much as possible

Camping consists of the following things:

- Meals I have to cook.  Outside (which is 100 times more inconvenient than cooking at home).
- Dishes I have to wash.  Outside.  With cold water unless I want to heat it up.  (I don't).
- Beds that deflate while I'm trying to sleep
- No showers
- Toilets that are not easily accessible (particularly in the middle of the night), smell like a sewer, and are often splattered with evidence of someone's explosive intestinal issues.  If there are toilets at all.
- Sleeping as little as possible.

Add in extreme temperature changes, kids waking up at the crack of dawn after they've kept you up half the night, smelling like campfire and mosquito repellent and wallowing in alternating layers of dirt and grease, and I have to wonder why anyone ever wants to do this.

Does it really need saying?  A vacation is something that doesn't require you to pee in the bushes.

But since I'm headed on one or two camping trips this summer, I read this article with interest:  5 Ways to Make Camping With Children Easy.  (Wait, I know this one... Don't go!)

First suggestion?

Keep glow sticks on the kids at night.

I've done this before.  Fun for the kids, easy for the mom.  Good suggestion.

Be willing to go for drives.

There's the problem with camping right there.  Kids don't sleep.  You don't sleep.  You have to take your little darlings for an hour-long drive just to get them to shut their eyelids.  Fun fun fun.  We're all having fun.

Give your children plenty of light.

I think the glow stick or a flashlight is sufficient.  I don't need to spend time rigging up night lights.

And now the good stuff:

Use two tents.

"Designate one tent to be only for sleeping and changing clothes," the author says.  "The other tent then becomes only for toys and playing."

Say what?

I already had to bring my entire kitchen on this dumb camping trip and you want a separate tent for toys?  I'm supposed to bring toys?  So many of them that I need two tents?

She's actually serious.  Her last piece of advice is don't be afraid to overpack.

No really, she says that.  Don't be afraid to bring more stuff.  Your entire kitchen.  Your entire storage room.  Every blanket you own.  Your medicine cabinet.  Your toy room.

Am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong with camping if the only way to make it less miserable is to BRING EVERYTHING YOU HAVE AT HOME?

Can't we, you know, just stay home?  Or in a Marriott or something?  

Don't get me wrong, we can still go outside.  I'm not opposed to nature.

I'm just opposed to it getting on me.

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