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The outdoors?  LOVE IT!  Especially during the summer.

Sleeping outdoors?  Umm. . . not so much.  Granted, I’d only done it twice in my life — relax Mom, I ended up marrying the guy, okay? — but both times were absolute disasters.  I mean, when a ferral cat makes off with dinner and we’re drinking primo wine out of dixie cups?  How’s that supposed to be fun?  That’s on top of sleeping fully clothed because it was so freakin’ cold!  Not to mention the one trip with a quarter-mile hike from our campsite to the bathrooms. And oh, by the way, because of the drought going on at the time, we could forget about running water.

Still, the outdoors beckon, particularly during summer when everything is so gorgeous we just have to spend time in it.  And while Hubby has tried over the years to change my mind, my definition of camping is staying somewhere without room service.  (Hey, it’s all about point of view,isn’t it?)  🙂

So, for all those who are trying to decide if they should give camping a try, here are my tips to success from this year’s family camping trip.

1.       Pack lightly

Most campsites are hours away from home, and sometimes you have to hike in with your supplies, so you want to pack only the essentials.  This is what the four of us brought for our three-day trip.  Well, most of it, anyway.  I think my shoe bag was still in the car. . ..

2.       Find the perfect camping spot

(*SNICKER*  — Okay, I’ll leave out the naughty commentary on this one!)  *Clears throat*  The perfect camping spot allows for easy access to all the amenities at the site.  If given a choice, keep this in mind.

3.       Go for a walk and appreciate the scenery and the wildlife You’re camping to enjoy the area’s natural beauty, and all the wildlife in it, so get out there!  I must admit, I was surprised to see deer when I headed to the sports complex.   This one was out to dinner that night. . ..

4.       Eat healthy meals Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean your diet should go south.  Make sure you bring the appropriate foodstuffs to maintain optimum health! (My Paleo eating friends are cringing, I’m sure. . ..)

5.       Bond around the camp fire  After a day of hiking, swimming, and riding bikes, make time to gather together to sing songs and share stories around the camp fire.  🙂 Remember that you’re creating special memories with those you love, and songs around the campfire are the perfect opportunity to do so.  My favorite song?  TOUCHDOWN!! (Followed by fist bumps all around, natch!)

You’ve pretty much guessed I’m not a Camping Diva – and couldn’t even pretend to pass for one.  Perpetually cold?  Gutting dinner?  Hiking twenty miles in with a pack of supplies equal to my body weight?  Uh, no thanks. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the outdoors, either.

It’s all about point of view, right? 😉

-Melia

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