I am a mom of two fun and wild boys. I have become an expert on Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, Thomas the Train, and Lego towers. I have learned to tone down the shock and horror on my face when my sons bring a grasshopper, beetle, or lizard inside that they found in the backyard. I was starting to feel like I was getting this boy mom gig down, until my best friend brought up the idea of camping together. “Camping” is a foreign word to me and totally out of my mom comfort zone. I never camped growing up. My dad’s idea of camping was a cabin, but actually more like a hotel up north that’s close to the woods.
My best friend and I do life together. Our kids are close in age, our husbands are great friends, and we always have a blast together. So before I really thought about what I was getting myself into, I said yes. I called my husband to tell him, and he was surprised that I wanted to go camping knowing my disdain for bugs. He, however, was ecstatic.
Since we have never been camping as a family before, we didn’t have any camping gear. I asked my husband for a list of items to buy, and I took charge thanks to the help of Target. I bought sleeping bags, a tent, OFF spray, a cooler, food, etc. A lantern was also an item on my husband’s list. I found a cute one with an LED battery powered candle, and I thought it was perfect. When my husband got home, I proudly showed him what I bought. He literally laughed at the lantern and said, “You’re cute.” Apparently there is a brand called Coleman, and that is the one you need for camping. Who knew? We went to Target, returned my cute lantern, got the appropriate Coleman lantern, and we were all set.
The next morning our two families caravanned up north to the Manzanita camp ground. The drive was beautiful, and I was feeling good. This campground is near creeks in Sedona, and we decided to stop and explore one of the creeks and swim. Everyone in my family was wearing flip flops, and everyone in my friend’s family was wearing water shoes. I didn’t realize the gravity of this mistake until we hiked down and were actually in the creek. My husband almost lost his flip flop a few times, and my kids and I slipped on the rocks several times in the water. We still had a blast, and I learned about another camping necessity when near a body of water…water shoes.
We set up our tents at the campground, grilled, and made s’mores. We were having so much fun with our people, and I quickly forgot about all the dirt, spiders, and bugs all around me. My boys were smiling and laughing, and my heart was full. One of my favorite parts of camping was laying in the tent at night and enjoying pure nature with my kids. It was beautiful.
If there is something that you aren’t sure about but think you and your family would enjoy, I highly recommend getting out of your mom comfort zone and trying it. Just be sure that you have the right gear (Coleman vs. cute lantern) before you go. 😉