Thursday, September 2, 2010

On Tent Camping

Bill and I love road trips.  We once spent 9 months RV'ing around the country.  That trip hugely influenced us in our decision to homeschool our the theoretical children.  We traveled 30,000 miles and experienced many great adventures.

Now with 2 kids and RV-less, Bill and I still love the idea of road trips.  So this summer we decided to try a 3 week trip.  Our destination was Pact Camp in Monterey, with plans to camp back up the Pacific Coast to Mt. Rainier where we'd meet with about 30 other homeschool families for the mother of all car camping experiences.

As homeschoolers, we spend a large amount of time in the car.  The kids and I are clear on what makes car travel fun and bearable.  We packed the minivan full of books, drawing materials and snacks.  In the end, the driving part was a breeze, especially as Bill brought the first 2 Harry Potter books along to read aloud.

What took me by surprise turned out to be the assembly process.  With an RV, we'd pick our spot, back in and spend a few minutes settling our rig.  Done, time to play.  Leaving is equally simple. With tent camping, we'd pick our spot, drive in and spend the next hour unpacking our gear, setting up the tent, setting up our bedding, setting up our "kitchen."  Which was fine the times we arrived early and settled in for a few days.  And a SUPER giant drag the times we struggle with traffic, pulled in close to supper time and then needed to move out early the next morning.

Next year - because I love road trips and hope to do several next summer - I'll plan our travel differently so that each stop involves at least 2 nights stay, with several much longer stays so that the set-up amortizes better.  I'm pretty sure next year Bill plans to buy an RV.

Funny how married people don't always carry the same goals and expectations. Secretly, I'm sure I'm the more realistic of the pair, but I hope he's the one who's right!

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