We love camping. S had camped in countless locations from ice shelters on lava flows in Iceland to base camps on Mt. Whitney. My experience is mostly limited to state and national parks. We have back-packed several miles in, “horse-camped” with my horse, and even camped in a rented camper while I was pregnant (my back could not take the hard ground then!) However we do it, we love to camp. Unfortunately, when the kids came along, we stopped doing it for the most part. I was often pregnant, on bed rest, recovering from surgery, or the weather was a bit too nippy to take the babies out. Other times, we just got busy and didn’t get around to it. Finally, this past summer, we took the plunge and went with some friends to a mountain near our home. It was great. It was also a learning experience for us. We considered ourselves pretty experience campers, but with 3 children on that trip, we quickly learned that family-camping is a whole different ball game! To say the least. You have to pack so much more than the bare essentials. You have to have bottles, snacks, oh, and of course, smore’s. We also learned that we needed a new tent. We have two 2-man tents, which we used on our last trip. S, JR, and the dog slept in one, appropriately nicknamed the “boys tent,” while M, me, and the baby (A at that time) slept in the other. S nicknamed ours the “nursery.” Guess which tent got sleep? (hint…not mine!) After much discussion about options for recreation, travel, equipment, and expense, we decided to upgrade to a full, family-size tent that would leave us a little room to grow (you never know what God might have in store!)

We found a really good tent for a reasonable price at our local REI. Yesterday, S made the purchase, and as any experienced outdoorsman knows, you always try it out at home first in case there are any issues with it.

Our new tent and a couple of willing assistants.

Assembling the new tent.

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The assistants were limited in what they could help with.
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Our new, almost 100 sq. ft. camping quarters.
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This should be plenty of space for the 6 of us, our 95 lb dog, and all our gear, yet still be sized for most campsites. It actually has a center divider that will likely come in handy at some point.
I am currently busy planning our first big adventure. I have a few other things I am looking for to get us more prepared for family camping, but I am looking forward to going. I feel so much closer to God some how, when I get out in nature, surrounded by the sights and sounds of God’s perfect creation. S and I can’t wait to share this kind of worshipful experience with our children, in the hopes they will grow to have a great appreciation for all that God has blessed us with!
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