Author Topic: What is your vacation/ camping personality?  (Read 15033 times)

mm1970

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What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« on: February 13, 2015, 11:09:59 AM »
Background: my husband and I have been married over 18 years, two kids (almost-9, and 2.5, late bloomers on the kids).
He grew up camping for vacation. I grew up - not going on vacation.  Maybe camped 2-3 times growing up, and only when we could borrow the gear.

Fast forward many decades - our camping trips pre-kid were about every 3 years.  We tended to fly to visit family or occasionally go someplace far off, like Hawaii or even twice Europe where his grandmother lived.

Now that we have small kids, and are in our mid-40's, I've really gotten into camping, and he's kind of "over it".  I think it's painful and expensive to vacation via air travel with kids, and would rather drive/ camp.

I think part of it is the "work" involved.  We have a small house and no garage. So camping for him means getting out all of the gear - the Thule rack for the car from the shed, the sleeping bags and cots from the closet, the cooking gear and camp stove and lanterns from underneath the front porch (where he has to use a screwdriver to unscrew a screen window to get in there, not kidding).

The division of labor does put a lot of the work on him. I tend to handle packing the food/ meals and entertainment (cards, books, etc.) 

I'd much rather run around outside at a campground, cook on a campstove really really simple things like chili nachos, instant oatmeal, crackers and cheese, instant coffee, hot dogs and marshmallows, etc.  And when we stay at hotels, I prefer to stay where I can at least do a minimal amount of cooking.

He would rather just pay more, stay at a hotel, and eat out.  Which, I get it, is easier, especially with small kids.

The last few times we've camped with other families, I've noticed that people have different camping personalities, and they go "all out".  Like: cooking pancakes or eggs and bacon for breakfast, making burgers or steaks on the grill for dinner, mixing up mixed drinks like gin & tonics, baking muffins in cast iron pots over the fire, and all of this at campgrounds in the desert with no running water (have to pack it all in).  While I see the fun in that - getting more "real food" while camping and enjoying it, I guess my personality is more simple - add water and stir?  Make sure there's a cold beer?

So what are your camping and vacation personalities?  Wondering if there are ways we can improve our experiences for both of us to make it more enjoyable.  I also wonder how much of the pain and suffering is just traveling with a toddler.

KiloRomeo

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2015, 11:19:44 AM »
We go all out. Primitive campsites (or just in the wilderness), toting steaks, drinking beer, fishing, pancakes, canoes, guns, etc.

Zikoris

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2015, 11:26:26 AM »
I don't have a camping personality because I don't camp. If I did, it would probably involve a tent trailer and porta potty.

For travel, I like private accommodations, but try to avoid hotels. Yay for AirBNB! I like not having housekeeping at all, having a basic kitchen so I can try out cooking with local ingredients, and being in a great location where I can walk and use public transit easily. I like going to scenic places, hiking, and checking out as many vegan and vegetarian restaurants as I can manage.

MayDay

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2015, 11:30:08 AM »
When we camp, we try to keep things as simple as possible so we don't spend hours packing, unpacking, and cooking.

We do a few traditional camping meals (those sandwiches you make on a campfire) but other than that we go as simple and easy as possible.  Instant oatmeal for breakfast or boiled eggs, etc. Sandwich for lunch. Chili that I made ahead and froze (doubles as the ice block in the cooler!).


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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2015, 11:34:44 AM »
We go all out also. Meals are the center of camping for us. Usually when we are done eating one meal I'm already thinking about the next! On saturdays we will try to do one big physical activity to justify all the extravagant food and drinking

I did cave and build a teardrop trailer because I was so sick of the packing/unpacking of camping taking the fun out of it. Mostly because we would leave Friday after work after packing for 1-2 hours, 2-3 hour drive, then setup. Setting up a tent, air mattress, and everything else in the dark led to some loud frustration between DH and I. Small camper has the bed set up and everything but the food and clothes prepacked. We only have to unhitch, level the trailer, and crack open a beer. We can setup in <15 minutes including starting the fire.  It also allowed us to add another hour in distance of driving so we can explore farther into the mountains than previously.  The past two years we spent 2-3 weekends a month camping. It is my vehicle of exploring the farther parts of Colorado and the mid-west.

We do go for paying campgrounds though because I don't like the uncertainty of not having a place. Usually they just have water and pit toilets. We did boondock once last year (b/c campground was full) and I enjoyed it. But I don't know how to go about finding suitable boondocking places ahead of time.

 
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 12:31:14 PM by Angie55 »

Eric

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2015, 11:37:29 AM »
I don't really understand what you're asking.  Are you wondering if your husband would enjoy it more if he had fancier things to eat/drink? 

I also am in charge of packing everything when we go, so I understand the burden and do feel some sense of dread about all the work.  But once we're there, it doesn't make a difference to me what we eat or drink.  It's always nice.  (Granted, I don't think steaks on the grill is fancy though, as it's almost no work and they're done in 10-12 minutes)

Capsu78

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2015, 11:40:23 AM »
I had a teardrop trailer until I donated it to BSA a month ago.  Sort of "better than tent camping" but not as fancy as an RV.
A nice community of folks too:

http://www.tnttt.com/

I learned most of what I know about dutch oven cooking from these folks.

Glenstache

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2015, 11:57:11 AM »
Backpack, trail, and as many miles as possible from the trailhead.

I worked in and ran a campground for a number of summers and that took a lot of the romance out of car camping. It is now just a means to an end for me to do other things in fun places. They generally have too much campfire smoke for me to be comfortable, and too many RVs with generators.

Gone Fishing

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2015, 11:58:45 AM »
We'll go all out for a big week long trip with all the bells and whistles every few years, but most weekend trips are kept pretty simple.   We try to store things packaged together to help with the packing but it is still a lot of work to pull everything together.  I don't mind the packing and prep-work so much as the time crunch leading up to departure as I am also squaring things away at work for my absense.  My wife enjoys the camping but often questions if it is all worth it (she really enjoyed the, "show up with your bag and get on the boat" aspect of the cruise we took!).  I answer with a resounding, "Hell, yeah it is!".  Here's hoping things will be a little easier once I am FIREd! 

dude

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2015, 12:05:18 PM »
Camping = primitive, generally backcountry, occasional car camping near popular climbing areas
Vacation = modest hotel options, never all-inclusive, just looking for clean with a decent bed and hot shower

zoltani

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2015, 12:17:03 PM »
Camping = primitive, generally backcountry, occasional car camping near popular climbing areas
Vacation = modest hotel options, never all-inclusive, just looking for clean with a decent bed and hot shower

+1

What are your favorite climbing destinations?


tlars699

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2015, 12:17:19 PM »
1. If the hubby doesn't want to put in the work, why don't you put in more of the logistics prep work, and have him arrange the entertainment and food? Show us (and him) your badassity! Woo!

2. As for personality- I prefer the activities- hiking and biking and rollerblading and swimming where available. It does mean more granola and prepackaged stuff rather than real meals, but camping in an RV, going for a pontoon ride(not even fishing?! wtf!??!) and then having real food while lounging about in the sunshine was ... Luxurious to a captial L for me.
I do have to admit I got some serious knitting done at the time, but ... being "outdoors" is about exertion to me. If I'm not exerting I feel... lazy.
Super relaxing and restful? Yeah, but not what I want out of Camping.
Hotel vacations? Yes. That is for relaxing- and get this- hardly feels luxurious. Weird, no?

GuitarStv

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2015, 12:22:57 PM »
Camping - At least three days portage from the nearest motor vehicle.  Some fear of being eaten by animals is to be expected.  Dehydrated mashed potatoes is the only food source you bring.
Vacation - Not being at work.

RunHappy

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2015, 01:03:02 PM »
It depends.

When I travel I like a certain amount on luxury.  I don't need 5 start hotels but I want something more than a Holiday Inn.

When it comes to camping, I typically do more backpacking than car-camping.  So the food I bring is good but minimal (typically a little more than I need)  and non-perishable, because I have to be able to pack it up the next day and move to the new camp location. 


Sid Hoffman

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2015, 01:32:08 PM »
I love doing outdoor activities, so for me that actually pretty well rules out camping because of the lack of showers.  I have terrible skin and if I don't bathe very well, I get skin infections, breakouts, and all kinds of terrible things going on.  Furthermore, lack of a sink with running water also tends to translate into making it very hard to get my hands fully clean, which in turn makes it very hard to get my contact lenses in & out without contaminating them.  Lack of contact lenses inhibits me from wearing sunglasses, which inhibits me from doing outdoor activities.

They all go together, IMHO.  Camping makes my life incredibly hard if I want to actually do real activities.  The hotel makes it easy to clean up fully every night and get plenty of solid rest for a full day of activities the next day too.  Everybody's different though; for many, camping is the destination.  A lot of people don't need contacts or don't live in ultra-sunny places where wearing classes is a pain versus contacts + 9% light transmission sunglasses.  I have had a number of friends who prefer camping to other ways of vacationing, even though for many of them camping is more expensive.  It's worth the cost to them because that's what they enjoy.

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2015, 02:06:59 PM »
On my own I'm a backpacking / primitive camper. It's a fancy night if I build a fire. My SO is totally different. We sort of gave up on joint hiking trips, but I was pleasantly surprised to find him open to car camping as a way to avoid the cost of hotels when traveling. He gets his daily shower. He likes cooking over the fire and we can keep cold drinks on ice. The cost of the gear is pleasantly cheap compared to the lightweight stuff I normally get. For example we have a huge Coleman tent for $50. We can use our blankets from home. We--get this--use our queen size air mattress.

So, yes, I've totally capitulated to the wants of the person who wants more luxury. But if your question is what's the point of camping if you're just going to do extra work to mimic the experience of not camping, then I am with you.

ps. @Sid Hoffman, I wear contact lenses and if I'm going out for a week or less I just wear them overnight. This addresses my conviction that a bear and/or psychopathic killer will come rip my tent in half during the night and I'll have to run without being able to grab my glasses and end up stumbling off a cliff.

Longer than a week, I take them out and just do my best to clean and haven't had any problems. If you're really concerned, you can buy tiny bottles of hand sanitizer? Or bring extra alcohol sterilizing pads in your first aid kit? Though I do understand with the skin infections this sounds like maybe it's the least of your problems.

JLee

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2015, 02:15:45 PM »
I don't like camping for the sake of camping.

I don't mind camping involving travel-- like this. :)

zoltani

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2015, 03:08:52 PM »
I don't like camping for the sake of camping.


I agree, it is hard for me to understand why people like to go to established campground to sit around all day. If i am camping it is usually part of a larger goal.

MsPeacock

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2015, 03:51:47 PM »
I feel that there are two basic forms of vacation travel:

1. Trips where you do things. Maybe you are staying in a hotel and going to museums and other activities. You are out and about a lot. Disneyworld. Maybe you are setting up a tent and getting a fire going every night and struggling to put together meals and clean-up w/o running water. Camping, due to the amount of work involved, falls in this category for me. You are often tired at the end of the trip and ready to go home.

2. Trips where you don't do things. You lay on the beach and read a book and move very little. You are well-rested and want to stay when it is time to go home.

I like both forms. I"m not the sort to camp miles from the car - because I have two kids and I'm a single parent - just not feasible. I don't want to camp when it is 90 degrees outside, nor when it is 40 degrees outside. I don't need a trailer or electricity, so I a supposed I am a "middle easy" sort of camper.

mm1970

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2015, 04:00:26 PM »
Ha!  I guess I'm not really sure why I am asking, if just to figure out what other people do, so think "outside the box".

Most of the places we've camped is the desert (Joshua Tree NP), or Grand Canyon, or the beach, so there is something to do.  So, fresh air, lots of bright stars at night, hiking,"rock climbing" (not really, just climbing on small rocks, playing in the water, etc.  And also, getting away from technology.

An established campground is probably my minimum.  I'd prefer running water and showers, but often don't get them. With two kids, backpacking is out (and I'm not super excited about backpacking either).  I guess I like the camping for being able to explore, but have a "base" that's on a budget.  I've got friends with campers and vans and such, which makes it easier to just get up and go.

I might have to take more of an effort in helping to pack up the camping gear.  The big problem I see is that he has the "packing gene" and I do not. I can try, but I'm not sure he would let me.  Also, I'm not sure I could get everything to fit.  Ha!

My camping limit is generally 3 days though. For longer trips, we generally camp a couple of days and then get a hotel for a couple.

Kmp2

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2015, 05:46:21 PM »
As a kid my family would camp for weeks, and only stay Ina hotel to dry out if we got wet. We tended to like to camp in deserts though, and if the forecast looked rainy we would just move on to somewhere it looked sunny. My husband has never really camped, but one of up first away trips I took home winter backpacking and he survived... This summer we took our toddler on a 3k trek to a backcountry campground for a weekend and it was awesome (we could get a running stroller there so packing wasn't too much of an issue). I pre packed and dehydrated all our meals so they were gourmet... But you just had to add water to them. I love your chili nachos idea:)

I have all our camping gear in one of those big plastic bins from Walmart, I also have our custom built cooking box that stores a permanent set of dishes/camping cookware/soap matches and other miscellaneous camping stuff. So all we do is pack clothes, food in the cooler add the two boxes to my hubby's SUV, and we are off! if we took my little commuter I would have to spend some time puzzle packing. But I just have to remind myself that somehow my mom took the five of us camping for a month in a small compact car (with a roof rack) I swear we probably had one change of clothes... That's as easy as I could come up with given not getting a camper.

It is work, but as with everything, the more you practice the easier it all becomes. However the memories I have of all the National Parks between Seattle and San Francisco... I can't wait until my kids are in that 5-10 age group and can participate in the state ranger programs etc...I greatly appreciate my parents efforts. I vote for the kiss method until someone has it all worked then they can figure out how to bake bread on a campfire.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 09:26:13 PM by Kmp2 »

kimmarg

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2015, 05:54:52 PM »
I tend towards all out if we are camping with the car and of course minimalist if we are packing it all in. One thing that helped in terms of prep and gear is I keep all the camp gear in one big plastic tub. (Get an extra pot from thrift store, coffee percolator etc) i restock the box after we come home and clean up so if we want to go camping we basically grab that box, tent, sleeping bags, food and go. I find it's the details that makes it fun or no fun. For example a roll of paper towels and some hand sanitizer and soap makes cleanup much easier and is totally worth it. Also on my 'worth it' list is comfy chairs to sit in rather than sitting on the ground. That said I always cook on a stove and consider fire entertainment not necessity.

Pigeon

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2015, 07:22:01 PM »
I hate camping. I like plumbing, showers and hate bugs.  I have a perfectly nice house and would rather just kick back around home than stay in discomfort. If we are traveling, I'm staying somewhere where I don't have to rough it or do a lot of extra work. Not luxury, but a decent motel.

We don't take a lot of fancy vacations. Every other year, we rent a house on a gorgeous, very private lake within driving distance. It is pretty frugal and very relaxing.

bogart

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2015, 08:24:35 PM »

When I travel I like a certain amount on luxury.  I don't need 5 start hotels but I want something more than a Holiday Inn.


This made me laugh, because Holiday Inn would be my (hotel) idea of luxury for family travel.  We're more Motel 6 people, though I do appreciate a place with a microwave and minifridge, for many trips.  When possible, we go the VRBO route and get a real home/cabin wherever we are visiting.

I car/tent (or in-car-slept) camped for many years very happily and would still today, but it is not DH's thing, and I have to admit that with our now 7-year old in tow (we bought it when he was 3), the travel trailer approach we have adopted as a compromise works well.  It also solves some of the "getting ready" problem, as we leave it equipped with pretty much everything except food.

Mostly, I like to get wherever I'm going and then not have to get in a car again once I'm there.  I mean, we rarely achieve this, but at least staying in a campground gets us much closer to this goal than do many other travel approaches.  DH doesn't like cities (and I'm not a huge fan either, but enjoying visiting), so we don't do *too* much of that sort of travel.

pachnik

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2015, 08:34:46 PM »
I camped a lot as a child but I won't do it now.  I have bouts of insomnia and don't do well sleeping in a strange place.  So camping is pretty much out for me. 

When we (husband and I) go on vacation we usually stay at inexpensive motels.  As long as the place is clean and has basic furniture, I am pretty happy.  For example, this summer we will go to Vancouver Island for a week - a few nights in Campbell River and then go over to Tofino.  Small motels in both places.  We don't spend much time in the room at all so don't really care too much.

Sometimes, we go to a local hot springs resort about an hour and a half drive from where we live.  This is a bit fancier.  We enjoy going there in the fall and winter for a few days at a time because of the hot mineral water pools.  Breakfast is included and usually one dinner. 

Milizard

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2015, 12:37:44 PM »
Camping is fun if you have a lot of energy.  Pre-kids, I enjoyed it a lot, and the most fun was when I did a backpacking type of weekend when the weather was perfect.  I have an almost 5 yo and a 2 yo.  We tried it once with the older kid when he was 2.  He didn't dig it.  DH and him "camped" in the backyard last summer.  He enjoyed it then, but his younger brother was freaked out by the tent.  I think a camper is the way to go with younger kids.  Will see how the tent works with the 2 yo in the backyard again next summer before we try going to a campground.  Definitely car-camping, with a possibility of crashing at a hotel if the weather turns bad and the kids freak out.  That's the ugly reality of it.  The older one is getting more resilient as he gets older, but it's a very gradual process.  The younger one started getting freaked out by baths all of a sudden, so its going to be a few years yet for him to toughen up, I bet.

I enjoy nicer hotels when traveling, but not the prices, obviously.  It's just too much of a pain in the ass sharing a room with toddlers that won't settle down unless the room that you're sharing is quiet and dark.  All that to say, we're not traveling much at all right now with the kids being so young.  It just turns into the opposite of relaxing and fun.

sunshine

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2015, 02:09:03 PM »
I guess I'll say we go all out. We have a travel trailer with everything needed. We eat the same way we do at home. We used to tent camp many years ago when the kids were small. I'll even happily admit even when we dry camp we use the generator.

Cwadda

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2015, 02:13:20 PM »
When I go camping with my dad and brother, we fish for salmon and then cook it the same day. Mmmmm. We do bring a lot from home but the "living off the land" vibe is pretty cool.

AK

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2015, 02:28:26 PM »
When I was growing up, my grand parents had a 30 some foot RV which my brother and I would visit on weekends in the summer. I always thought that was camping. The campground had a swimming pool, lodge, 2 ponds stocked for fishing, and various activities depending on the time of year. It wasn't until much later that I was like oh people use tents to camp and that's what most people mean by camping.

My wife and I don't camp much. Our vacations are going to new places and trying new things where we stay at hotels or with friends. Our last few trips have been cruises. Personally, I'm hooked. For the amount of activities, food, service you receive, it's a great value. MMM would probably face punch me. My wife likes Disney for running so we alternate vacations. We'll go somewhere she wants and then somewhere I want. It works for us.

sol

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2015, 02:29:49 PM »
Not my style, but still funny:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rgJwKZ2TZc

SandyBoxx

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2015, 04:42:49 PM »
Camping style with no kids along: multi-day overnight backpacking trips (we now live in the middle of 5 National Parks - SO many trips I would love to do!) or car camping at BC Forestry sites - no running water, usually have outhouses, and sometimes firewood...very rustic and inexpensive.

With the kids (ages 3 & 5): we caved and purchased a mid-1990's tent trailer (pop-up) last summer.  Much less chaos packing and unpacking, more time sitting around the campfire and getting dirty!  We have spent most of our time at BC Provincial Parks, the kids love riding bikes around the paved roadways, and there is usually a play structure, and sometimes showers - also lots of other kids to play with.  Biggest pet peeve of these campgrounds are the people "camping" in their RV's with the generators running.  The hours that generators are allowed to be used are limited - but it is eerie to see nobody else around outside on a beautiful evening at suppertime...everyone disappears inside to prep/cook/eat, then the television sets come on!??! and they are gone until the next day!

My favorite part of camping is a beer around the campfire - I cannot understand why people bother to "camp" without that part of the experience!

mm1970

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2015, 04:53:28 PM »
As a kid my family would camp for weeks, and only stay Ina hotel to dry out if we got wet. We tended to like to camp in deserts though, and if the forecast looked rainy we would just move on to somewhere it looked sunny. My husband has never really camped, but one of up first away trips I took home winter backpacking and he survived... This summer we took our toddler on a 3k trek to a backcountry campground for a weekend and it was awesome (we could get a running stroller there so packing wasn't too much of an issue). I pre packed and dehydrated all our meals so they were gourmet... But you just had to add water to them. I love your chili nachos idea:)

I have all our camping gear in one of those big plastic bins from Walmart, I also have our custom built cooking box that stores a permanent set of dishes/camping cookware/soap matches and other miscellaneous camping stuff. So all we do is pack clothes, food in the cooler add the two boxes to my hubby's SUV, and we are off! if we took my little commuter I would have to spend some time puzzle packing. But I just have to remind myself that somehow my mom took the five of us camping for a month in a small compact car (with a roof rack) I swear we probably had one change of clothes... That's as easy as I could come up with given not getting a camper.

It is work, but as with everything, the more you practice the easier it all becomes. However the memories I have of all the National Parks between Seattle and San Francisco... I can't wait until my kids are in that 5-10 age group and can participate in the state ranger programs etc...I greatly appreciate my parents efforts. I vote for the kiss method until someone has it all worked then they can figure out how to bake bread on a campfire.
I'm actually really interested in how you prepare and dehydrate your meals?  I've never heard of that and it sounds interesting (see, I'm really into the cooking part!  Just add water!)  We have a lot of our camping gear in a bin and our dishes in a basket that was a wedding gift, like a picnic thing.  It's really convenient.

mm1970

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2015, 04:56:02 PM »
Camping is fun if you have a lot of energy.  Pre-kids, I enjoyed it a lot, and the most fun was when I did a backpacking type of weekend when the weather was perfect.  I have an almost 5 yo and a 2 yo.  We tried it once with the older kid when he was 2.  He didn't dig it.  DH and him "camped" in the backyard last summer.  He enjoyed it then, but his younger brother was freaked out by the tent.  I think a camper is the way to go with younger kids.  Will see how the tent works with the 2 yo in the backyard again next summer before we try going to a campground.  Definitely car-camping, with a possibility of crashing at a hotel if the weather turns bad and the kids freak out.  That's the ugly reality of it.  The older one is getting more resilient as he gets older, but it's a very gradual process.  The younger one started getting freaked out by baths all of a sudden, so its going to be a few years yet for him to toughen up, I bet.

I enjoy nicer hotels when traveling, but not the prices, obviously.  It's just too much of a pain in the ass sharing a room with toddlers that won't settle down unless the room that you're sharing is quiet and dark.  All that to say, we're not traveling much at all right now with the kids being so young.  It just turns into the opposite of relaxing and fun.
Ha!  Vacations with toddlers (my younger son is 2.5) aren't vacations they are "trips".  It's much  more relaxing to stay home.

RNwastash

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2015, 08:27:11 PM »
We used to tent camp when the kids were smaller, until they reached junior high.  I guess I got tired of not having a bathroom close by.  We now use VRBO when we go on vacation during spring and summer breaks.  Not too fancy, a two bedroom/ 1 bath little house or condo for the week.  We are vegetarian/vegan, so we cook more of our meals when vacationing.  It works for us and all are happy.

Reyes01

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2015, 11:51:57 PM »
DW and I really enjoy camping. The kids used to come with, but as they aged they starting going with their own friends. When they did come with us it was nothing for us to bring 8-10 teens along with us (multiple cars). It was very strange to first camp with just the two of us, but I've grown fond if it was it is *so* much simpler now:-) Even when we did have a load of teens, we were never fancy about the food part. We'd have bake potatoes, chili, etc. for dinner, sandwiches for lunch, and cereal and bagels for breakfast. We do have a 1982 VW Vanagon and it has made camping loads easier. All of our necessaries are always in the van so all we need to add is our food and clothing (and our Triple A card as our van likes to break down at least once a summer:-). We probably camp at 20 nights over the course of the summer.

Rural

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2015, 06:22:40 AM »
You know, I don't think we've been camping since we moved into the woods. Of course, that means we haven't been anywhere...


I think my days of sleeping on the ground are at an end. I can handle an air mattress in a tent in summer, but I'm too old, too much arthritis, for cold or for nothing more than a sleeping bag pad. Plus I need a pillow under my knees and one for my bad shoulder... This getting old business isn't for sissies.


That said, cooking in the fire is a lot easier than schlepping a campstove, so I do that. A few gallons of water, a couple of foil packs for hobo stew (freeze 'em before heading out) and a percolator I can set directly on the coals, and I'm good. Pack a loaf of bread and some PB for lunch, some oatmeal for breakfast - just heat water in the percolator, then put on the coffee, or hell, I've eaten mocha oatmeal before! :-)


All this is car camping, of course, or Jeep camping more like. We don't stay in campgrounds. Did that once for an unfunded work trip/rental house hunt when we left our old lives and moved back home. The campground was miserable - people everywhere, and constant worry about leaving the tent there during the day. But we couldn't afford a motel - not without cutting into the savings we intended to use to get us through the transition.


Truck camping is really ideal for us. Set up a bed in the back and you stay dry. Move it as needed, lock when you're not right there. All you need is bedding, a change of clothes, a water container, and some food. Oh, and a firestarter.

madamwitty

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2015, 08:38:58 PM »
Chili that I made ahead and froze (doubles as the ice block in the cooler!).
Ooh! Good idea!

DH and I both like car camping but we haven't done it very often (~once every 2 years) since the advent of the kids. Hopefully we will go more when Baby is older. I was hoping to start going at least once a year with the grandparents on DH's side. And maybe much more after we RE. But DH is not a fan of longer trips (away from the computer) or anything that takes, y'know, WORK to set up so I do most of the planning and packing.

A campfire each night is key. Food is usually pretty modest.

Chip Stacker

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2018, 09:52:19 AM »
My wife and I use camping as a fun and affordable way to travel to awesome locations. We've lived in Europe since 2011, so we've camped all over the Mediterranean. We'll find spots close to the water and public transportation, so we don't have to drive more than necessary.

Since it's the 2 of us, we're 50/50 on most things like packing and setting up. I tend to do more of the cooking, but she's always there to chop veggies and clean up. We always bring a couple meals like soup and pasta, but we always hit the local markets to test out what they have to offer. Italy, Spain, and Croatia are all affordable for produce and seafood.

DreamFIRE

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2018, 11:57:11 AM »

I'm fine with any method as long as I'm able to have a  morning shower.  In dreaming of FIRE, slow travel with a class B RV or travel trailer is something I'm considering.

bacchi

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2018, 12:14:54 PM »
With a destination, car camping is a substitute for a hotel. Showers are optional. Car camping around a lot of people is frustrating, especially in crowded national parks. It's like living in a suburb -- the picture window looks out at someone else's tent. BLM car camping is a lot more pleasant.

If the outdoors is the destination, then backcountry all the way. Nothing beats watching the stars roll in as the fire dies down or crawling in a sleeping bag when it's 30 degrees out.

Cranky

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #40 on: March 24, 2018, 12:47:58 PM »
Well, I'm past my backpacking years, so that's where my camping personality is *not*.

We did several weekend camping trips when my kids were little, and really enjoyed it, because just sleeping in a tent and gathering sticks and looking at the stars is amazing when you are 5yo!

I would love to camp now, but feel like the logistics of it are hard - I don't want an RV, and so many campgrounds are for RVs, not tents, and all the good campgrounds seem like they are filled up way, way in advance. We've talked about a trailer, but that's a big outlay, plus we'd have to have a bigger car to pull it.

FINate

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #41 on: March 24, 2018, 12:55:42 PM »
Traveling with a toddler is difficult, no way around it. When our kids were very young we didn't go on "vacation" we went on "family trips." It's hard work, but the goal was to have a different experience and get the kids accustomed to traveling and camping. The youngest is now 5 and it's a lot easier and more enjoyable... finally approaching something like vacation.

Sounds like you need to make your camping setup more efficient. I keep most of my camping gear, including dedicated kitchen equipment, in a few ActionPackers. For the most part getting ready for camping is simply a matter of throwing the ActionPackers into the truck. The most time consuming part is getting the food/ice chest set. The entire process of getting ready takes about an hour.

Stachetastic

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2018, 03:20:01 PM »
We tent camped a bit before kids, but always in state park campgrounds. I need access to a shower regularly. Now that the kids join us, we have a very old pop up camper that we take along. We are upgrading our amenities this year to include a 5 gallon bucket potty because this old girl can no longer make it thru the night without a potty break. Everyone else is of the boy-persuasion, so they can pee right out of the camper door.  We like to use camping as a home base for other exploring in the area. This summer we are planning a few camping trips near amusement parks, for example.

I have a difficult time enjoying hotels due to a pretty extreme bed bug phobia. I always check the room very thoroughly upon arrival, but I never feel completely relaxed, so bringing our own accommodations works well.

Gone Fishing

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2018, 06:37:38 AM »
Three years later...

Soon after I retired, we took a 4 week National Park car/tent camping trip across the country, up the Rockies, then back home.  We found that we got in a rhythm of packing and unpacking and it wasn't too much trouble once we were on the road, perhaps a bit repetitive, though.  We would find a grocery store and restock groceries every week or so, just like being at home.  Cooler/ice management was a daily chore, but not terrible by any means.  We didn't venture off the beaten track much, and there were crowds at times, but for the most part, it was manageable.  We did our best to select camp sites on the edges of the campgrounds to avoid neighbors on all sides.  The trip was certainly one of the top trips of my life.  So much so, that this summer we are planning on doing a 5 week National Park trip to the PNW.

Last fall, my wife was working, so I solo packed the family for a three day weekend camping trip.  It took me a full day and I was pretty tired by the time I was done.  Looking at the gear, it was very nearly everything we would need for a multi-week trip.  The moral of the story is, you get much more bang for your packing effort out of longer camping trips.  We are still restricted to long weekends in the spring and fall due to the kid's school schedules, but once that is out of the way, I can see myself tent camping for a minimum of 7-10 days at a time. 

I grew up camping in the back country and may return there someday, my wife, not so much. So, for now, we are happy to stay in campgrounds with toilets and running water, just taking day hikes into less populated areas. 


wenchsenior

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2018, 09:27:18 AM »
When I was a little kid, 'camping' was an excuse for us kids to eat a bunch of junk food like prepackaged individual breakfast cereals and s'mores while watching our dads do all the work lugging gear, setting up camp, and building fires.

I camped a ton in my twenties and thirties...both out of a car, and back-country backpacking. The entire POINT of camping, IMO, is to not have to worry about domestic crap like washing dishes, setting up beds, or cooking.  A makeshift cold shower hanging from a tree would be high luxury if not in a campground.

When I camped a lot as a young adult, I was usually the lowest maintenance person around.  No pad, no tent, no stove, etc. I just threw my sleeping bag down wherever, (occasionally) wrapped some mosquito netting around my head, and called it good. I ate cold food (beef stick, granola, pb, tuna out of cans, etc).  Heating water seemed way too much effort, so I usually didn't have a stove.  If I was camping in a very cold situation (which I tried to avoid), then I would do a tiny tent that was super easy to set up, and a mattress pad, and I would cook prepackaged rice or soup or chili on a little one-burner backpacking stove.

Generally speaking, I just can't understand why food would ever be a big focus of an adult camping trip...shit, you can focus on food at home!  I mean, it's nice when people I'm camping with pull out all the stops and cook fancy meals, I guess, but I sure am not going to volunteer to do it.  I do appreciate the idea of bringing along nicer precooked meals that can be frozen and kept in a cooler if you are car camping, though. I'm not saying I would personally go to that effort, but it seems reasonable.  Also reasonable: If you catch fresh fish, then going to effort of making a foil packet meal over a fire, etc.

When I got to the point that the above style of camping felt unpleasant or too uncomfortable, I switched to mostly sleeping in hotels.

wenchsenior

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2018, 09:28:26 AM »
Dammit, I hate when I reply to these zombie threads by mistake. Who bumps these things?

Gone Fishing

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #46 on: March 25, 2018, 10:13:12 AM »
Dammit, I hate when I reply to these zombie threads by mistake. Who bumps these things?

The way I figure, if it was worth reading then, it's worth reading now.  Just don't type up a huge response to an ancient case study!

JLee

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #47 on: March 25, 2018, 12:08:33 PM »
Good weather:



Bad weather:


TartanTallulah

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #48 on: March 25, 2018, 03:46:37 PM »
I'll only camp on multi-day hikes, and even then I'd rather plan the hike around nights spent in a B&B or bunkhouse. There's no way I would have attempted tent-camping with my children when they were small. We always rented a house.

chickinyow

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Re: What is your vacation/ camping personality?
« Reply #49 on: March 26, 2018, 09:18:41 AM »
I'm in my mid-40s like you. I'd honestly say my true "camping" days are behind me. I grew up in a family with 5 kids and road trips/camping were the only thing we did - no "vacations" as such. Nowadays, I like a bit of luxury. We will rent a cabin instead of tent camping these days. Yes, I do bring lots of food to cook when I'm camping. I like having a variety and choice.

Actual camping seems too much like work to me now, and I want to relax and have fun - which I don't find setting up tents and using outhouses much fun.