After all of the time we spent researching for our journey to begin camping with the family, we finally took the maiden voyage with our Gulfstream Track and Trail toy hauler.
This was a trip of lessons and memories.
Last week I posted about some of the things that I learned from this trip. This week I am posting some more because, well, I learned quite a lot. 🙂
Here are some more things I learned:
Notify the campground of (and pay for) visitors
This may seem like an unnecessary thing, but it is not just a courtesy. A campground is set up for a certain amount of people. They have only so much space and limited facilities. Visitors take up space and use the facilities so it is only fair that the campground be aware of them and be compensated as well.
This is something that I didn’t think much about until we reached the first campground late at night. Not only does the traffic noise from the freeway carry into the campground, but voices carry as well. It took a few times of reminding my children about it before they spoke softer when we were outside. It was important to me that we be considerate of our camping neighbors and of the campgrounds that we were staying at.
It takes time to set-up, break-down, and dump
This trip was a lesson in time management. For some reason it didn’t enter my mind, and therefore it didn’t enter my calculations, that it would take more than five minutes to set-up, break-down, and dump the tanks. There is a lot that goes into getting everything unhooked or hooked-up.
GPS is really good – until it’s not
I love GPS. I haven’t used a physical map in years. My husband is the driver and I am the navigator. When we came into heavy traffic, I was able to find alternative routes on my GPS. GPS is really good. Until it isn’t. GPS doesn’t tell you what type of road surface you will be going on. I hated that when the GPS had us travel a very long and windy pot holed road to one campground. We discovered that if we had gone the alternative way (which GPS said would take much longer), we would be on cement roads and not beat up our truck and trailer. I also hated it when it took us to another campground via a back road that was not meant for a car let alone a truck and trailer. Yeah. That road was like being a part of a real life horror movie.
Relax and laugh – especially at night
Our camping was like having a slumber party every night. Our toy hauler only has one separate room in it – the bathroom. Other than that, we were pretty much in the same space whenever we were inside. I loved how that brought out a lot of laughter, especially at night. As we got settled in for the night, we would joke and laugh with each other. We also enjoyed a few campfires with lots of fun stories. We made many great memories.
We didn’t need all of the electronics
Okay, I’ll admit it. I was afraid we would get bored. We have a small TV in the trailer and I brought a small stack of DVDs to watch. I brought my word processor so I could write if I wanted to. I brought my Kindle so that I wouldn’t need to bring a stack of books to read. My husband brought his laptop. My kids brought their video games. What did we actually use? My husband did not touch his laptop the entire time. The only thing I used was my Paper white Kindle for one afternoon of reading one book. The kids used the video games during the drive and they watched one DVD the entire time. We were too busy enjoying our time together.
I am not a big nature person. I know. You’re wondering why I like camping if I am not into nature. I can’t answer that. But there is something about being outside on a trail in the brisk morning air just leisurely walking with your family. It was energizing. It was relaxing.
Take lots of pictures
I love pictures. I am very much into recording our family functions. I absolutely love the Digital age of photography because I can take lots of pictures and not have to worry about running out of film or worrying that I didn’t get any good shots. I highly recommend taking lots of pictures of your trips together. The pictures will keep those memories alive in your family for years to come.
What about you?
What have you learned in your camping journey?
Do you have any advice for others just getting started?