Camping. Love it or hate it?
The debate subject would be hotly contested: The pros and cons of camping with a young family.
How many people do you know that say ‘I DON’T CAMP’?
Well I was one of those people, wise in my determination. I believed that I knew my personal limits, steadfast in my decision, almost arrogant. I definitely wouldn’t like camping.
Then I had kids. Beds become less sacred, bathrooms become messy, toilets are minefields.
Steve and I decided that camping might just wear our kids out. A bit of fresh air plus good old fashioned family time. What could possibly go wrong?!
We approached it with the attitude of ‘give it a go’ - if we haven’t used the camper van much in a year, then we sell up and go to Bali with the rest of Perth.
Our first trip we didn’t venture far; Port Coogee Caravan Park to be precise. A whole 20 minutes from home. Bit of a trial run. We had a few friends (with older children) with campers who came with us to witness the carnage.
About halfway through setting up, with the 3 kids helping (sort of), Steve got called back to work. *Note: never holiday close enough that your husband can get called back in to work* In that first 35 degree afternoon we had a diarrhoea ‘incident’, several falls, Tom ate a variety of unidentifiable objects, and a little bird kept swooping the boys much to their delight and my horror.
We decided to head to the pool for a swim in the arvo. Kids were all happy playing, I was sitting with the girls (Steve is still at work) actually beginning to think this camping thing was a winner. Archie (2) jumps into the pool and hits his chin on the edge. Everyone looked pretty horrified. Off to Freo Hospital I go. Luckily the girls took care of the other 2 boys, and I sat in my bathers and wet t-shirt with an extremely uncooperative toddler for 3 hours waiting for them to glue his chin back together.
Camping + Randalls = Winning
We got off to a rocky start, but after 12 months we realised we had done about 10 camping trips. It got easier and easier, now as the kids are older they love our camping trips. And we upgraded to a caravan (happy wife, happy life). The freedom of no walls, getting dirty and making new friends never gets old.
Off road trips tend to be ‘boys only’ affairs in our house. The lack of shower and toilet facilities push my boundaries a little too far, the comforts of caravan parks and electricity are more my thing. The boys bound through the door from their ‘real’ camping, covered in dirt, smelling of smoke from the campfire, usually in the clothes they left home in 2 days earlier!
Yes, you heard me. I LOVE camping.