Camping: The Vacation You Need to be Taking with Your Family

Camping wasn’t something that I grew up doing with my family. In fact, the first time I ever went camping was with a group of friends when I was a teenager. Even then, it wasn’t a regular thing, just something I did a few times.

When I met my husband, I became quite a bit more outdoorsy. He likes to fish, and he grew up camping. As soon as we started having kids, camping was something he was so excited to share with them.

I will admit that at first, I was a bit resistant. A vacation for me always included sight-seeing, restaurants, hotels, and shopping. As a child, we went to a theme park every year. Now, after being with my husband for 11 years, my perspective has definitely changed.

Don’t get me wrong–theme parks are fun. But I always come back broke and exhausted. Feeling like I need a vacation from my vacation! The sight-seeing, theme park vacation just doesn’t compare to camping anymore, and here are the reasons why:

1) Price- There are many spots that are free to camp at, and even if you have to pay, it is usually only $25-$50 per night. WAY cheaper than a hotel! Especially if you have a large family (raises hand) and usually have to spring for the suites. Camping is the same price whether you have 2 kids or 10. More costly expenses, such as a tent, sleeping bags, and cooking stove are one time expenses, unlike tickets to an amusement park. And you can find most things second hand for next to nothing. My husband found our tent at a thrift store in perfect condition, and it has lasted us about 5 years. It was in next to new condition when he found it. If you look around at yard sales, thrift stores, and Craigslist you can find almost anything you need for a fraction of the cost of buying new. You can also shop during the off-season to get good deals on gear.

2) Out of cell range- love that I can’t check my Facebook every 5 minutes when I’m camping. My teen can’t post to Instagram. My husband can’t take work calls or check emails. We actually have to talk to each other and be present. We don’t have the stress of having to answer that text. My husband is upper management at his work, so he is never really off. Even when we go on dates, there is usually some pressing issue that he has to deal with. But when we are camping-all bets are off. The crisis must be figured out without his help, because he is just unreachable. UnreachableThat word can be a blessing!

3) The Stars- Have you ever stood on a cliff and watched the waves crash against the rocks below? Then looked out at the vast expanse of ocean, barely able to tell where the sea ends and the sky begins, and just felt so at peace? Like no matter what is raging below in your life-it’s all going to be okay. This life, like the ocean, is bigger than the day to day. That is what it’s like looking into the sky at night out in the wilderness, away from city lights. The stars are beyond explanation. They choke the sky with their presence, yet each is so unique-a perfect individual spot of light on a canvas of black. The sheer number of them will take your breath away. How anyone can look into that sky and not feel the presence of their Creator is beyond me. So perfect and yet so wild. Amazingly visible and mysterious at the same time. Beyond a doubt, the stars are my favorite part of camping.

4) Getting to know each other- When you are camping, you really have no choice but to talk to each other. Like I mentioned before, there is no cell service or wi-fi. No tv or other distractions. During this last trip, we taught one of our kids how to play rummy. Our oldest daughter learned how to gut and clean a fish. The heart to heart conversations seem to flow so easily when you are out in the middle of creation with just each other to keep you occupied. Camping has knit our family together and strengthened our bond every single time we have ever went. Theme parks are fun, but there is no time to really get to know each other while you are running from line to line, which brings me to my next point:

5) No schedule- There’s no alarm clock kicking you out of bed. No attraction or store hours ruling your day. No lines to stand in or shows to race to. Just calm, lazy days. It is so refreshing to get away from the daily grind for a while. I sat in my chair watching my kids play and got to finish almost all of the book I brought. We swam when we were hot and ate when we were hungry. We built a campfire at night and roasted marshmallows, telling jokes and stories. No bedtime, because we had no where to be the next morning, although right after dark the kids are usually exhausted and willingly climb into bed, leaving time for mom and dad to enjoy each other’s company.

These are just some of the reasons I love camping, and why I am so happy that my husband introduced us to it. I know we would be missing out if we only chose hotels and tourist vacations, although they can be fun occasionally too.

Do you enjoy camping? What is your favorite vacation to take with your family?

  • Angie Agerter

    I love to camp. Love it so much. But sadly the last few years we haven’t had the time. Summer is the busy months for my husband’s job with move outs of apartments, so actual vacation during that time is hard. Plus we don’t like to go just with us two, we will, but it’s not as fun. Great ideas/prompts to go camping though. It’s really the best! Especially when you can have a campfire.

    • Miranda Gonzalez

      Yep, the campfire is also one of my favorite things. My dad and his girlfriend came along with us this time and they were joking that I was a pyro 🙂

      We never have to worry about going alone, with all these kiddos, lol. I hope you can get some camping time in soon! I am glad you liked my post.

  • Hil D

    Stopping in from Turn it up Tuesdays, I love camping too but was lucky enough to grow up camping with my family and trying to convince my reluctant partner to do it. I am going for a week with my baby and toddler next week so we shall see how I manage on my own! My husband is also “always” reachable for work emergencies and camping lessens it, unfortunately we are still in zone here so his work can still reach him, but it’s less than usual!

    I also post camping related things on my blog if you have any interest in activities for young ones too.

    • Miranda Gonzalez

      You are going all by yourself with a baby and a toddler? You are brave! I am *slightly* afraid of being out in the wilderness by myself so I don’t know if I would brave it without my husband. Maybe if all my kids were older, but not with a baby I don’t think.
      Sounds like you need to camp a little further away to get out of range 🙂

      Thanks for the link-I will hop over and check it out!

  • Desiree Sumner

    I love camping! I live for camping. I breathe camping. Did I mention that I like to camp? We do it tent style, too. No RVs here.

    • Miranda Gonzalez

      I have to admit, I would love an RV–but just for the convenience of a bathroom. I would still sleep outside!

  • Victoria H

    Camping sounds so fun. I am freaked out by bugs though. Maybe when the boys are older I will take them though.

    • Miranda Gonzalez

      Yeah….bugs are pretty active in the woods! Maybe try beach camping?

  • Sweet Silly Sara

    We want to try it with the kids (in the backyard to start) this weekend!

    • Miranda Gonzalez

      That is how we started as well! Have fun!!

  • aprilaakre

    I didnt grow up camping either. We just recently got a tent and some sleeping bags. We are going to try to camp in our backyard first and see how that goes.

    • Miranda Gonzalez

      Have fun! I am sure you guys will love it.

  • Amanda Dunville

    My husband has been pushing this idea lately, and thinking we should try it. Looks like you guys had a fun trip.

    • Miranda Gonzalez

      You definitely need to try it! It is so much fun.

  • Sabra Penley

    I used to go camping with my family when I was growing up. But it’s not my husband’s thing…and the times we’ve gone together have been…well…not fun. It’s totally our fault, I’m sure. So, now when I get the hankering for a tent, we just camp out on the living room floor, light a lantern, and talk. It’s not exactly the great outdoors, but it is enjoyable. Thanks for sharing this family fun idea.

    • Miranda Gonzalez

      Well I guess it isn’t for everyone 🙂 I like your idea of camping in the living room. How fun!

  • Jade @ Jonesin For Taste

    I love camping but after getting rained on and struggling this last time we realized how important it is to have appropriate gear to make it comfortable for everyone.

    • Miranda Gonzalez

      Yes, the correct gear is important. That is why we haven’t tried colder weather camping yet, because we don’t have the correct gear.

  • Tayler

    I grew up going camping with my family every year. My hubby and I went camping for our 1st anniversary.

  • Karren Haller

    I also grew up camping with my mom and dad and then when I met my husband we started right a way and yes you do check out of the . It is a fun time to get to know the kids and hubby, a relaxing event to be sure. Im glad that you changed your perspective, your kids will have fun memories and probably do the same when they have their families. Can you tell I am and advocate of camping. We went every weekend in the summer. I hope that you continue camping trips!!

    Thank you for sharing on Friday Features this week!!
    Have a great weekend!

  • The Future Mrs. Vines

    My parents took me camping often and I absolutely love it! I especially love camping in the mountains where it’s not officially dubbed as a camp “site”, but it’s okay to camp….in the wilderness. We haven’t taken a camping trip as a family yet, but we’re talking about it all the time. The initial investment can seemingly be A LOT, but it’s TOTALLY worth it. Good camp gear can last a decade or way longer and brings so many memories and so much joy!

  • terri presser

    Hey Miranda thank you so much for sharing this with us at Good Morning Mondays. We haven’t really done much camping and when my parents were alive, holidays were spent visiting them. Now we enjoy taking day trips and looking around our local area. We have been talking about doing a bit of camping so maybe we will this coming summer. Blessings

  • l. justus

    GREAT POST ! I heartily agree with the part where we are disconnect from the rest of the world during camping outings . SO NICE 🙂
    I am going to share this on my facebook blog page KingMakerBlog

  • Alexandra Guglielmo

    Thanks for your insight! I grew up “camping” (my family had a camper and brought along TVs and DVD players, too!), and I definitely liked the being outdoors part. I think this is the first year my husband and I will try camping together…I think we’ll love it!

  • Shauna Lynn

    Love camping. Grew up in a HUGE camping area.

  • mena & taty

    Great list of why we should be camping now! Thanks for sharing at #BestoftheBlogosphere

  • Shirley Wood

    I have camped but it has been many years ago when I was young. I remember how good breakfasts were cooked at the camp site! You are so right, some vacations require rest afterwards! Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday.