I imagine most camping trips take days , if not weeks, of planning and preparation. But in our case, we had less than one day to quickly research and pack for our trip. We watched a few helpful YouTube videos, made a couple trips to the store, and did some last minute packing. We were excited and determined as we embarked upon the adventure.
As we began travelling to our destination, I began to think of a few forgotten details. It was too late to turn around, so I was just going to make the best of it and learn from the experience. Once we settled in, everyone kicked into creative mode and made things work. For example, I used the griddle to heat our water & coffee since I couldn’t find last minute firewood in the city. Thankfully, we didn’t go long without wood because we were able to buy fire wood from the visitor center . Even though we all enjoyed cooking on and heating up by the fire pit, the griddle definitely came in handy for preparing some of our meals (like instant oatmeal, noodle cups, hot cocoa). Honestly, I know that using electricity while in the wilderness may be considered cheating by camping enthusiasts, but it worked well for our family and simplified things greatly. Perhaps, as we get more camping experience we’ll go more rustic.
As always, there were many lessons learned:
- Camping with a toddler has a few challenges, but it can be done successfully & create great memories
- Next time when camping in the desert, I won’t be alarmed when I’m awaken by the howling coyotes after midnight
- The temperature in the dessert may be pleasant during the day, but be prepared for an extreme drop after sunset (it got down to at least 42degrees when we checked in the middle of the night, then we were too cold to check again)
- If you’re brave enough to experience fall/winter camping, a good quality/safe heater is a great investment if temps drop below 50 degrees at night
- Even though you may check the weather before your camping trip, be prepared for a shift in conditions (we got some rain and wind on the second morning despite the weather forecast just stating “cloudy”)
- \ If you’re like me and have a fear of heights, perhaps climbing sand dunes is a good option to get to a good scenic view 300+ft in the air. As we climbed, our feet sunk a few inches in the sand to give better footing than regular mountain climbing….this eliminated much fear for me
- Children say the funniest things sometimes—I told them we were going to climb the “sand dunes” and our 4 year old stated we were on our way to “the mountain of doom” (doom, rather than dune...lol)
- Playing in sand dunes is like having a big sandbox and may bring out the kid in you, (consider trying it if you’re feeling a little stressed and need to tap into your adventurous side)
- Leaving the city and spending time in the wilderness is a great way to decompress from the hustle and bustle of everyday responsibilities—I am refreshed!
- YHWH has created so many amazing landscapes and we are fortunate to be able to enjoy them by visiting our state & national parks—Consider getting out of the house & experiencing a little nature (the park rates are pretty reasonable if you prepare in advance, save a little here and there)
Me reading Scriptures before dawn
Little girls making kosher smores on the griddle (Recipe: http://www.joyfuljunction.com/1/post/2010/08/kosher-smores.html)