Camping – the Green Vacation!

Vacation; the true meaning of summer. Usually my two months off are filled with a couple of four or five day getaways because staying home with two kids is work too. This summer the stars didn’t align for a vacation until recently. Mom invited us to go camping with her for a few days and I excitedly agreed.

Camping

Camping is generally the ultimate green vacation. Not only is it economical, but it uses very little energy beyond the gas for your car, wood for your fire and the energy used to make the products you bring. It gives you a chance to see what your life would be like if you changed your carbon footprint drastically.

This camping trip was a lot of fun, but there were a few problems. First, we picked the hottest three days of the summer to go. If you’ve been camping before, you realize what a problem this is! It was HOT within an hour of waking up. It was HOTTER when we decided to take a short hike, and HOTTEST when we… played in the river (ok, that wasn’t so bad). It remained hot all evening and well into the night, and then suddenly it got cold. Not super cold, but since my kids were sleeping practically naked because of the heat, it woke them up and I had to help them get pajamas on and snuggle under the sheets I brought. The second night, it POURED. And it was still HOT. In fact, it felt hotter than the first night because we had to keep the tent closed up, so there was no ventilation.

Another issue was one that was more in my power to fix. My Mom, has been camping since she was a kid, so she packed all of the food, utensils, and cooking paraphernalia She keeps a cabinet in her basement filled with camping stuff, so I didn’t feel too bad. However, I neglected to remember her affinity for disposable items. we had paper plates and bowls. Paper towels. Other items I avoided looking at. Had I thought ahead, I would have brought plates and other non-disposable items, but at least I am learning. I’m going to be watching Freecycle for a set or two of lightweight dishes like Corelle and horde a bunch of rags for our next trip.

One of the best parts of the trip was exploring a nearby state park I had never visited. We camped less than half an hour from home, so this park is right in my backyard! We found some hiking trails, a cool park and even a spot to go tubing in the future. I learned about the camp sites available too. The ones we stayed at were very level (nice benefit) and not too full on Sunday and Monday nights.

If you have never been camping or have not been in a long while, I encourage you to check it out. Try to find some friends to camp with if you are inexperienced, or offer to tag along on your child’s next girl ot boy scout camping trip. You will be amazed at how fun it can be! Just be sure to check the weather before you go.