Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Tenting We Did Go

We went on our first nuclear family camping trip this week, to Elkwater.  Mike loves to camp (in fact, when I met him, he was a hardcore backcountry backpacker), but I hate it, and I swore I wouldn't camp with kids until they were potty trained and no longer required specialized gear.  Every year we do a week long camping trip up north with Mike's extended family, but it is a camping trip on steroids; with a lot of people, trailers, motor homes, quads, dirt bikes, a Rhino and sometimes boats.  This trip was just a simple overnight tenting expedition, to see if the kids (and parents) are ready for our own family camping trips around Southern Alberta and the Cypress Hills.  We decided that if worst came to worst, we would pack up in the middle of the night and drive home.

These are the things I discovered:

1.  Nothing tests a marriage quite like assembling and disassembling a tent that you've never used before.  Look at how nice it looked though once it was put up.

The ceiling in the tent has a fly that can be rolled back to reveal the sky.  This was the view from my bedroll.

2. My kids are too loud for campground camping.  I don't know if it was because it was a weeknight or what, but we have never been in such a quiet campground before.  This made us hyper-aware of every noise that our kids made, especially when they were up at the crack of dawn.

Some wild family swinging on the campground's swing set.

3. Normally my kids have bladders of steel.  They can go for half a day without a trip to the bathroom.  But take them to a place with filthy outhouses and no running water, and suddenly they can't stop peeing.  I kid you not when I say that my oldest went to the bathroom 4 times in the space of two hours during and after breakfast.

In spite of all this, it was a resounding success.  We thought of a couple of things that would make our campsite a little more comfy, but we didn't forget any essential items and the kids had a blast.  Perhaps next year we will think about a week at Writing-on-Stone or the Saskatchewan side of the Cypress Hills.

Not to brag or anything, but I am the queen of perfect, lightly toasted marshmallows.


  1. Glad you had a good time. I really don't sleep well in a tent and I know what you mean about your kids seeming way louder.

  2. I am thinking a joint family tenting trip is in order next year!!

  3. Good for you guys, Alison! I'm proud of you! We love tenting, but find that one night is not even worth all the work! Ha! Wish we could've gone more this year...maybe next week? Love you!