BK, before kids, we use to spend our weekends camping in the backcountry. We loaded up our big packs with all our gear, top of the line lightweight gear, that was just enough for a weekend in the middle of nowhere. The 30+ lb pack was tough to carry but it is all part of the backcountry experience, the beauty of camping with no one else, just you vs. nature.
We have covered that I am a gear snob (scroll down for article on the Family that Skis Together) so a few years ago we started camping as a family, car camping. We turned in our whisper light stove for the big Coleman heavy duty multi burner stove. And when we bought our five person tent that my 6’3 husband can comfortably stand up in, I knew I had reached a new low in gear.
This last weekend we packed up the car, and I mean packed. The rocket box was stuffed and every inch of the car had some sort of gear oozing out of it. The 95 lb dog found herself nestled on top of a pile of fire wood. And we headed to Yosemite. As we inched our way through the long line to enter the park, we learned that they were turning people away without reservations (of course we had one) because the park had reached its maximum capacity. I thought, so much for the peaceful outdoors. We pulled up to our camp site, nestled in with hundreds of other people and started to unload. The rain started pouring down. Would our Costco tent hold up and keep everyone dry? We pride ourselves on being able to set up the toughest of “hard core” tents so we always challenge ourselves with a little timed contest. This time we even had to put up the fly. We were soaking wet but the tent was holding up and for the most part dry internally. Now time to “blow up” the air mattresses. Long gone are the days of thin Therma Rests and achy backs. I remember trying to blow them up, and blowing and blowing and blowing. And then taking forever to squeeze out every last bit of air and roll it up again. Bring out the Aero bed and plug it in. This particular luxury on my old back is when my gear snobbery started to slightly disappear. Slightly.
It was cold. It was wet. And it rained on and off for two nights. Everything was wet and muddy. I got a bad cold from being so wet and had very little Kleenex to help the situation. I wanted to go home. But we went for a great hike; saw a family of deer, a bear and the kids got to see the amazing Yosemite waterfalls for the first time. The eight year old rode a horse for the first time and the five year old thinks he went “climbing” in Yosemite.
I thought I was the hard core backcountry backpacking gear snob outdoor person. In the end I wanted to go home and the rest of them insisted on staying, sucking it up through the weather, roasting s’mores and enjoying the outdoors.
Love how Ruby is the only one totally indifferent to the bear.