We missed out on camping entirely last year with our trip to Europe.  I’m not complaining, just saying we’re a little rusty.  I always hate camping…the day before we leave.  The mound of stuff that grows by the door seems preposterously large.  The inconvenience seems colossal. The risks seem large.  The kids are never in the mood.  Finding healthy, simple foods that conform to our no-bread near-veganism seems laughably impossible.

And then we arrive.




So cold that first night. Everyone in the campground had on their toques and mittens as we drove in. We wore ridiculously layered outfits to bed and had blankets over our sleeping bags. Sandra and I even slept in our toques.




Leaping, roaring flames helped.

S’mores and hot chocolate and reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.


Mountain biking and laughing. Shivering at the lake as we contemplated the next morning’s triathlon. Quiet moments in the afternoon.




Nestled into the cupholder. The label calls this pumpkin colour “Coffee”.




There was a tango. Of sorts.


our little corner of the woods


So glad we discovered the genius of a set of plastic drawers. Stores all the dishes and camping doodads on site and at home. A drawer can even be the container for washing dishes.


No photos of the triathlon. Woke at 6 and registered. Back to the campsite to make breakfast and tea before waking the kids. Off to shiver at the course, watching the Junior Elite event. Tall, slim speed demons.

Rainer did the swim and bike. Water temps of 13.5 C made wetsuits mandatory, and made me glad I wasn’t swimming.   I ran, making us a relay team, because he’s working through some Achilles tendon issues.  I had a great run. Fast. Apparently what I need to spur me on to my fastest time is a bunch of excellent athletes in imposing athletic gear all around me. I don’t want to look like a slacker. Cut 43 seconds off my previous 5k best. 25:57. Wonder what I might have done without the 2 hours of biking the day before.


Spring may be late, but that gives us time to watch it.


bur oak unfurling



12 thoughts on “Camping

  1. Sara says:

    I agree – I hate camping the day before also! It seems like such a huge chore to get the family ready to go, and if I forgot anything somebody is going to be unhappy. I love the idea of keeping a plastic chest of drawers as the camping kit, and then I could keep it mostly packed and store it in our garage the rest of the time. Thanks!

  2. Lisa says:

    Those drawers are the simple, obvious solution that no one else seems to see! I’m thinking I’ll just get a small one, put the kids stuff in it and send it camp next week. My brother always totes those huge Rubbermaid containers [like for horse Tack] and you have to rummage thru them to find ALL the plates or cups or whatver…. Great solution! Now to the question–no bread?? None of my business of course, but is there a reason? Not good for triathletes?

    We always SAY we want to go camping, then blanch at the price for a campsite and the mountain of gear to assemble [and drive 40 miles to my brother’s to borrow….] Still, I hope we DO get there at least this once. We need to get out and draw and hang out together at least once in the summer and once in the Fall.

    • Sarah says:

      Rainer and I love bread a little too much. We just can’t be reasonable with it. As well, we’ve found that we’ve been healthier and happier since we have pretty much eliminated flour from our diets. A bit still in Ryvita crackers, in pitas, in whole wheat noodles, but just a few times a week. The kids still get bread, but not as much as in other families. On the whole, we’re just more energetic when we’re not eating flour.

      Odd. I know.

  3. nicolaknits says:

    So that’s what the cupholder is for!

    We haven’t been camping in years – the sleeping on the ground part puts me off.

    I know what you mean about bread. I haven’t eaten yeasted bread in nearly a year – it makes me feel sleepy. I do eat the occasional tortilla or home-made flax crackers or manna bread and feel fine with those.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    We’ve done the no bread/wheat bit as well for most of the last 9 months–I’ve been suffering from an ‘unknown edema’ for 7 years–and going wheat free has helped. We do have the odd bit–but it is rather addictive if it’s around. If we need sandwiches for an outing where it’ll be the easiest thing to transport–I just buy four rolls–so can’t be tempted to finish the loaf.

  5. Charity says:

    I confess, I’m a bit envious of your camping! We’ve decided not to go camping with this year (camping with a babe always sounds like much more fun to me than I find it is in reality), but I’m missing it. :o)

  6. Gudrun says:

    I have to confess to relishing the thought of camping but I think that’s because for the past 2 years it has meant an escape from a city that I don’t enjoy being in!…..It has also meant mostly going to the coast and enjoying the cooler temps! However I think our experience would be all the better for a set of those drawers…great idea!

  7. Kika says:

    We are definitely not campers. A hotel with a Chapters/starbucks next door is more my idea of fun:) Actually, I have such fond memories of camping as a child, though, just not the desire to do it anymore. Your travelling and energy are so inspiring. My husband, kids and I are planning a cross-country drive/visit to Quebec next summer and I look forward to all the reading and planning we’ll do in preparation.

  8. Anne/Navhelowife says:

    I am *not* a camper. There, I said it. My DH and children love to camp. I don’t, unless I have a cabin to sleep in. I do, however like the plastic drawers. Were you able to drive right up to your campsite?
    I have, even though I don’t like it, been camping. I’ve even camped on an active volcano (Mt. Etna, and never mind the active part was waaaayyyy over on the other side) but I still just don’t care for it. Wish I did, though. I think it is awesome for families to camp together.
    When we return to the states for a visit this summer, camping is on the schedule for the male members of this family..that would be everyone but me. I’ll keep my mother in law company, she doesn’t camp either 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s