Of course there are a thousand reasons that one could come up with not to camp: it’s too cold, it’s too hot, it takes too much work, the kids will be bored, I like my comfortable bed, etc. etc. But the fact that you are visiting this blog means you are at least somewhat interested in trying your hand at camping, or looking to share in the experiences of others. What I can tell you from experience is simply this – JUST TRY IT. Just as there are many excuses not to camp there are a thousand reasons why you should, and an equal number of cheesy clichés about pushing yourself to experience life to the fullest. After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
All joking aside, camping has been a great experience for my husband and me, and I feel it has really strengthened our marriage. Enjoying a hobby together, experiencing new places together, and even overcoming obstacles along the way, creates a strong and enduring relationship. That is not to say we, by any means, are “hard-core” in our camping. There have been several times this winter we would have liked to get out and camped, but decided against it do to frigid temperatures. Needless to say, when we received the following from my adventuresome brother, Spencer, we were more than a bit disappointed in our own lack of will in the face of his unbridled enthusiasm for the great outdoors:
Here a few highlights from Pictured Rocks. The trip was as challenging as it was beautiful. 3 days, 3 nights. Highs in the 20s, lows in the single digits. On the last morning it was -3 in my tent!
We started with 11 people, though three people left early due to the frigid temps. It was a learning experience for everyone. For me staying warm wasn’t the toughest challenge, rather it was breaking trail through deep snow and making sure everyone’s well-being was accounted for. I probably overestimated how much distance we would be able to comfortably cover in one day, but I wanted to make sure we reached campsites where fires are permitted. At the end, we all made it out with all our fingers and toes, I’d call that a success. Big smiles had by all.
The trails were deep with soft snow, several feet in most places, and meandered through pine forest and past frozen waterfalls. The trail along the lakeshore was on a steep bluff, so there were expansive views of an icy Superior. At one point the trail lowered to the beach, there the winds were very intense and sent shivers up and down your spine.
While cold was constant, the winds were variable, gusting as times, then calm. It would snow, then it would be sunny. At night we were treated to an amazing night sky complete with an eerie moonrise through the trees. We half expected wolves to begin howling, but they were probably in their warm dens. We would wake up with almost a half-foot of fresh snow on the ground.
There were animal tracks everywhere, though we only saw a few ravens. Sometimes it was so quiet the only sound you could hear was the wind in the pines and your own beating heart.