Yes, I went camping and I lived to tell the tale, although the fact that we came back Monday evening and it has taken me two full days to recover should be slightly telling.
Here are the things I learned while camping for the very first time in my adult life:
1. Make sure that everybody in your party took the whole freakin’ day off work on the day you are setting out. None of this ‘oh, I’ll just go in early and leave early B.S. It never works out and you end up leaving 3 hours late.
2. Make sure that the slightly less stinky but very nervous and constantly quaking dog has not been stowed away in your car. It will end up on your lap, shivering and panting for half the trip and you will have to constantly check to make sure that there are no little wet surprises left on your previously clean, dog hair free capris.
3. When borrowing a tent from friends, make sure all the pieces are there BEFORE you head out, or you will end up with something like this…
4. When the forecast calls for rain and you are stuck using a tent with tarps held on by bungie cord for a roof, it will inevitably rain.
5. Seaweed seems to love clumping up in the underboob of a woman’s bathing suit.
6. Never trust a teenager to have closed all the windows on the tent when rain is forecast.
7. Toasted marshmallows taste waaaay better when you have kids who are happy to keep you supplied and you don’t have to get off your butt to do it yourself.
8. Kids don’t seem to care if their juice boxes are only slightly cool, leaving more ice for the adult beverages in the cooler
9. Adult beverages are a complete necessity to take off the edge from being with 7 kids all day but also to help you sleep through the godawful dinn of crickets/cicadas/raccoons/drunken neighbours playing Gotye on repeat (I used to love that song but now I’m not so sure)
10. Sharing a bathroom with untold numbers of campers is completely disgusting, and no matter how well kept the facilities are, you will find somebody else’s long dark hair in the sink or shower stall.
11. Camping is hard freakin’ work for the grown-ups involved but when you see how much fun the kids are having, it almost seems worth it.
12. I would do it again, but only if we have our own tent, electricity on site, and running water., because I love my kids more than I love air conditioning and private bathrooms and my soft, comfy bed. And I love seeing them spending time with their cousins and aunts and uncles and even the stinky dogs. There. I admitted it out loud. Pass the wine.