Born to Camp

Camping. I love it. To me, there is no such thing as ‘too much camping’. The packing and the prep work required to go camping is something I do not love, but the thing is, it is absolutely worth it. I’ve managed to streamline the packing part over the years, so it’s less of a chore than it once was.

All my life I have camped. I’m a fresh 41 years old and so that’s quite a bit of camping. My parents were big time campers. They took me out on camping trips before I was old enough to realize I was even taking part in it. Baby pictures exist that show me in diapers at a campground with my parents. Camping with a small child requires work. If you’ve ever done it, then you know. I have taken, and set up, a Pack ‘N Play portable crib inside my tent countless times. The point is I give my parents props for not letting their infants keep them from enjoying the outdoors. They could have easily said, “Forget it. This is too much.”

Growing up my family camped everywhere we went. I mean everywhere. We took vacations to beaches in Florida, Alabama and South Carolina. At every one of those beaches we camped. When I was 13 we took a fantastic vacation out west to see Mount Rushmore, the Rocky Mountains and other sights. All overnight stops along the way were at a campground. We must have stayed at 8-9 different ones along the way. Disney World vacation? Check. On that trip we stayed at Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground- in the middle of the summer. Without any A/C. Only twice do I recall trips in my first 16 years of life that involved a hotel or resort stay. One of those resort stays was because my parents had sold our camper and we didn’t have another one yet. The other time, we had our camper; we just didn’t use it on this particular trip. We stayed at a hotel in downtown Chicago, IL and I recall thinking it was the nicest hotel I’d ever stepped foot in. Well, I hadn’t stepped foot in many of them! We were always camping. Surveying the lobby I thought to myself my Father must have hit the jackpot on a bonus at work, or maybe he landed that huge account. I didn’t dwell on it and I didn’t ask but I did enjoy that hotel stay!

Some of my fondest childhood memories are from the camping trips I went on with my family while growing up. I want my kids to say the same thing when they are adults. Now, this is far from the only reason I camp. It’s just a small part of it. Mostly I camp because I grew up on it, I loved it then and I still do. Our three kids do enjoy it. I am so glad! This is because they don’t have a choice! They’re not old enough to stay home by themselves, Mom and Dad are going camping, and so they’ll have to go too. When I got married (16 years ago) to an awesome woman we actually included some camping items on our wedding registry. What better way to add to our camping gear and upgrade some of the existing pieces we had? It was great! Thanks again for that new tent and camp stove friends’, if you’re reading this, you know who you are!


That wedding gift tent served us well for 10 years. Then about six years ago I started to daydream about owning a camper. Five years ago I really got the itch to go from the tent to a camper. There was room in my garage to store a popup and I was ready for one. The Jayco you see pictured on my blog is a camper I stumbled upon. It wasn’t posted for sale online anywhere. The transaction turned out to be a win-win for both the seller and I. My brother towed the camper home for me since my car didn’t even have a trailer hitch yet.

Towing a trailer. Now this was new to me! Let me offer a tip that has helped me tremendously when backing up the trailer. First, point your front tires straight ahead, then grab the very bottom of the steering wheel (in the 6 o’clock position) with one hand. As you back up, if you want your trailer to go to the left, move the steering wheel to the left. If you want the trailer to go to the right, move your steering wheel to the right. Before you start this procedure it helps to have your trailer in a straight line behind your tow vehicle. Go slow. The shorter the trailer the more it will react to even the slightest movement in the steering wheel. One more thing, check that your trailer is level from side-to-side on your campsite before you disconnect it from your tow vehicle. This way, it’s much easier and quicker to make any leveling tweaks should they be needed.

If you are still reading this, thank you! Future posts will be a mix of topics to include gear reviews, stories, spotlights on a specific campground and educational posts to share with you things that I have learned the hard way. It is possible I will make some tweaks to this blog so if the look changes don’t be alarmed. I’m new to this.

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